And the winner is … to nobody’s surprise, Spike TV’s replay of UFC 100. The re-airing of the historical event this past Saturday captured a larger audience than Strikeforce’s live show. In fact, they nearly quadrupled their MMA counterparts as “Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg” drew an average audience of 576,000 viewers, while UFC 100 took in two million.
Keep in mind that Spike TV is a basic cable station, so it is available in many more homes, roughly 98 million. Showtime, on the other hand, is a premium cable network that only has roughly 15 million paying subscribers.
Strikeforce’s event peaked at 856,000 viewers for the night’s highly anticipated main event. UFC 100 garnered a 1.8 rating (513,000 viewers), which was the highest-rated program in the male 18-34 demographic during its timeslot.
Additionally, Spike TV edged Showtime in the key demographic with 513,000 viewers, compared to the premium channel’s 181,000.
UFC 100 took place July 11th inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The centennial event featured a star-studded card that was headlined by two title fights as UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre successfully defended his title against Thiago Alves and UFC heavyweight king Brock Lesnar unified the strap as he took down interim title holder Frank Mir.
Strikeforce’s August 15th promotion popped off inside the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California and it featured the highly anticipated cat fight between female sensations Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos and Gina Carano to become the company’s first-ever female champ.
Santos was out of this world as she TKO’d the sexy slugger with just one tick remaining in the 1stRound.
The card also featured Strikeforce interim lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez successfully defending his title against Mitsuhiro Ishida and Gegard Mousasi’s utter destruction of light heavyweight champ Renato “Babalu” Sobral en route to becoming Strikeforce’s new 205-pound king.
The UFC’s counter-programming efforts were successful again. With the clear front-runner in the industry continuing to make such shrewd business decisions, it will be difficult for competing promotions to narrow the gap.