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The real beatdown on Saturday night

By Zach Arnold | July 27, 2008

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Ratings down 40% for second EXC on CBS show. I don’t think anyone is surprised.

Topics: Media, MMA, Pro Elite, Zach Arnold | 24 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

24 Responses to “The real beatdown on Saturday night”

  1. liger05 says:

    Cotto v Margarito owned saturday night. What a fight!!!

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    I’m mad I didn’t purchase that PPV. With two PPV Buys already this month, I thought a 3rd was accessive, especially since it is on HBO next week. I really wish I bought that instead of Affliction.

    The real question now becomes… Is Kimbo Slice even a real draw anymore? Or was that high rating just a one time thing which combined “The Network TV Effect” and a 15 minutes of fame star. Only time will tell.

  3. cyph says:

    Once the ratings for UFC 84 comes out, we’ll know how many viewers the UFC stole from EliteXC by going head to head with it.

  4. The Gaijin says:

    I’m sure Kimbo’s last fight damaged his image a little bit based on the huge build up he’d been getting. But to table the notion he’s not a real draw anymore is pretty silly. He did win the fight, he’s still getting pops from the fans and garnered all that media exposure.

    It was speculated he was going to be a draw based on his YouTube fame and first two EXC fights on Showtime. It was proven he IS a real draw when we got the ratings for the CBS show. You really can’t say he “isn’t a real draw anymore” until it’s proven otherwise.

  5. Rollo the Cat says:

    CBS Saturday is still doing good even with the lowered ratings. Question is, what is this costing CBS in production costs and is Elite still losing money? What are the sponsors paying? So many questions that go beyond just the raw ratings number.

  6. Jeremy says:


    How do you see this as still doing well?

    It is a pretty steep drop.

    I am not saying it is the death knell, but it cuts any leeway they might have had with the third event.

    The third event HAS to draw well for Elite to continue on CBS.

  7. The Gaijin says:

    So it looks like with the overnight numbers in EXC garnered a low 2 rating and just under 3 million viewers.

    With little “name” fighters or marquee matchups, the introduction of Nick Diaz to network audiences where he came off looking like a rockstar and TKO’d his opponent and all the televised fights delivering decisive finishes I think this has to be looked at as a positive. Those who tuned in were entertained with exciting fights, some new faces were introduced for the October supercard and those who didn’t see it will likely hear some good word of mouth about a far better produced event.

    Obviously they don’t want to pull a number like this with Gina and Kimbo etc., this is hardly the death knell some people are calling it.

  8. Jeremy says:

    I see two downsides here:
    The first Smith/Lawler fight did not leave enough of an impression to get folks to come back for the rematch.

    The 18-49 rating took a fairly steep drop. It did only slightly better, in that demo, than 48 hours. Elite was signed because they were looking to build up that demo. Elite will need to keep that one demo strong. If they can do that, the overall audience numbers are not as important.

    But it is also pretty clear that Elite did not work hard to promote this card.

    With the proper work, it could have done better.

    I think an audience of 3 million would have been solid. So this certainly is not a disaster as was initially reported, but it is a poor number, especially with the 18-49 number.

  9. Ivan Trembow says:

    “Ratings down 40% for second EXC on CBS show. I don’t think anyone is surprised.”

    No, this doesn’t surprise anyone, but yes it’s a huge drop-off. The internal projection that CBS and EliteXC would have been happy with was an overall rating of 2.0 to 2.5. If it finishes at 1.9 overall, that’s below their projections and they’re not going to be happy with it.

  10. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    The first show was reportedly 3x their typical rating, which means this one was still about 2x their normal timeslot rating.

    They rushed the show, they didn’t promote it, and yeah, there was only one Name fighter on the CBS card (Name to us, no-name to everyone else).

    On the upside, the show was a hell of a lot better than the first one, and without the “event” bump of the “first live national broadcast telecast MMA show,” it still did ok.

    Jury is still out.

  11. David Casey says:

    This is sad. Why is this sad? If you click the link, you will see that “Cops” & “America’s Most Wanted”, together on Fox, had the most viewers. What? What universe am I living in here?

  12. Grape Knee High says:

    I don’t think the ratings drop is a big deal. To think that the majority of the audience the first time around didn’t tune in for the spectacle is a bit naive, IMO.

    Whether EXC will be a long term success, I have no idea, but the fact that the ratings were still respectable suggests to me that they have a decent chance.

  13. Rollo the Cat says:

    How do you see this as still doing well?”

    I am comparing it to the ratings for typical Saturday night shows. In that sense, the show isn’t a disaster at all. They still have time to build this up, if in fact they have the money to stay in business.

  14. cyph says:

    I know where the 40% went: UFC 84 on Spike.

  15. Kelvin says:

    Ya know..I’m wondering what the viewership rating for UFC 84 was on Spike.

  16. zack says:

    I taped the UFC 84 show since I’d never seen it on tape (was there live.) It was really weird the way they edited it…some fights out of order. Goldie definitely did lots of post production voice overs…like during the BJ/Sherk fight he comes in and says “Florian & Huerta are looking on closely to to see the outcome…” WTF?

    It’s a total pet peeve the way they overdub nu-metal instead of just paying the licensing fees so we can hear what songs the fighters really came out to. BJ coming out to traditional Hawaiian music is awesome…as is Wand coming out to a techno song that only he could pull off. Missing those aspects really takes away from what the event was really like.

    The backstage stuff they showed was really cool though.

    BTW…how much does Kimbo’s stock go up if the ratings shoot back up to over 4.0 with him back on the card?

  17. Ivan Trembow says:

    The ratings never were over 4.0 overall with Kimbo on the card. They were over 3.0 overall, though, and his stock would certainly go up from a business standpoint if they draw another big rating in October (and if he doesn’t lose).

    One somewhat ominous sign for EliteXC is that the subtext of the Kelly Kahl interview on Sherdog seems to be that if Show #3 doesn’t draw better ratings than Show #2, then there won’t be a Show #4. And from a financial standpoint, if they lose the CBS deal, that could very well put EliteXC out of business altogether.

  18. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    There’s always the Fox thing. Why does everyone seem to have a Fox thing?

  19. 45 Huddle says:

    Wow, that is a lot of pressure for one show.

    Even if that show succeeds, I still don’t like EliteXC’s chances. I just don’t see where they are going to get their star power over the next year or two. And Network TV is notorious for dropping shows very quickly at the first sign of downfall.

    This is why Zuffa has such a great deal with SpikeTV. A cable station can keep a show on through the highs and lows. It is almost the perfect match. Sadly, there isn’t another cable station for a company like EliteXC or Affliction to get the same treatment.

  20. Peter H. says:

    I think a lot of it was due to a lack of promotion. I hardly say any commercials on CBS advertising the 2nd show compared to the amount for their first. I liked the 2nd show better though.

  21. The Gaijin says:

    On an unrelated note Affliction inked Tito to fight Babalu on their 2nd card. That’s kind of a double edged sword – yes, Tito’s that mainstream fan draw but at what cost will he be coming in at??

    If they’re paying Sylvia 800k, I shudder to think about what they’d be paying him. On the flipside, Donald Trump’s involvement coupled with Tito’s past claims about wanting to front his own promotion have me wondering if he might not be taking lower guaranteed money for a piece of the ownership (maybe an “Apprentice”-esque spinoff reality show involved here too)????

    While it’s complete speculation on my part, this could be a very interesting situation.

  22. 45 Huddle says:

    Got to figure that he is $1.5 to $2.0 Million. That is a minimum of 75k PPV Buys just to cover his expense.

    I guess this is the direction that Affliction has chosen. The “Big Event”. I just don’t know if it is something that will last long term. It is certainly something that is interesting for us fans, but not exactly smart business.

    Now we get to see if Tito Ortiz alone is a big draw. Or if only the Ortiz/UFC combo is the big draw. Should be interesting to see what happens.

  23. cyph says:

    No way. You guys are overestimating Ortiz’s worth. He won’t get more than Arlovski.

  24. Grape Knee High says:

    cyph, anything is possible in the bizarro world where some idiot is willing to pay Tim Sylvia $800k for a fight.


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