The first EliteXC show Saturday night on CBS won its time period and drew an audience of more than four million viewers during the first two hours of the broadcast.
According to preliminary Nielsen ratings for Saturday, the 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern portion of the show did a 2.7 rating and a 5 share, an audience of 4.3 million viewers. "Saturday Night Fights" swept the two-hour time slot in adults and males, leading the ratings’ pack in the following demographics: adults 25-54 (1.9/6 share), adults 18-49 (1.9/6), adults 18-34 (1.9/7), men 25-54 (2.6/8), men 18-49 (2.5/8) and men 18-34 (2.6/10).
Ratings among males are particularly strong and outpaced most industry projections, which had the broadcast pegged for a 2 rating.
These numbers are very encouraging for CBS and EliteXC, especially since viewers for the most-anticipated fight of the evening – Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson versus James Thompson – are not included in the ratings. Preliminary national numbers for Saturday night include only the 9 to 11 p.m. prime-time portion of the broadcast and do not include the main event, which aired after 11 p.m.
While the national ratings do not include the Ferguson-Thompson fight, ratings are available from the 54 "metered local markets," and the numbers are huge. The broadcast gained in every half-hour in those markets, beginning with a 2.4/5 from 9 to 9:30 p.m. and peaking at a 4.7/10 from 11:30 to 11:45 p.m. during the main event.
Complete ratings will be available Tuesday. Link