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QuickTakes: Is Programming Mixed Martial Arts a Good Thing for CBS?

Jun 15, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Is Programming Mixed Martial Arts a Good Thing for CBS?
“Bringing bloody, in-your-face, cage fighting to broadcast television is far from a good thing. There is a reason why the extremely violent fights debuted on Showtime in the first place. CBS and Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone even admitted that airing the content is not ‘socially responsible.’ CBS is violating the public trust, not to mention delivering a slap in the face to parents and children alike, by using the public airwaves to broadcast this type of content.”
Tim Winter, president, Parents Television Council
“MMA has made quantum leaps over the last few years in terms of legitimacy and athleticism. I believe most of the criticism the sport receives these days is from people unfamiliar with rules, strategies and Olympic-class talent these athletes possess … and based on the ratings for our first ‘Saturday Night Fights,’ it’s something viewers—especially men—really want to see.”
Kelly Kahl, senior executive vice president, CBS Primetime
“MMA is as far as one can travel from ‘Playhouse 90’ or ‘Voice of Firestone,’ but television is after the elusive 12- to 34-year-old male. A huge percentage of the audience finds mixed martial arts revolting, but young males will eat it up. Good for television’s quality? No. Good for CBS’ bottom line? Yes.”
Steve Beverly, professor of broadcasting, Union University
“As aghast as some were, boxing, wrestling and now the latest, MMA, have been a part of TV for 60 years. The genre has evolved, and the audience it gets is elusive. Cable has known it for years, so CBS is merely adding its reach to the trend.”
Gary Lico, president and CEO, CABLEready

3 Comments

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