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Preliminary Ratings Show EliteXC On CBS A Major Success

CBS EliteXC Saturday Night FightsMixed martial art’s inaugural foray onto network television was a ratings hit according to preliminary data released on Sunday. Though final figures are still pending EliteXC’s “Primetime” event placed first in key demographics and showed major growth over the timeslot’s typical viewership. The news is only expected to get better for the MMA promotion and major network later this week when national ratings for the most popular portion of the broadcast, Kimbo Slice’s main event TKO victory over James Thompson, are released on Tuesday.

At this point in time it’s rather safe to say EliteXC and MMA proved its worth on Saturday and, despite controversial finishes and questionable production, earned more network television time. The promotion’s next network television event is expected to take place in the late-summer or early-fall. A rematch from Saturday’s event, a championship bout between title-holder Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith which ended in a no contest, will likely headline the fight card while Kimbo Slice would likely also be in action at the event.

The complete press release announcing the impressive ratings is after the jump…


CBS Places First in Key Young Adult and Men Demographics with Triple Digit Percentage Increases Versus the Network’s Season Average on Saturday

National Ratings for the Highest Rated Part of the Broadcast—Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson —which Did Not Air Until 11:30 PM, Will Not be Available Until Tuesday

Local Markets Show Ratings Surge in Final Quarter-Hour

The inaugural CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS mixed martial arts event, live from Newark N.J., led the Network to demographic victory and significant time period growth among all key young adult and young men demographics from 9:00-11:00 PM, according to preliminary Nielsen live plus same day ratings for Saturday, May 31.

The 9:00-11:00PM portion of CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS (2.7/05, 4.30m) was first in adults 25-54 (1.9/06), adults 18-49 (1.9/06), adults 18-34 (1.9/07), men 25-54 (2.6/08), men 18-49 (2.5/08) and men 18-34 (2.6/10).

Editors Note: Preliminary national ratings for Saturday night only include the 9:00-11:00 PM prime time portion of the broadcast and do not include the highest rated part of the telecast–Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson–which didn’t air until 11:30 PM. Full program ratings will not be available until Tuesday.

Also, CBS programming was pre-empted in approximately 5% of the country due to coverage of the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon.

The broadcast posted increases in every half-hour in key adult and men demographics:

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.

Half-hour by half-hour ratings in the 54 metered markets.

  • 9:00-9:30PM – 2.4 / 5
  • 9:30-10:00PM – 2.5 / 5
  • 10:00-10:30PM – 3.2 / 6
  • 10:30-11:00PM – 3.7 / 7
  • 11:00 – 11:30PM – 4.0 / 8
  • 11:30 – 11:45PM – 4.7 / 10

The Top 10 markets from 11:30-11:45 PM (featuring Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson)

1. Oklahoma City/KWTV 11.1/18
2. Nashville/WTVF 10.3/19
3. New Orleans/WWL 9.7/15
4. Memphis/WREG 8.4/14
5. Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville/WSPA 8.0/15
6. Las Vegas/KLAS 7.5/15
7. Tulsa/KOTV 7.3/13
8. Miami/WFOR 7.3/12
9. Los Angeles/KCBS 7.2/17
10. St Louis/KMOV 7.1/13

SHOWTIME will rebroadcast last night’s event on Friday, June 13 (11:00 PM, ET/PT).

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