Sunday, March 9, 2008

CBS to broadcast MMA in primetime

Mixed martial arts will air on one of the major television networks for the first time.

CBS announced a deal Thursday with ProElite, which produces MMA events, to broadcast in prime time a sport that has been growing in popularity. The plan is to televise two-hour live specials four times a year on Saturday nights.

ProElite CEO Douglas DeLuca called it a "pivotal moment for the sport."

ProElite already produces MMA events for its EliteXC fight division on the Showtime cable channel, which is owned by CBS.

"Mixed martial arts is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and a wildly popular entertainment vehicle for upscale, young adult audiences," Kelly Kahl, CBS Primetime's senior executive vice-president, said in a release