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What The Suits Are Saying About Strikeforce on CBS


(Where do you even begin trying to explain this to him? Photo courtesy of M-1Global.com)

It’s one thing for a network executive to sit down with a reporter from an MMA media outlet and say the right things.  We’re not that hard to please, after all, and our expectations are sufficiently low.  Just don’t call it Ultimate Fighting or human cockfighting and we’re generally satisfied.  But what about when they talk to other media outlets, the ones who might be asking them, ‘Seriously, what’s with this Ultimate Fighting stuff you guys are running?’ 

Kelly Kahl of CBS spoke with MarketWatch – the kind of website that follows up mention of any public company with that company’s current stock quote – about the network’s decision to try another go-round with MMA, and Kahl offered an interesting perspective we might not have previously considered.  To hear him tell it, they might as well give it a shot, because young men aren’t watching a lot of CBS on their Saturday nights as it is:

“The young male audience is not something we typically get on a Saturday night,” said Kelly Kahl, senior executive vice president for CBS Primetime. “But these are the best fighters in the world and you get to see them for free…It required some explanation and education [to convince advertisers].  But when you show the ratings numbers this has achieved on other platforms, there is no question that this has become a mainstream, legitimate sport. And our sales guys are really happy with the pricing and sellout level.”

In other words, no matter what you think of this stuff, it sells.  Either get out of the way or get on board, because the money train is coming through and it isn’t stopping until everyone has a summer home and a mistress in grad school.  Choo-choo, suckers.

Kahl also insists that they are “leaving no stone unturned” when it comes to promoting their broadcast of this fight, though that assertion seems questionable at best.  One person who claims to be completely satisfied with CBS’ efforts is professional hanger-on/soulless façade Jerry Millen, who also allegedly performs some vague service for M-1 Global, Strikeforce’s co-promotional partner for this event.  There’s something to be learned by the interesting way he words his praise for CBS here:

“They are doing a great job. Ken Hershman over at Showtime is really behind Fedor and M-1 and Strikeforce. Kelly Kahl at CBS is a huge Fedor fan and he loves the sport. I think he’s done a great job.”

Yep, sounds like Millen has his priorities straight.  To score points in his book, you gotta be a Fedor fan first.  Being a fan of the sport in general is cool too.  Oh, and when asked what would happen if Brett Rogers scores an upset on Saturday night?  The vice president of the company that is co-promoting this athletic event responded by – get this – laughing, before saying several times that it’s "not going to happen."  Well, at least all the people involved in promoting this fight are just hoping for a good and fair contest.

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4th and Schlong- November 7, 2009 at 7:19 am
It can make us money so that confirms its legitimacy.
Walrus- November 6, 2009 at 10:25 am
That's a great picture
GroundFighterMMA- November 6, 2009 at 10:09 am
"When asked what would happen if Brett Rogers scores an upset on Saturday night? The vice president of the company that is co-promoting this athletic event responded by – get this – laughing, before saying several times that it's "not going to happen."" Sounds to me like someone went to the Skala School for MMA Promotion.
Soda Popinski- November 6, 2009 at 6:54 am
Im with Smitty. What does it matter. We're watching, who gives a rip about those who need convincing.

I cant believe its freaking one day away. CMON FEDOR! DO THIS!
Times Infinity- November 6, 2009 at 3:25 am
I cant wait i so have to post this on my Facebook, jk already did!
Chri534.- November 6, 2009 at 3:01 am
Strikeforce on CBS just seems like free press for the UFC.
PhilDZnutts- November 5, 2009 at 10:32 pm
They haven't made much of an effort IMO. If they were really trying to hype it, you would be sick of hearing about Fedor by now.

And no, they don't really know what they are doing. Network TV is brutal to watch and IMO targets the 49% of people that are below average intelligence.

The good news is, the people that regularly watch network TV will tune in for many of the same reasons they tuned in before. "Hey bo, look at dem dare boys fightin' in da cage and stuff. Who's that Russian dude? This is almost as good as Walker, Texas Ranger...gawd I miss that show."
Smitty- November 5, 2009 at 9:09 pm
Who gives a crap about their stinkin ratings and advertisings!!!??? As long as we get to watch, right guys???? Guys???? Fuck it I'm watchin.
ithertz- November 5, 2009 at 7:53 pm
I have seen only one commercial and it pretty much just talked about Fedor being a bad ass. Don't think it mentioned any other fights.
just some dong- November 5, 2009 at 6:15 pm
The higher the pay grade, the dumber the fuck.
Bloodlust- November 5, 2009 at 5:08 pm
I wonder if when Fedor left there was a framed, signed, sweater hanging on that wall.
mmmiles9000- November 5, 2009 at 5:07 pm
There has been no evidence on TV that this fight is happening. None of my non-regular-mma-watching friends have a clue it exists.

And they even watch channels below 30! Where CBS is, somewhere, I guess. I wouldn't know.
MachidaVsSilva- November 5, 2009 at 4:43 pm
I wouldn't know this fight was on CBS if I didn't look here or MMATKO. I haven't seen anything on TV.
EzMoNeY- November 5, 2009 at 4:24 pm
maybe jerry millen has a such big mouth because he's always trying to fit more and more of peoples nuts inside of it.
One Two- November 5, 2009 at 4:17 pm
They are blowing it hardcore on the advertising. luckily its so effing awesome it will sell itself then all the network bigwigs will be impressed on how much viewers they got for a show they didn't even advertise.
Papa Fort- November 5, 2009 at 4:12 pm
Now i want Rogers to win just to see what Millen will say.
Wyatt- November 5, 2009 at 3:57 pm
Really? Is anyone amazed that the people running a broadcast station are stupid and out of touch? Have you tried to stomach any non-cable TV for the last decade? It's awful. If it wasn't for professional sports I doubt my TV would ever even touch broadcast stations.
portland mma- November 5, 2009 at 3:43 pm
Its pretty fucking crazy when people with MBA's can't figure out shit that retards like us take as common sense. I've been talking to the casual fans in the office and they didn't even know this was going to be on, let alone who Fedor was...and if they did they only knew him as that guy that people said might be Brock Lesnar. I've seen like 3 commercials on CBS which has the fucking NFL, which is the exact demographic they need to hit but its like they just put those couple on there to say they at least tried it when they fail. Not to mention they also have Mayhem on there, I mean fuck kids that watch MTV will do anything that you tell them, just put that retard and there and you got a few more viewers. Dude If I was 9 and owned a lemonade stand I would be light years ahead of the geniuses at CBS. Its a pretty nice card that is FREE on basic cable that everyone has, just let people know its on...fuck.
CagePotatoMMA