February 28, 2008 by Arlen Schweiger
Not sure if this is because of the recently ended writers’ strike or if there’s no other locales to expand the CSI franchise to, but CBS has announced it’s going to show mixed martial arts (MMA) events live on Saturday nights.
I know, I know—MMA has about as much blood and guts as CSI anyway, so it’s going to be a huge hit. The sport already seems to have vaulted way past boxing in popularity over the past decade, so this is just a natural extension.
It oughta be great for Saturday night parties, which CBS even mentioned in the press release that states it will showcase four of the two-hour live prime-time events per year, produced by ProElite’s Elite XC fight division.
“Mixed martial arts is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and a wildly popular entertainment vehicle for upscale, young adult audiences,” said Kelly Kahl, Senior Executive Vice President, CBS Primetime. “It’s original programming for Saturday night; it’s live, creating an event-atmosphere; and it’s something that hasn’t been seen on network television, until now.”
My guess is ratings will be huge, especially since the production value of these matches should be worth watching alone. The release makes no mention of high-definition broadcasts, but since they’ve been airing on CBS-owned Showtime in HD since last year, I hope I’m not making too big of a leap by guessing that we’ll be seeing every kick and punch and flying spittle in high-def on the network too.
There was no mention of any air dates, either, so keep an eye on your local listings. Read the entire press release here.
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