As a final analysis of Strikeforce: Nashville’s ratings let’s take a look at how it compares to the UFC’s tape-delayed UFC 105 event on Spike TV last year.
Strikeforce’s event was headlined by Dan Henderson Vs Jake Shields, while the UFC’s offering featured Randy Couture Vs Brandon Vera. Of course Strikeforce’s event aired on network TV via CBS giving them access to over a 114 million homes on one of the most popular stations in the country, while Spike TV on cable gave the UFC access to 98.6 million homes, with more of a niche audience.
Bearing that in mind it’s interesting to note that both events drew similar ratings – averaging 2.9 million viewers each, with a household rating of 1.8.
That’s where the similarities end however because despite broadcasting to a smaller potential audience, UFC 105 on Spike performs considerably better when it comes to the demographics which is crucial for advertisers. UFC 105 garnered an impressive 3.45 rating for male viewers aged between 18-34, and a strong 2.84 for males aged 18-49. Strikeforce’s Nashville event paled in comparison on CBS, pulling in a 1.26 for M18-34, and a 1.5 for M18-49.
Overall it’s clear to see that UFC 105 comfortably outperformed Strikeforce: Nashville despite being on a less popular channel. It also should be emphasized that it managed this with an event that was broadcast on a tape-delay basis after airing live in the UK earlier in the day.
Stats like these will make tough reading for Strikeforce and CBS execs, and emphasizes the gap between the two rival promotions when it comes to their fan-base, brand recognition and star power.
At this moment the likelihood of CBS continuing to broadcast future Strikeforce events hangs in the balance, but if they do it’s sure to be under the proviso that proven ratings winners like Fedor Emelianenko and Gina Carano are on-board in meaningful match-ups.
It’s also worth noting that CBS also have to do their part as far as promoting the event adequately. For instance, in the lead-up to the Fedor Vs Rogers show there was a ‘Fight Camp 360’ show which focused in on the two headline fighters in much the same way as the UFC’s ‘Primetime’ show does. For the Nashville event that was not the case.
In the mean time all Strikeforce can do is dust themselves off and look to put on the best events they possibly can in the future.
Luckily for them they should get off on the right foot with their Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery card next month on Showtime which sees the long-awaited return of heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem against Brett Rogers, and new signing Andrei Arlovski Vs Antonio Silva.