MMA gets landmark TV deal with CBS

Feb 28, 2008 - 7:23 PM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Mixed martial arts will air on CBS, marking the first time in history that a major television network will broadcast one of the world's fastest-growing sports.

ProElite, a media company which produces MMA events, announced a multi-year deal Thursday with CBS.

Under terms of the agreement, CBS will televise live two-hour events, scheduled for Saturday nights, four times a year.

"This is a pivotal moment for the sport of mixed martial arts now that a major television network plans to broadcast live MMA events during primetime hours," ProElite CEO Douglas DeLuca said. "We are delighted to enhance our partnership with CBS."

ProElite currently produces MMA events on the Showtime cable channel, which is owned by CBS.

"Mixed martial arts is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country and a wildly popular entertainment vehicle for upscale, young adult audiences," said Kelly Kahl, CBS Primetime's senior executive vice president. "It's original programming for Saturday night; it's live, creating an event-atmosphere; and it's something that hasn't been seen on network television, until now."