The numbers are in for EliteXC’s second showing on national television and the ratings do no look to be good despite a very good overall show:
That airing back on May 31, 2008 scored 4.3 million viewers and a 1.9/6 among 18-49 year olds and since the Kimbo Slice bout for that airing aired past primetime (11p) the most viewed portion wasn’t included. But lacking any Kimbo anticipation, last night’s fights pulled a mere 2.62 million and a 1.0/3 from 9pm-11pm.
A 1.0 on a Saturday night is nothing short of terrible, make no mistake about it. Considering the first show drew a lot of interest and a great rating with Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano, and MMA’s first foray into network television, this show has to be considered a failure in terms of ratings. Like I said, the show was strong as far as the fights go but that doesn’t really matter if no one sees them. The ratings justify the criticism that CBS and EliteXC probably went for too much, too soon after they saw the ratings for the first show. Once they build more stars, they can start running more shows on CBS. But without one or both of those two, for better or worse, these network shows will continue to fail. How EliteXC and CBS didn’t see that is beyond me. Or maybe they did, but chose to turn a blind eye to the fact anyways.
Make no mistake, the first show was a ratings success because of Gina Carano and Kimbo Slice, not because of Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith. These guys are good fighters but they’re just not the fighters that make people want to go out of their way to see. I don’t know what kind of negative impact this kind of rating has on MMA on network television in the future, but it certainly doesn’t help matters any. For EliteXC, the show in October must draw big numbers or it could spell the end for them on national television. Another 1.0 rating will most likely not be acceptable.
HT: Bloody Elbow
UPDATE from MMA Payout:
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting the show got a 1.9 rating on the overnight. When all markets finish reporting in the numbers should bump up a tenth or two for either a 2.0 or a 2.1. This would fall into the low 2 range that MMAPayout.com felt would be a decent number for the show, per our show preview.
This is roughly a 40% drop in ratings from the first show, but not as dastardly as it first seemed when the number going around was 1.0. It still stands, however, that the October show absolutely must be a success for EliteXC to stick around on CBS.