(Saturday Night Live: Slice and Shaw)
From the press release that just landed, growling and steaming, in our inbox:
CBS AND PROELITE JOIN FORCES TO BRING MIXED MARTIAL ARTS TO PRIMETIME BROADCAST TELEVISION
One of the Fastest-Growing Spectator Sports Comes to CBS With Four Live, Two-Hour Events Per Year
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 28 — The CBS Television Network and ProElite, Inc., a Los Angeles-based leading entertainment and media company that produces world class mixed martial arts (MMA) events, today jointly announced a multi-year agreement that will bring one of the fastest growing spectator sports to a major broadcast television network for the first time.
CBS will broadcast four MMA events per year, produced by ProElite’s EliteXC fight division, as two-hour live primetime specials targeted for Saturday nights.
The agreement augments an existing relationship between CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS and CBS.A) and ProElite (PELE.PK), which began broadcasting its EliteXC live MMA events on CBS’s SHOWTIME premium cable network in 2007. EliteXC events will continue to air on SHOWTIME.
Dana White is surely icing his balls right now. Adam Swift of MMAPayout jogs our memory:
This is the second door opened by the UFC that EXC has walked through. MMAPayout.com was the first to report that negotiations between the UFC and CBS had stalled in December over creative control issues. EXC landed its spot on Showtime after the UFC attempted to use the network for leverage in its failed negotiations with HBO.
But hey, the UFC doesn’t need CBS anyway. As Swift writes:
Multiple sources have told MMAPayout.com that FOX is believed to have interest in MMA with rumors suggesting that the network even went so far as to make a bid on the entire company during recent negotiations with the UFC.
You know, a UFC/FOX deal would actually be pretty cool, and I look forward to the day when Ultimate Fighter hopefuls have to audition for the show in front of Randy, Paula, and Simon.
“That arm-triangle was absolutely dreadful.”