Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has made a big move toward the mainstream as CBS is bringing the bone-crunching combat sport popularly known as “cage fighting,” to prime-time television this spring, the U.S. network said on Thursday.
Beginning in April or May, CBS plans to broadcast four MMA events each year as two-hour live specials airing on Saturday nights, a time period once reserved for such family fare as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show and The Carol Burnett Show.
CBS executive Kelly Kahl told Reuters they would broadcast MMA matches as they are already presented on Showtime, with no special rules or alterations to tone down the level of violence.
He also said the CBS events would not be limited to MMA’s male stars. Some of the fights will feature the sport’s female stars. One of combatants, Gina Carano, currently appears as Crush on the NBC hit show American Gladiators. [Reuters]