Below are the preliminary ratings from last night's EliteXC's CBS Debut.
Adults Men Adults Men Adults Men
18-34 18-34 18-49 18-49 25-54 25-54
9PM 1.4 1.7 1.4 1.7 1.5 1.8
9:30PM 1.5 2.1 1.6 2.0 1.6 2.2
10PM 2.1 3.0 2.1 2.8 2.1 2.9
1030PM 2.5 3.6 2.4 3.4 2.5 3.4
Compared to the 9:00-11:00PM regularly scheduled programming during the 2007-08 season, CBS was up +36% in adults 18-49 (from 1.4/04), +111% in adults 18-34 (from 0.9/03), +86% in men 25-54 (from 1.4/04), +127% in men 18-49 (from 1.1/03), +271% in men 18-34 (from 0.7/03).
In the 54 metered local markets, the broadcast gained in every half-hour, beginning with a 2.4/5 from 9:00-9:30 PM and peaking at a 4.7/10 from 11:30-11:45 PM during the Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson main event.
One could only imagine what the numbers would have been had it been UFC 84 airing on CBS instead of EliteXC. In America most fans equate MMA with the UFC and it's widely considered that the UFC is THE premier MMA organization. With EliteXC doing as well as they did with the subpar show they provided...the question was answered.
Yes, there's a market for MMA on primetime TV
Dana White has indicated that the UFC is negotiating with everyone...HBO, and FOX among others. I think last night gave Zuffa TONS of leverage at the negotiating table on more than one front.
#1. Brand Recognition
#2. Stars(Liddell, GSP, Anderson Silva, BJ Penn)
#3. Blue Chip Sponsors
#4. Ratings on Spike TV for events like UFC 75 and Shamrock/Ortiz: The Final Chapter
#5. PPV buys
Those 5 reasons alone would provide more than enough ammunition for Zuffa to sign a TV deal due to the ratings success of EliteXC last night while not having to give into said demands by the network. Somewhere, Dana White is smiling.