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TUF 11 Finale Ratings Blows Away WEC 49 & Strikeforce ‘Los Angeles’ (Update)

If you thought the WEC’s ratings on Versus had hit rock bottom with WEC 45, you were wrong.

WEC 45 averaged a measly 330,000 viewers. WEC 49 didn’t even peak with that, let alone average it.

With no titles on the line and most of the organization’s biggest stars on the sidelines, ratings dipped for Sunday’s Versus-televised WEC 49 event but peaked with 324,000 viewers for the night’s Jamie Varner vs. Kamal Shalorus lightweight headliner. ( today obtained the ratings estimates from an industry source.

The June 20 WEC 49 event, which took place at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, averaged approximately 244,000 viewers.

WEC 49 was full of action, comebacks, twists and turns, and because of that it may go down as the best card of 2010 that nobody watched. Or will it? Strikeforce turned in a great night of fights as well last week, and even less people watched their show.

This past week’s “Strikeforce: Los Angeles” event on Showtime peaked with nearly 200,000 viewers for a 195-pound catchweight headliner between winner Renato “Babalu” Sobral and opponent Robbie Lawler. ( today obtained the ratings information from an industry source.

Overall, the event averaged 164,000 viewers. Peak audiences coincided with Tim Kennedy’s submission win over Trevor Prangley (196,000 viewers) and the Sobral vs. Lawler fight (197,000 viewers).

To put that into perspective, the past two Strikeforce Challengers events and Strikeforce “Heavy Artillery” averaged almost twice as many viewers (SF C7: 316,000 , SF HA: 308,000, SF C8: 294,000).

The event people did tune in for was arguably the weakest of the three in terms of fight quality. It just happened to be the finale of a popular reality show in the sport’s most popular organization.

Ratings for The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale topped out with 2.4 million viewers for the Spike TV-headliner between “TUF 11″ middleweight finalists Court McGee and Kris McCray.

Overall, the June 19 broadcast scored a 1.4 rating and averaged 2 million viewers, Spike TV officials today announced.

A lot of people missed a lot of great fights last week. Just because the UFC is the best organization doesn’t mean they always have the best fights.

The usual ratings disclaimer: These aren’t apples to apples comparisons. The availability of Spike TV, Versus and Showtime is not equal. Showtime’s business model is subscription-based, and therefore they aren’t as dependent upon ratings as ad-based networks are.

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Update: Revised reports reveal WEC 49 wasn’t as big of a ratings flop as initially thought, though its average audience was still slightly lower than WEC 45’s.

However, initial reports of an average audience of just 244,000 viewers have since been revised, and industry sources have indicated to ( that the new tally indicates an average audience of 324,000 viewers.

In addition to the revised average audience figure, industry officials also report that the event peaked with 528,000 viewers.

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