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‘Heat’ Ratings Save EliteXC From Chopping Block

(Andrei and Roy fight for recognition in this hot-chick-and-Internet-brawler-dominated world of MMA. Photo courtesy of AOL Sports.)

EliteXC pulled its CBS ratings back up to the levels of its first “Saturday Night Fights” broadcast with this weekend’s “Heat” show, which drew 4.30 million average viewers through 11 p.m. (not counting the main event, which ran over the scheduled time); May’s “Primetime” card took in a nearly identical 4.31 million average viewers in the same timeframe. “Heat” made CBS the #1 network among male viewers in the 18-34 and 18-49 age brackets, and in the adults (men and women) 18-34 category. It tied with ABC’s college football broadcast among adults 18-49, and was soundly beaten in overall rating by America’s Most Wanted.

Even though the numbers display no growth from the May show, they’re much higher than the Kimbo-and-Gina-less bomb of “Unfinished Business,” and CBS is (at least publicly) happy with the ratings. As CBS Senior Executive VP for Primetime Kelly Kahl told AOL Sports’s Michael David Smith:

“We have a four-fight contract. We certainly plan on coming back with fight No. 4. The numbers last night were terrific. The total viewer number was on par with May 31 and the demos were down just a little bit, but we were up against a couple good college football games and the baseball playoffs…Last night was a step ahead, not a step back. To do roughly the numbers we did in May against much steeper competition bodes pretty well.”

Discussing the idea that Kimbo’s loss would mean the end for EliteXC on CBS, Kahl said:

“That is 100 percent misinformed, written by a lot of people who have very little inside knowledge into what’s going on even though they might think they do.”

Question: Will people still tune in to see Kimbo Slice fight now that he’s been exposed as merely human, or will Saturday Night Fights have to become The Gina Carano Show? It seems EliteXC will need a Tito Ortiz-caliber signing to ensure that their next CBS card doesn’t follow in the disappointing footsteps of “Unfinished Business.”

Cagepotato Comments

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Kelly Kahl is a Kunt- October 6, 2008 at 2:32 am
I must be misinformed.
Kell Kahl is a Kunt- October 6, 2008 at 2:32 am
I must be misinformed.
Rem- October 5, 2008 at 4:10 pm
If they put MMA on network television I will watch it, doesn't matter who fights.

Hell I even watched that god awful Tapout show the other day for the first time. It was a steaming pile of donkey shit but I still watched the whole thing.
Fenix- October 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm

That’s what you think will make it happen for EXC??"


Uhhh no, thats what I think will make it happen for Tito. I'm not even a Tito fan I just think Id rather see Tito than Kimbo ghettofied fraud @ss.
M@TT- October 5, 2008 at 1:27 pm

That's what you think will make it happen for EXC??

He's such a whiny little baby. The one and only time I cheered for Tito was when he destroyed Shamrock 3 times in a row. He's got an ego that exceeds the size of his dome (which is no easy task b/c that thing is huge). Other than that he's a mid-level fighter who will only succeed in the organization b/c their 205 class is sub-par, except for my boy Seth!

Tito: Watch out for that killer short jab!
Geriatric Peon- October 5, 2008 at 1:21 pm
EXC is should now be seeing that they needed to use the previous Saturday night fights to make celebrities out of some of their lesser known fighters instead of just hoping that the celebrities they didn't create last for ever.
Fenix- October 5, 2008 at 12:36 pm
Right you are Renn, this is exactly what Tito needs though. Hey I would rather it be the Gina and Tito show than the Gina and Kimbo show. Tito needs to sign with them and get a move on b4 its too late.

Hobo Slice...RIP
ruckus- October 5, 2008 at 12:35 pm
they could probably cause a little excitement over a Kimbo "redemption" narrative, everyone likes a come back...

interesting anecdote:

I live in toronto, on Saturday I was supposed to go out for nuit blanche (its a city wide modern art thingy). My girlfriend ended up postponing for a little while, so I decided to duck into a bar to see if I could catch some of the fights. A place that is usually quite full on a UFC night was close to empty just before the fight started. When I walked in, I saw that they had SpikeTV up on one of the screens and asked if they could put up the "fight." Bouncer says to me, the fight is already on... I reply, no thats just a replay of a UFC PPV from a while back, I'm talking about the EliteXC fight...

"oh you mean Kimbo? thats on at 10"

After convincing them that it had in fact started at 9, I settled down to watch it. Me and the bouncer talked a little while and the place filled up slightly as a large group of people came in for some drinks and some grub. After they had settled the bouncer came up to me and said... "you know whats funny, those people are here to see the fight, they don't even know that they are watching the wrong one, I should probably go tell them." (Jackson v Griffin was still playing on some of the TVs)

It all seemed pretty ridiculous to me... I guess most of the MMA fans were watching at home, or something. I dunno.
Gus Johnson- October 5, 2008 at 12:33 pm
Renn- October 5, 2008 at 12:19 pm
Tito level signing? What so he can dismantle every fighter in their stables? Even with Tito's injuries there is no one in the entire EXC organization who can compete with him.

EXC needs to go back to being a state level fight organization before they bankrupt themselves.
Turd Ferguson- October 5, 2008 at 12:12 pm

Anyway, I somewhat enjoyed the show. I really think EXC needs to stop with the whole music promotion and dancing ring girls.

I mean i'm not gay, but ffs... is that really needed?

Best moment of the night did go to Kimbo trying to take the ref down after getting hammered by a Light Heavy Weight

...and boom goes the dynamite