No Kimbo Slice, CBS EliteXC Ratings Drop

The preliminary ratings for Saturday night's CBS EliteXC show are in, and they show what everyone suspected: Mixed martial arts won't draw big ratings without recognizable stars in the cage.

On May 31, with Kimbo Slice in the main event, CBS got solid ratings for its MMA premiere. But last night's show saw a significant drop in ratings without any big names on the card. From TV by the Numbers:
That airing back on May 31, 2008 scored 4.3 million viewers and a 1.9/6 among 18-49 year olds and since the Kimbo Slice bout for that airing aired past primetime (11p) the most viewed portion wasn't included. But lacking any Kimbo anticipation, last night's fights pulled a mere 2.62 million and a 1.0/3 from 9pm-11pm.
So what do those numbers mean?
Michael Rome calls the ratings a disaster, but I wouldn't go that far. CBS still managed to finish ahead of ABC and NBC among viewers age 18-49, which is the demographic that advertisers really care about, and the demographic CBS has the hardest time drawing.

So, yes, the ratings are a little disappointing, but they should rebound nicely with the October 4 show that includes Kimbo and Gina Carano. The big test is whether the October 4 show can match or exceed the May 31 show in the ratings. If it does, EliteXC on CBS is on solid footing. If it falls short, EliteXC and CBS will have to have some serious talks about their long-term viability.

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