Doom! Gloom! Here’s someone else talking about EliteXC’s terrible ratings from last weekend. A lot of people have said a lot of things, but I don’t think anyone has put the EliteXC situation into perspective as well as Dave Meltzer does below:
Saturday night’s show in Stockton, Calif., was a sobering reality. The show scored a 1.9 rating and 2.62 million viewers on CBS based on the overnight ratings, down 37 percent and 43 percent respectively from the May 31 debut card.
The third CBS special, scheduled for Oct. 4 from the BankAtlantic Arena in Sunrise, Fla., headlined by Slice and Gina Carano, clearly needs a huge increase from this level, because CBS simply can’t afford those kind of numbers in prime time. As a comparison, on July 19, airing reruns of “The Unit” and “48 Hours Mystery,” the Tiffany network averaged 4.35 million viewers in the same time slot.
With mounting losses, even if Elite XC draws numbers on CBS, it has to be able to translate those viewers into pay-per-view buyers in 2009, because the networks aren’t paying enough to sustain operations at this level.
Getting outdrawn by a rerun of 48 Hours Mystery is pretty shitty considering how god awful that show is. But this also shows just how small fry MMA still is in general. If you take that whole “top 5 most watched MMA fights in history” list, you’ll see that the list starts at 4.68 million people, which is just slightly higher than what CBS gets off running crappy reruns.
The truth of the matter is that CBS isn’t expecting EliteXC to draw more people overall. They’re just trying to draw more young men, which is what’s hot with advertisers right now (and what CBS lacks). That’s why SpikeTV made such a big deal of getting more guys: that’s the demographic the execs wanted, and the UFC got more just by replaying an old event. Burn.