CBS brings mixed martial arts to network television
March 14, 2008
CBS has joined ProElite, a Los Angeles-based entertainment and media company that produces mixed martial arts (MMA) events, in an agreement to bring martial arts to network television.
The companies have signed a multiyear agreement that will bring one of the fastest growing spectator sports to a major broadcast TV network for the first time.
CBS will broadcast four of ProElite’s EliteXC events per year as two-hour live primetime specials. The events are targeted for Saturday nights, which leaves open the possibility of the fight cards shifting to another primetime slot.
The agreement extends an existing relationship between CBS and ProElite, which began broadcasting its EliteXC live MMA events on CBS’ 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.