« The best 'Recount' comments | Main | The Burn Off: Reality TV school, Kim Cattrall »

June 01, 2008

CBS 'EliteXC' fight ratings KO'd by overtime

Kimbo Slice CBS launched its mixed martial arts franchise Saturday night with a fight that delivered decent ratings, yet likely taught the network some lessons for staging future events.

The nearly three-hour telecast ran 45 minutes past 11 p.m., pushing the much-anticipated headliner bout between Kimbo Slice (pictured, Getty Images photo) and James Thompson outside of primetime hours. As a result, CBS placed second for the night in the adults 18-to-49 demo -- coming in a tenth of a point behind NBC’s airing of the Stanley Cup Finals, which in turn tied Fox’s presentation of movie “The Rookie” for first place.

CBS opened the night with a “CSI” repeat (4.5 million viewers, 0.9 adults 18 to 49 rating and a 4 share), followed by its “EliteXC Saturday Night Fights Special” (4.3 million viewers, 1.9/6). "EliteXC" won its time periods. But according to the metered market overnights,the fight's viewership significantly spiked during overtime (full program ratings will not be known until the national numbers are released Tuesday).

The overrun not only hampered what could have a CBS full-night ratings victory, but also frustrated some viewers. CBS wanted to introduce its broadcast audience to ultimate fighting by featuring plenty of player profiles and interviews, yet the result seemed to annoy MMA purists.

“The broadcast dragged on interminably,” wrote Yahoo Sports. “There was more chatting than ‘The Tonight Show’ …when it was 70 minutes into the show, there had been just 2:12 of fighting.”

CBS noted the primetime portion of the telecast nonetheless increased the network’s time-period average in the demo by 36% compared to the past season. And with CBS’ next “EliteXC” bout scheduled for July, the network still has plenty of time to work on tightening its production.

“There’s a bit of a learning curve here, but I think we had a terrific start,” said Kelly Kahl, head of scheduling for CBS. “We had three goals: Improve our Saturday night demos, get some new advertisers and expand viewership of the sport -- and we did all three.”

CBS is trying to get foothold on low-rated Saturday nights and bring in young male viewers who do not typically watch the network. CBS had staffers phone about 500 sports bars last week to spread the news about the “EliteXC” event.


Here's a clip from the third and final round of the headliner event:

Also: Fans gave high marks to this match between Kaitlin Young and Gina Carano:


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference CBS 'EliteXC' fight ratings KO'd by overtime:

Sign up for The Live Feed daily email newsletter:

If you wish to only receive the morning ratings, get the Hollywood Reporter's ratings alert.
Follow us on Twitter;
Subscribe using RSS.
New: The Live Feed mobile-friendly version.
Get headlines delivered to your Google or Yahoo homepage:
 Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Ain't It Cool News - Coaxial
Deadline Hollywood Daily
Drudge Report
Fark: Showbiz
Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Wiretap
Huffington Post
Just Jared
Lisa de Moraes
Michael Ausiello
NY Post: Vulture
Perez Hilton
Pop Candy
Reality Blurred
Television Without Pity
The Futon Critic
The Wrap
THR BLOGS: Heat Vision Blog
THR BLOGS: Hollywood Reporter Pilot Log
THR BLOGS: Risky Business
Tim Goodman: The Bastard Machine
Time's Tuned In
TV Barn
TV by the Numbers
TV Decoder
TV Squad
TV Tattle
TV Tracker
Warming Glow

The Hollywood Reporter is Your Complete Film Resource

The columnists and bloggers who write for The Hollywood Reporter have their collective finger on the pulse of the boxoffice. From Martin Grove and the rest, THR columnists deliver their thoughts on the film industry in an uncompromised style. Subscribe to THR today and get the latest views from these film experts and get the latest movie reviews as well.