If you were wondering how their counter-programming effort did, just take a look at the ratings Spike TV released today.
Overall, the event replay, which went head to head with Showtime’s presentation of “Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz” in San Jose, Calif., drew a 1.4 household rating with an average audience of 1.9 million viewers.
In addition to winning a key demo for the day, the April 11 UFC 94 replay also was the highest-rated program in its timeslot (on both network and cable TV) among men ages 18-34.
By comparison, HBO’s live coverage of “World Championship Boxing: Winky Wright vs. Paul Williams,” which also aired on April 11, drew 400,000 fewer viewers (1.5 million total) than the UFC 94 replay.
Ratings for the Strikeforce broadcast were not immediately available.
Unfortunately, there’s no real way of telling how many viewers the UFC actually stole away from Strikeforce, but even if it was only 10%, that’s still 190,000 viewers, which the way I understand it is a pretty significant number for a premium cable network.
Needless to say, as long as people keep watching these replays, it’s doubtful the UFC will stop countering their competitors anytime soon.
Update: Fightticker.com has the Strikeforce ratings.
Strikeforce on Showtime (10 PM – 12 AM)
Avg. viewers: 364,000
Avg. rating: 0.64
Males 18-34 viewers: 100,000
Males 18-34 rating: 1.53
Males 18-49 viewers: 168,000
Males 18-49 rating: 1.28
Keep in mind, Showtime is in approximately 16 million households versus Spike being in 98 million.
Update II: Kelvin Hunt posted the ratings from past events on Showtime below. As he mentioned, it seems like this is a solid start for Strikeforce. Hopefully, they can keep it up with “Lawler vs Shields” in June.