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CBS exec says idea of a fourth MMA broadcast was in the plans all along

CBS Senior Executive Vice President for Primetime Kelly Kahl confirmed to that this past weekend’s telecast of Saturday Night Fights pulled in an average of 4.31 million viewers.

The numbers were up significantly from July’s broadcast which averaged 2.6 million viewers and close to the network’s debut MMA telecast in May, which attracted an averaged of 4.85 million viewers.

“Going in we were going to be closer to the May numbers than the July numbers and we certainly did that,” Kahl commented when contacted by Five Ounces of Pain. “The 4.31 million viewers is exactly where we were at for May.”

Kahl indicated that CBS still does not have a final number and is waiting on additional data, but that the network is pleased with the ratings.

“There’s a couple of caveats: we don’t have ABC’s final numbers; we don’t have the last 20 minutes figured in yet; we don’t have baseball numbers,” said Kahl. “So we’re hoping to put it all into a little bit more context when we have all the numbers. Regardless of that, this was a very strong performance.”

The fact that the final 20 minutes has yet to be factored into the initial average of 4.31 million viewers is interesting because the main event of Kimbo Slice vs. Seth Petruzelli did not go on the air until after 11:00 p.m. ET. Kahl indicated that when those numbers do become available that the final number could go up.

“Based on the metered markets that we have, it looks like our market went up from 11-11:15 so that should indicate that we will creep up a little bit,” he confirmed.

Kahl was also asked to address speculation that a decision in regards to televising a fourth MMA event on CBS was contingent upon the performance of this Saturday’s show.

“I think we were planning on a fourth event in any case,” Kahl responded. “I think a lot of these comments seem to come from people not at all informed about the situation. We have a four fight deal and we were already planning ahead. These numbers just make us that much more excited about it.”

  • Matt D. says:

    Wow good job EliteXC… I won’t pretend to know how rating numbers work, but would EliteXC be helped by the number of people flipping back and forth between the Cubs game and the college football games going on? Nothing similar was going on in May…

  • Robert says:

    CBS is happy with the rating because of the competition of MLB playoffs and College Football being televised at the same time.

  • 6 months lets see where they are>

  • Robert says:

    Hopefully planning an Ortiz vs. Frank Shamrock card.

  • Stan the Caddy says:

    [b]”Hopefully planning an Ortiz vs. Frank Shamrock card.”[/b]

    Frank Shamrock is under contract to Strikeforce. Scott Coker has gone on the record and said they won’t be doing anymore cross promotions with EliteXC so I doubt we’ll see that matchup anytime in the near future. We’re more likely to see Tito fighting Babalu in a cross promotion with Affliction, imho.

  • Robert says:

    Frank Shamrock offered to fight Kimbo so the main event would be on but the athletic commission refused and he stated during the broadcast that if Ortiz signed with EliteXC it would “give him something to do with his fists”.Do you think he’d be saying these things or offering to fight if there were no possibility of them happening?I am willing to bet Frank knows the details of his contract better than Stan the Caddy!

  • HexRei says:

    Robert, Someone else made a great point that Frank would have had to weigh 205 or more for that fight… Looking at him, I’m not sure he does.

  • Robert says:

    They fought before at a 200 pound weight limit.Frank fights at 185 now I’m sure he can go up 1 weight class and come in around 205 now.That’s not a big deal.

  • HexRei says:

    I was talking about filling in for Ken at the last EXC. Sure, he can get to 205 in a couple of months or even a few weeks. But in a couple of hours? If he wasn’t walking at at least 205, the commission would not have let him fight.

  • Robert says:

    I am not sure if the athletic commission would have let him fight Kimbo with those braces he was wearing not sure if they can cover those for a fight i assume they would have to come off.

  • HexRei says:

    Another good point, that’s not something you can do on the fly unless it’s just a really big removable retainer 😛


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