Elite XC Signs Network TV Deal

In what could prove to be an interesting development Elite XC, the MMA promotion which is part owned by Showtime, has signed a network TV deal with CBS.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. I really, really don’t want Kimbo to be the face of MMA.

[quote]2/28/2008 12:18:00 PM

Two huge MMA announcements today

by Dave Meltzer

Elite XC confirmed in a press release today the story reported yesterday of signing a multi-year agreement for prime time television broadcasts on CBS.

The release listed four MMA events per year would air as two-hour prime time broadcasts on Saturday night.

While not officially announced, the debut event is expected to be in April, from New Jersey, and headlined by Kimbo Slice.

If the series is successful, a big if given the type of numbers needed for a major network, even on Saturdays, it would become the strongest competition UFC has ever had.

UFC today announced a three-year sponsorship agreement with Bud Light, the biggest corporate sponsor in the history of the promotion. The sponsorship goes into effect on 5/24, and will include both UFC and WEC events. [/quote]

Certainly interesting. I’m sure the UFC’s outright refusal to yield any level of creative control and production was the culprit in their going with EliteXC.

I’m sure it didn’t help. I think it’s pretty much accepted that is what killed the HBO talks. However, Viacom owns both CBS and Showtime so it’s possibly that there was more to this.

Probably more to it considering the ownership. Hopefully elitexc does a very professional job and its like the old school friday night fights that used to come on abc and not a survivor meets karate kid + american gladiators type exploitation of the sport.

Either way this is huge and might get UFC’s head out of their ass.

Well as good as this deals sounds, the UFC also just signed a contract with Budweiser, so there’s a pretty good chance that with the backing of the largest sport sponsor in the world, they won’t have trouble landing a deal with another network for a better deal than EliteXC. There’s no word on the details of the deal, but being first might not necessarily mean better…I guess time will tell.

Mr90210, I agree about Kimbo…all this time legitimizing the sport and the first thing people will see is some glorified street thug.