Adam Swift has a great piece up over at MMA Payout breaking down the implications of the CBS/EXC deal.
The most crucial and discouraging part to me is this:
However, by ceding leadership of the industry to ProElite on major network television, White has now effectively put Doug DeLuca and Gary Shaw in charge of securing a favorable outcome for the entire industry, the UFC included. EliteXC's numbers on CBS will hang around the neck of every promoter in the industry during negotiations with television partners for years to come. If successful, a major new revenue stream in the form of lucrative rights fees may be opened up to the industry as a whole. If ProElite fails, MMA risks losing its mystique as the fastest growing sport in the country and all the financial opportunities and exposure that goes with it.
MMA's reputation as the fastest growing sport will be on the line, and a company without any mainstream stars will be fighting for it. Elite XC's top rated show thus far brought in 522,000 viewers. They will have to do well over 10 times that number to do a successful saturday night primetime number. Even worse, if the main event really is Kimbo Slice v. Buzz Berry as rumored, they actually have a less marketable main event than they did on the 522,000 show. Making this work will take an epic promotional push by CBS. Let's hope they're actually dedicated to do that.