Scott D. Pierce: CBS gets it wrong in deciding to air MMA

Published: Friday, May 30 2008 12:03 a.m. MDT

CBS is the home of NFL football. The NCAA men's basketball tournament. SEC football. U.S. Open tennis. Golf tournaments like The Masters and the PGA Championship.

And, as of Saturday night, CBS is also the home of mixed martial arts. The one-time "Tiffany network" airs the first "EliteXC Saturday Night Fights" (8 p.m., Ch. 2).

I know this will get me hate mail (because it's happened before), but mixed martial arts is more like the Christians vs. the lions in the Roman Coliseum than a legitimate sporting event. Mixed martial arts is a euphemism for guys beating each other into a bloody pulp.

That's not an exaggeration. The object is for the combatants to beat each other into submission. To knock them unconscious. If there's blood, broken bones, concussions — well, that's entertainment!

Boxing looks tame by comparison.

If what's going to happen on CBS on Saturday night were to happen out on the playground, somebody would be jailed before the nightwas over.

An article in ESPN The Magazine that's overwhelmingly favorable about MMA describes it as "human cockfighting."

You go to jail if you're caught being involved in cockfighting. It's a crime.

There's no doubt that this kind of stuff is becoming increasingly popular. It's done well on cable and in syndication, but CBS signing on to telecast EliteXC adds an air of legitimacy to an event that's questionable at best.

Questionable seems too mild a description. Reprehensible is more accurate.

CBS should be ashamed.

Parents, be warned. This is not something any child should be exposed to.

Let the hate mail begin ...

· · · · ·

Just to lay the groundwork for this little item, let me make it clear that I have questioned in print the legitimacy of the Emmy Awards for nearly two decades. I could fill up today's paper with examples of how egregiously wrong and ridiculous they are.

And the national Emmys are a big step up from regional Emmy Awards, which most people at most local TV stations will tell you are little more than a joke.

With all that said ... let me tell you that the Mountain West Sports Network — The mtn. — has been nominated for seven regional Emmys by two different regional organizations.

Personally, I'll be waiting to see progress on the screen, not on the awards shelf.

· · · · ·

By the way, a column in the Orlando Sentinel about the possibility of the Southeastern Conference having its own TV channel by next year mentioned the Big Ten's network.

It did not mention The mtn. — which is still far, far off the radar.

Ah, well. At least the Mountain West's channel got a mention in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


E-mail: pierce@desnews.com

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