The Contender isn’t knocked out yet. Executive producer Mark Burnett, who has previously said that this is “my favorite work of my career,” told reporters after the finale, “I’ve never had such pats on the back as I’ve had for ‘The Contender.’ I’m totally committed to it. If NBC doesn’t want to do it, we’ll go somewhere else. … The public wants more of these guys and our job is to provide it to them.” Burnett said that NBC is keeping lame series like “Joey” because of syndication. “It’s all about money. Those (other) programs can make a lot of money for NBC in the future,” he said.
And a move to a new network is already in the works. That network: ESPN. According to the Orange County Register, hosts “[Sylverster] Stallone and [Sugar Ray] Leonard are in negotiations with ESPN for a second season of the program.”