It looks like another huge UFC rumor has surfaced this week. The past two days we’ve been talking about Randy Couture possibly returning to the UFC before the end of year. Then today, Michael Pope of the New York Post published a rumor that claims the UFC is actually in talks with CBS to replace EliteXC.
CBS is struggling for ratings and fan enthusiasm for the Saturday night primetime show – the first of its kind on broadcast TV. They are flagging it only three months into the show’s premiere.
But reportedly, the network was shocked by how badly the last fight, called “Unfinished Business,” did in the ratings.
Despite a poor showing, CBS apparently does not want to give up on the idea of turning the sometime savage mixed martial arts into primetime fare.
Rumors have also resurfaced that CBS is once again in talks with UFC – the first and better-known of the competing fight leagues – to take over the timeslot.
CBS being “shocked” about how poorly show two did in the ratings just shows how little CBS execs know about MMA. EliteXC didn’t want to do it, but CBS pressed and they have no one to blame but themselves.
Nevertheless, CBS is obviously well aware that ProElite is $55 million in the hole and probably isn’t going to survive. I’m sure they think if Kimbo Slice can pull 6.5 million viewers, the UFC could easily pull that or more with the UFC’s stars backed by the UFC brand.
The question is though, is CBS willing to give the UFC favorable terms? Dana White has said it a million times, “I will not cut a stupid deal,” and he certainly isn’t going to cut one now.