(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.”