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CBS Chairman Criticizes Decision To Air Live MMA

Sumner Redstone
(Clearly, this man has his finger on the pulse of the nation.)

Elite XC seems to be putting all its hopes for long-term for success into its TV deal with CBS, but not everyone in the CBS family is a fan of the deal. In a recent story from the Hollywood Reporter (via MMA Payout), CBS and Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone publicly criticized CBS president Les Moonves and his decision to put mixed martial arts on live network TV.

“Les usually asks my opinion,” Sumner Redstone said Wednesday when asked about the four mixed-martial arts fights that will begin airing soon on CBS. This time, the Viacom and CBS chairman said, Moonves did not.

Redstone said the deal, struck with Elite Xtreme Combat, probably was a mistake, not because CBS won’t turn a profit from it but because it is not “socially responsible” to air the typically bloody bouts on free, broadcast TV.

“I’m a lover not a fighter,” Redstone said. “I don’t like the sport.”

Redstone saying that he doesn’t like the sport and isn’t anxious to see it on his network? That’s fine. That’s a personal opinion. He doesn’t have to like “How I Met Your Mother” either, but it’s going to stick around as long as it pulls in ratings, which apparently it does (people really watch that? are they drunk?).

But the remark about airing MMA not being “socially responsible” is intriguing. This is the same network that airs the NFL, which is awesome and also very dangerous and violent. They’re also home to great society-improving programming like ‘Big Brother’ and the Charlie Sheen sex-joke vehicle, ‘Two and a Half Men’. (By the way, don’t miss next Monday’s episode: “If My Hole Could Talk.” Now that’s innuendo!)

Fox Sports president Ed Goren also criticized the move, saying that he didn’t pursue a deal with the UFC because, “we don’t need money that badly.”

Of course, the UFC is said to be in serious talks with Fox’s entertainment division, and Fox Sports Net has aired both the IFL and Pride fights in the past. Seems like maybe everyone isn’t on the same page over at Fox. That’s also probably how they ended up with ‘Temptation Island.’

As much as TV execs love to take the moral high ground when they can, they probably didn’t get those jobs by following their hearts. If MMA proves to be a ratings success, my guess is they’ll put their personal abhorrence of violent sports aside in order to capitalize on it.


Cagepotato Comments

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Teachbug- May 5, 2008 at 3:03 pm
That old man is one step away from "The Walking Dead" he looks like corpse.
What the fuck does an old corpse know about MMA.
The most excitement that old fart gets is when his finger breaks thru the toilet-paper and pokes him in his asshole.
guy with his eyes tearing up- May 1, 2008 at 8:49 am
it is not “socially responsible” to show this picture to anyone
Black03Marauder- April 30, 2008 at 8:19 pm
I think BIG CHRIS is onto something...thats probably the only reason that melting troll said that so he can say "I told ya so" if MMA bombed on network.

Where do people get the idea that MMA is immoral? So long as people treat it like a sport...there's just no conceivable problem with it. I go to church with a guy that does MMA as a hobby. If I can talk about MMA IN CHURCH, how is it immoral?
RealDrew- April 30, 2008 at 6:18 pm
Gary Larson would be proud. This guy looks like he came straight out of The Far Side comic.
C-Bus Allstar- April 30, 2008 at 5:22 pm
That is possibly one of the most disturbing looking human beings I have ever laid eyes on in my entire life.

Right next to:


Who knows.. maybe they go to the same barber?
BIG CHRIS- April 30, 2008 at 5:10 pm
They always release this stuff so if it flops there is someone that can say I told you so....but all these people care about are ratings and profitability, if it produces what they are hoping it will maybe this guy will be able to buy a more convincing hairpeice and a chin tuck....
Turd Ferguson- April 30, 2008 at 5:08 pm
Sigh, once again the old bastards are voicing their opinions on MMA when they obviously know nothing about the sport.

This douche, john mccain... I bet they like boxing. Or as i've heard john likes a good old prison camp style fights.
TheFeniX- April 30, 2008 at 4:52 pm
"it is not “socially responsible” to air the typically bloody bouts on free, broadcast TV."

Yea right, that guy looks old enough to have seen live fights in the Roman Coliseum.
Kim Couture is a cunt- April 30, 2008 at 4:49 pm
Look at that man, no one has loved him since his mom died.