Many hardcore fans, including myself, and even many of the casual fans I spoke with were relatively displeased—to put it nicely—with the production that EliteXC and CBS put on in their first show. In fact, most people I’ve talked to felt it was more like “Monday Night RAW” than it was a mixed martial arts event. I don’t disagree.
However, I’ve cooled down and may have been pretty rough on EliteXC in my initial reactions. They pulled the ratings, which will open doors for other promotions and hopefully blow the doors wide open for MMA in its quest for mainstream acceptance.
That said, I am very happy to hear that CBS has decided to tone down the “spectacle” aspects of their next event and concentrate more on the sport.
But, according to Senior Executive Vice President of Programming Operations at CBS Kelly Kahl, the network plans on tightening up the broadcast and making several adjustments for the second attempt.
Such changes include: less hype, less time between fights, less focus on the ancillary entertainment (dancers, rappers, fireworks), and, probably, no Kimbo in the main event. Per Kahl’s words: “I’d put the best fight there.”
Thank you CBS & EliteXC, I am now looking forward to your next event much more and won’t feel ashamed to ask my friends to give EliteXC another chance.