It's been a rough week for EVOLVE, WWN and FloSports, as they're all embroiled in a legal battle that has now forced WWN off of FloSlam's broadcast schedule.
FloSports has pulled this weekend's EVOLVE events off of their planned broadcasts, as well as all future events. This comes after FloSports filed a suit against WWN making several accusations. Fightful.com's David Bixenspan wrote about the news yesterday.
“WWN induced FloSports to pay it hundreds of thousands of dollars based on data that was not only inaccurate and unreliable; it was just plain false,” reads the complaint. “When pressed for the data that backed up WWN’s spreadsheet of viewership, WWN originally claimed it had lost or deleted that information. Ultimately, WWN sent records listing many subscribers more than once and including purchasers of DVDs instead of broadcast services. Even with that artificial inflation of viewership, the numbers WWN attempted to account for were far less than those represented in its initial spreadsheet.”
FloSports is suing on grounds of breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation. WWN’s lawyer, who owner Sal Hamaoui has been referring reporters to, has not yet responded to a request for comment as of this writing.
“The lawsuit isn’t to get out of the partnership,” FloSports Senior Vice President and General Counsel Paul Hurdlow told Fightful. “It really is our hope that we’ll get back to talking to WWN and kind of work things out outside of the litigation….Sometimes you have to file a complaint to sort of protect your interest in particular situations. We’re not apologizing that we did it—we chose to do it—but it’s really our preference to have dialogue and work things out with them outside of litigation.”
One Flo source familiar with the numbers told Fightful that during negotiations, WWN told Flo that they were averaging about 5,000 buys per Evolve pay-per-view, which sounds very high based on conversations with indie wrestling sources familiar with the internet pay-per-view landscape. The other WWN in-house promotions, Full Impact Pro, Shine, Style Battle, and ACW, which all draw incredibly small crowds even by indie standards, are believed to have been included in the deal as a value add. A WWN source—Joshua Gavin—who was privy to conversations within the company during negotiations alleged to Fightful that management was openly talking about inflating the numbers, with the idea that Flo had no way of verifying them.
WWN owner Gabe Sapolsky confirmed the news, saying that the decision was FloSlam's. The events will air on WWNLive.com, with a $5 discount to anyone with a FloSlam subscription. It's worth noting Powerbomb.tv is offering 6 months of membership to anyone who had a yearly FloSlam subscription.
EVOLVE 92 & 93 are set for this weekend, with WWE Superstar Cedric Alexander working the shows. Fightful.com will have full results of the events.