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Ratings Chart Attack! is the TV industry’s destination for a daily dose of prime-time ratings. Delivering the daily scoop on which shows are scoring. TVWeek’s Sergio Ibarra calls the winners and losers, and what it means to broadcast network programmers. From day-in, day-out ratings to long-view trends and noteworthy performances, Ratings Chart Attack! delivers.

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Mixed Martial Arts a Boon to CBS

June 2, 2008 11:55 AM

EliteXCThe Tiffany Network’s decision to air mixed martial arts raised some eyebrows, but CBS’ “EliteXC Saturday Night Fights” spiked the Eye’s average rating in men 18-34 by 271% on Saturday.

“Fights” scored a 1.9 rating/6 share in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers. In men 18-34, the battles did a 2.6/10, 271% better than CBS’ demo average in that time period (9-11 p.m.) during the entire 2007-08 season.

The preliminary numbers do not factor in the show’s hyped headline fight, Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson, which aired at 11:30 p.m. CBS averaged a 1.5/5 in the 18-49 demographic, its strongest performance since NCAA basketball coverage in April.

Despite CBS’ good fortune in the young demo, NBC and Fox actually tied for first place on Saturday among 18- to 49-year-olds, pulling in a 1.6/6.

NBC aired Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals (1.7/6), improving 183% from last year’s Game 3, which also aired on a Saturday.

Fox also improved Saturday, as new episodes of “Cops” (1.3/6) and “America’s Most Wanted” (1.7/6) increased 18% and 31% from last week.

ABC placed fourth on Saturday with a 1.1/4.

On Friday, ABC's airing of the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee (1.1/4) stumbled from last year’s Thursday telecast, dipping 45%. ABC placed third on Friday behind NBC (1.5/5) and CBS (1.4/5). The CW was fourth with a 1.1/4, followed by Fox with a 0.9/3.

NBC (1.8/6) captured Sunday with “Most Outrageous Moments” reruns and “Dateline” (2.1/6). Close behind with a 1.7/6, Fox placed second with animation repeats. CBS (1.6/5) took third, premiering “Million Dollar Password” (2.2/7). ABC (1.2/4) was fourth and The CW (0.3/1) was fifth.

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Comments (1)

Bill:

I'm amazed at how slow the Big-3 networks have been in recognizing the broad appeal of Mixed Martial Arts. All one needs to do is see the sold-out Las Vegas auditoriums and the "rabid-manic" fans to see that MMA has easily eclipsed boxing as the leading full-contact sport. Add that to the general popularity of many other extreme-sports and you find yourself asking what took the networks so long?

I'm 56 and TiVo 3-4 fights a week for delayed viewing.

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