Of course right now all of us are watching the network because of March Madness. But will the majority be watching in May? CBS Primetime senior Executive Vice-president Kelly Kahl certainly hopes so and recently said, "We're excited to introduce broadcast television viewers to America's fastest growing sport with this primetime event. EliteXC is putting together a lineup card that showcases the unique personalities, world-class athleticism and raw power and emotion that characterizes mixed martial arts."
Every sport has their diehard fans. MMA is no different and those fans consider the CBS deal monumental for the growth of the sport. But as maybe you've noticed, the deal is not with the UFC. The preeminent fighting organization was in talks with CBS, but they fell through. In came EliteXC, which is not even close to being on par with the UFC when it comes to popularity, but now they will bring their brand of MMA to the masses and it is both exciting and offers skilled fighters, but will MMA on network television result in a plethora of new fans for the EliteXC, for the sport?
That's the million dollar question! And I'm searching for the answer from the casual fans. The ones who know the names Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, and Matt Hughes, but not too many others, who've ordered a pay per view or two, or make it a point on occasion to head to a bar, eat some chicken wings and watch the UFC.
Obviously we hardcore MMA freaks are going to watch, hell we'll watch live streams of Strikeforce online, but we aren't the ones that count in this deal. Its focus is mainstream, the casual fan.
On Saturday May 31st will you plop down in front of the tube to watch Robbie Lawler defend his title against Scott Smith (this is gonna be a slugfest), Internet fight champ "Kimbo Slice", and whoever else is on the card, or will you skip right over the event without a second thought?
Let me know your thoughts, with enough responses I'll put together a post based on them both here on Fan Nation and at the SBTN MMA website. Thanks.