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CBS Chairman Redstone not a fan of MMA

VIACOM and CBS chairman Sumner Redstone has spoken out about his network’s decision to begin televising mixed martial arts in the form of Elite Xtreme Combat on Saturday, May 31. The news comes courtesy of a report in the Hollywood Reporter.

Redstone, speaking during a panel discussion about the sports industry at the Milken Institute Global Conference, was critical of CBS President and CEO Les Moonves, proclaiming Moonves’ decision to televised MMA was probably a mistake and not “socially responsible.”

Simply put, the 84-year old is just not a fan of MMA.

“I’m a lover not a fighter,” Redstone said. “I don’t like the sport.”

Fox Sports president Ed Goren also spoke at the conference and was even more critical of MMA.

“We don’t need money that badly,” Goren is quoted as saying in the Hollywood Reporter article.

Goren’s comments were especially interesting amidst rumors that the UFC is speaking to FOX about a possible deal that would bring MMA to the network. Adam Swift of MMAPayout.com is reporting that the UFC is talking to FOX’s entertainment division, not its sports division.

9 COMMENTS
  • Patrick says:

    I’ll post here exactly what I posted on another site:

    Sumner has no room to say anything, his channels (MTV and BET are owned by Viacom, BET has Iron Ring on it btw, good job Sumner Redstone, way to know your own shit) promote alcoholism, substance abuse, glorify treating women as objects, and make peoples brains generally cry out in agony after about 5 minutes of air time.

    He’s out of touch, archaic, old, antiquated, (insert other adjectives here).

    Mixed Martial Arts is a legitimate sport and a rising global phenomenon right now, it’s drawing in people just as any other sport would and it’s doing amazing business in the process.

    The Fox Sports comment is ridiculous as well, Fox is currently negotiating to try to get MMA contracts up and running of its own. All of this is political posturing and double talk from old men in their golden plated bathrooms. It’s bullshit and honestly shouldn’t be given an ounce of thought.

    For such old guys, they certainly need to grow up.

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  • woooburn says:

    “In 1979, at the age of 56, Sumner survived a Boston hotel fire by hanging onto a third story ledge with one arm while badly burned over most of his body”

    this guy can say whatever he wants. i dont mess with the undead

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  • mike wolfe says:

    Just thinkin’ out loud here, but maybe part of the reason CBS has lousy ratings is because they have 84 year olds making business decisions. Don’t know any edgy octogenarians. Think he follows any sports other than baseball? Don’t get me wrong; he’s probably a great guy. It’s just that he’d get along better with my grandad than with anybody in 18-30 demographic.

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  • D says:

    At least he called it a sport. The Fox Sports comment pisses me off more. Didn’t they air Pride for a couple of years!? Ignorance from the sports bigwigs (and I’m talking about ESPN correspondents, etc.) is more annoying to me than the ramblings of some 80-year-old.

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  • Erik W. says:

    “Just thinkin’ out loud here, but maybe part of the reason CBS has lousy ratings is because they have 84 year olds making business decisions.”

    CBS has the top overall ratings of any network.

    I don’t get the ire here. So he’s not a fan. He’s entitled to that opinion. He’s not calling it human cock fighting, he’s not ordering it pulled from the schedule, he’s not overriding Moonves’ decision. He just said he’s not a fan.

    Big deal.

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  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Erik W.

    The empirical data supports my point. Take a look at the Nielsen ratings for September 2007 through April 27, 2008 at

    tvbythenumbers.com/2008/05/01/season-to-date-broadcast-net-ratings-through-april-27/3562

    CBS trails ABC and NBC in the 18-34 demographic, and all three trail Fox by a wide margin. In the 18-49 demographic, CBS trails ABC, and all of the major networks trail Fox. Across all demographics, all three (CBS, ABC and NBC) trail Fox. I reiterate: “He’d get along better with my grandad than with anybody in the 18-30 demographic.”

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  • GB says:

    Two words for Sumner Redstone: Tila Tequila. Go talk about being “socially responsible” somewhere else. Pretending to be an advocate of quality programming after all these years is the height of hypocrisy for Redstone.

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  • jason hughes says:

    ufc fighters need to cut there losses and get in strikeforce as soon as possible , i havent heard any nbc heads bashing mma and if it wernt for dana being a total prick who is probably just as hard to deal with they would already have a contrct with a major network.

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  • jason hughes says:

    i went a little overboard with that ufc strikeforce comment, but i still believe dw is holding ufc back, the truth is redstone came out on his own to make the comment and was not interviewed by a class act mma journalist so he seems to be out dated in his thought process, and two and a half men , a show which i love could be deemed a little raunchy by a lot of people is the #1 show on his network , i wonder if he wants to pull the plug on that.

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