A decade after teaming up to cover the Nagano Winter Olympics for CBS, commentator
Monday CBS announced the lineup for its first prime-time MMA telecast of the EliteXC event May 31.
In the commentator's booth, alongside Dinkins and blow-by-blow analyst Johnson, will be veteran fighter
Johnson, who is best known for his energetic calls of the NCAA men's basketball tournament and NFL games, said it's his intention to "not only highlight what these great athletes are doing in the ring, but also make it a story-driven broadcast."
And the storylines come in abundance. From the improbable, and controversial, saga of
Dinkins is familiar with the card's cast of characters from his time producing boxing (and roughly eight months with MMA) for Showtime. Last September, the premium cable network tasked Dinkins with building the new EliteXC and ShoXC programs. And now he's ready to display his work.
"[With] the [
According to ProElite Executive Chairman
"We want to be true to the sport, and true to what it is," said
Other than preparing to provide the most real and raw production possible, little remains for the first
While DeLuca set the bar low with the hope of achieving a 3.0 rating or above, Primetime is enacting a west-coast tape delay to boost ratings and help eclipse the 4.7 million viewers who watched UFC 75.
"This thing is going to be on network television," DeLuca said. "There's a lot of pressure not only for us but for the sport. If it doesn't do well on network television, what does that mean for the sport?"