Despite the UFC counter-programming with a replay of their biggest event in history, Strikeforce managed to draw the highest rating ever for a MMA broadcast on Showtime with 576,000 average viewers. The previous mark was held by EliteXC for their Kimbo vs Tank show which drew 511,000 average viewers. Naturally, since Spike TV is in a little more than four times the number of households as Showtime the UFC 100 replay still outdrew them.
Strikeforce’s event averaged 576,000 viewers (and peaked with 856,000 for the night’s main event at midnight). UFC 100 averaged two million viewers, and it’s 1.8 rating (513,000 viewers) was the highest-rated program in the male-18-34 demographic during its timeslot.
Additionally, Spike TV edged Showtime in that demo with 513,000 viewers to the premium channel’s 181,000.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell exactly what kind of dent the UFC made in the Strikeforce/Showtime ratings, but it clearly wasn’t enough to keep them from having a record show. Whether the 576k would been closer to 900k (my hypothetical made-up number) had the UFC not countered, we’ll never know, but I have to believe Strikeforce and Showtime are considering this a success.
Obviously Gina Carano was the star of the show, but since she lost what does that mean for Cyborg? Will she become a draw now?
What will really be interesting to see later this year is what kind of numbers Fedor’s debut pulls in. He hasn’t proved to even be on the same planet as Gina in terms of drawing power yet, but his acquisition sure attracted a lot of attention, and not solely in the MMA media. Will his debut tank in the ratings or is he finally starting to get the attention he deserves?
Image via Showtime Sports