WEC Cuts New TV Deal With The Versus Network

The following is an article from the Houston Chronicle website:

WEC cuts TV deal with Versus

The rumored marriage between World Extreme Cagefighting and Versus has been consummated.

The repackaged WEC and the cable channel (formerly known as Outdoor Life Network) agreed to a one-year deal that will put six one-hour taped programs and three two-hour live events on the network. The first live show is expected this summer.

While WEC is part of Zuffa, which also runs the UFC, it's being operated as a competing promotion to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. That direct competition includes a different brand of fighting, WEC-dedicated mixed martial artists, and a TV presence that will be packaged differently than UFC's PPV or Ultimate Fight Night offerings.

“It's going to be different than the UFC. It's going to have its own look. It's own feel. Versus is one of the top sports networks out there. We're intrigued by their marketing power, their creative. They've got some great organizations and leagues under their umbrella, and we're adding to that,” WEC Vice President of Event Operations and Production Peter Dropick told the Chronicle.

Todd Harris, a college football sideline reporter for ABC, is slated to call the action in the cage, with Vegas disc jockey Dave Farra providing color.

Landing a cable home is the first step in establishing a strong media presence for the promotion. Dropick also has a goal of putting major WEC shows on PPV. That could happen by the end of 2008.