The first Strikeforce event of 2012 didn’t prove to be a ratings hit on Showtime, with an average of just 344,000 viewers tuning into watch the Rockhold Vs Jardine show.
That’s a significant step down from many of their shows last year which tended to nestle in the 400-600,000 range.
What makes it worse however is that last weekend’s event came during a free-to-air preview weekend on Showtime which meant that the normally subscription based network was available without limitation on all the major distributors packages.
That gives some indication of how much ground Strikeforce now has to make up after suffering a significant slump in the latter half of 2011 after rumors began to spread of the promotion’s potential demise amid a buyout from Zuffa and a number of their key stars such as Alistair Overeem, Nick Diaz and Dan Henderson jumping ship to the UFC.
It could also be an indication that the fight card wasn’t capturing fans imagination, with Rockhold not yet a big draw for the company, while his opponent Jardine wasn’t believed to be a worthy opponent for a title shot and a number of the other notable names on the show such as Robbie Lawler and ‘King Mo’ Lawal were paired up with fighters who weren’t familiar to the casual audience.
Whatever the reason there’s a tangible sense of indifference towards Strikeforce at this moment in time and it’ll be interesting to see how Zuffa and Showtime plan to combat that in the coming months.