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CBS in talks with UFC

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Taken from here:


CBS in talks with Ultimate Fighting


CBS has evidently decided that anything goes when it comes to strike programming.


The network is in negotiations with Ultimate Fighting Championship, an organization that sponsors controversial mixed martial-arts bouts, about producing one or more prime-time specials, according to a person close to the talks.


CBS hopes that UFC specials could provide a hedge against the writers strike, which might leave many programming gaps as familiar series run out of fresh episodes.


A CBS spokesman declined to comment.


The network may be courting serious controversy, though, especially on the eve of an election year. UFC, based on the Brazilian sport of vale tudo ("anything goes") fighting, has attracted fierce critics who say the matchups are brutal and dangerous. Sen. John McCain called the sport "human cockfighting," and many states have banned "no-holds-barred" fighting.


The sport has tried to clean up its image in recent years, and bouts have appeared on Spike TV, the Viacom-owned cable network that targets young men. It's unclear what the CBS deal, if consummated, might mean for any future Spike matchups on "The Ultimate Fighter" and "UFC Unleashed."


That site has been very on top of the WGA strike, and has been very reliable with their info. That being said, it has yet to be officially reported anywhere else, so for now it can only be tagged as a rumor.


But, it makes sense.


After dropping The Amazing Race early, CBS is not as prepared for the strike if it heads into spring and will need more reality/sports programming. Viacom could easily restructure or just simply scoop up the UFC programming. And, if it goes all the way and shows up on prime time TV, it will be interesting to see if it catches on and becomes a big hit, or if CBS's normal (read: older) viewership gets turned away by the violence.

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I'm still in shock that they managed to name drop vale tudo in there - aren't these media writers supposed to be idiots?


This writer doesn't seem aware of the new UFC/Spike deal. The cable and broadcast sides are separate issues.


It wouldn't surprise me if a CBS/UFC deal actually happened. CBS got a good ratings bump for its "60 Minutes" MMA story. Plus, the network has actively courted controversy in its recent scheduling (Kid Nation, Swingtown) to get away from its crime procedurals only image.


The media writer protests might go off the charts but CBS and UFC working together would at least get attention for the network.

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Anyone can do a wiki or google search and get that.

Yeah, like entertainment journalists want to admit that they don't know everything. I'd be praising the gods if Vinay Menon ever did that.

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