Thursday, February 28, 2008
CBS & PROELITE INC ( EliteXC) MMA NOW GOING MAINSTREAM TO EVERY HOME IN THE COUNRTY!
The CBS Television Network and ProElite, Inc., a Los Angeles-based entertainment and media company that produces mixed martial arts (MMA) events, jointly announced a multi-year agreement that will bring the fastest growing spectator sport 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 and ProElite, 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.
Additionally, CBS Interactive and ProElite's new media division, ProElite.com, will collaborate on generating interactive content for both companies' platforms, including CBSSports.com. The online offerings could include streaming of events, clips syndicated across the CBS Audience Network, and other enhanced content to build an online community around each CBS broadcast and ProElite event.
"Mixed martial arts is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and a wildly popular entertainment vehicle for upscale, young adult audiences," said Kelly Kahl, senior executive vice president, CBS Primetime. "It's original programming for Saturday night; it's live, creating an event-atmosphere; and it’s something that hasn't been seen on network television, until now."
"This is a pivotal moment for the sport of mixed martial arts now that a major television network plans to broadcast live MMA events during primetime hours," added Douglas DeLuca, CEO of ProElite. "We are delighted to enhance our partnership with CBS to bring American audiences the very best in MMA competition through our EliteXC brand.
"The network television agreement with CBS is an important milestone for ProElite as we continue to implement our growth strategy and develop existing relationships with our international partners."
The industry leader, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, had been working on an upgraded TV deal for months with both HBO and CBS but failed to close things out. UFC preseident Dana White's refusal to give up control over the production and announcers was the deal killer with HBO and may have played a part with CBS.
"Our world-class fighters and the high production value of our events continue to drive ProElite as a global MMA organization that is fortified by the bedrock foundation of a partnership with CBS," said Gary Shaw, president of EliteXC. "Broadcasting our events on CBS will instantly engage a new fan base, as well as provide an opportunity for EliteXC to further establish itself as the world's premier MMA organization."
Posted by Doug Jefford