Friend of our site


MMA Headlines


UFC HP


Bleacher Report


MMA Fighting


MMA Torch


MMA Weekly


Sherdog (News)


Sherdog (Articles)


Liver Kick


MMA Mania


Bloody Elbow


MMA Ratings


Rating Fights


Yahoo MMA Blog


Search this site



Latest Articles


News Corner


MMA Rising


Audio Corner


Oddscast


MMA Dude Bro


Sherdog Radio


Eddie Goldman


Liver Kick Radio


Video Corner


Fight Hub


Special thanks to...

Link Rolodex

Site Index


To access our list of posting topics and archives, click here.

Friend of our site


Buy and sell MMA photos at MMA Prints

Site feedback


Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

« | Home | »

The media’s verdict on Saturday night

By Zach Arnold | August 19, 2009

Print Friendly and PDF

Comparing ratings figures for Showtime and Spike TV is apples and oranges, but that’s not the storyline that is being pushed in the media right now.

The Carano/Cyborg fight drew 576,000 viewers on Showtime while UFC 100 on Spike TV drew 2 million viewers. What’s amazing is that as solid as the cable rating was for UFC 100, the PPV buy rate nearly matched the amount of cable viewers.

USA Today says that both shows drawing high ratings spells trouble for other sports programming.

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, UFC, Zach Arnold | 40 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

40 Responses to “The media’s verdict on Saturday night”

  1. david m says:

    It will be very interesting to see what Fedor’s debut gets on Showtime, as well as what the UFC counterprograms with..

  2. Alan Conceicao says:

    I’m sure the PGA is mortified that their majors will lose their place on network TV to MMA. Jesus, some of this writing is embarassing.

  3. Scott R. says:

    It would have been 576,001 if I was able to watch it live. I have Showtime, but on Comcast in Seattle we don’t get Showtime East. Strikeforce aired on a three-hour delay for me, so I ended up watching a live stream. I don’t really see the point of keeping Showtime if I can’t watch live Strikeforce shows.

  4. 45 Huddle says:

    USA Today is a poor excuse for a Newspaper. I always laugh when I skim it while at a hotel…. Not exactly a high level of thinking going on….

    I don’t think this would have changed the Showtime viewership much, but if UFC 100 was better advertised, it would have likely been closer to 2.5 Million if not slightly higher.

    As for Showtime…. We don’t know if this was just a one off high rating due to Carano/Cyborg… Or if this rating will stick…

    To me, the biggest news item of the day is: http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2009/8/19/994730/brett-rogers-strikeforce-interview#comments

    This is a very telling interview on what the direction of Strikeforce is currently…. And what their ability is to keep fighters….

  5. Ivan Trembow says:

    The person using the “mmalogic” alias on Bloody Elbow said recently that Zuffa has been making it known to fighters who are under contract with Strikeforce that if they finish out their Strikeforce contracts without losing (ie, without fighting Fedor), then they’ll have a big-money offer waiting for them in the UFC.

    According to the person using the “mmalogic” alias, this was designed to sabotage Strikeforce’s matchmaking and to ensure that all of Strikeforce’s heavyweights demand more money (from Strikeforce), because those fighters are risking their under-the-table UFC deals if they take a fight and lose in Strikeforce.

    If there’s anyone who thinks that the UFC would not engage in contract tampering while someone is still under contract to another MMA promotion, consider the fact that Dana White publicly said he was going after Vitor Belfort in a pre-taped segment on national television during the TUF finale in June (a statement that there’s no way he would have made unless he had already reached at least a tentative agreement with Belfort), then White said a few days later on Steve Cofield’s radio show that he had no memory of ever saying such a thing, and that Vitor Belfort is under contract to another MMA promotion (at which point Cofield wisely moved on without asking any follow-up questions).

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    I’m just asking a question, I don’t know the answer to it.

    Putting the word out about a potential offer, without making it formal…. Is that illegal?

    Also, when it comes to Belfort, I think that’s a little different. The UFC already knew it was Affliction’s last show. Perhaps he just got a little ahead of himself…

  7. Diamond Dave Williams says:

    Zach, could you provide some numbers on the top womens boxing viewers ratings. I would be interested in the comparisons.
    thx
    DDW

  8. Diamond Dave Williams says:

    Ivan, this is an interesting game that Dana White and the UFC are playing. CBS/Viacom are pioneers in reality tv. One would think with the dollars that Viacom has, it could develop a reality series on its fighters that could be a CBS program. With a little marketing and a good program, Strikeforce or whichever company that CBS ever aligns itself with could make a big dent into the Zuffa monopoly. Dana has a short memory as before TUF 1, the UFC was on thin ice. The UFC may be wearing the other show if Viacom ever gets serious on pushing its product.
    DDW

  9. Dave says:

    lol, that first article says this was UFC’s first attempt at counterprogramming. Proof Affliction.

  10. Mark says:

    When Cro Cop was talking to DREAM while negotiating with UFC Cro Cop was the lowest form of life on the planet, but giving “hints” that you should avoid fighting Fedor in exchange for a UFC deal is ok? Hmmm.

  11. Steve4192 says:

    “The UFC may be wearing the other show if Viacom ever gets serious on pushing its product.”

    LOL

    Why would Viacom cut off it’s own nose in order to spite it’s face?

    Viacom owns SpikeTV. The UFC is their product.

  12. Mark says:

    Putting the word out about a potential offer, without making it formal…. Is that illegal?

    You can legally express interest in hiring somebody as long as you don’t formally negotiate (ie ask them what they make and make a counter offer for more money would be formally negotiating, but just asking them if they’d be interested in jumping ship isn’t.)

    If UFC just says “We’re interested in signing Brett Rogers” there’s nothing wrong with that. If they get caught saying “Do not agree to fight Fedor because you’ll probably lose and you’ll be tainted to us” that’s grounds for a lawsuit if you have proof that they said it immediately before Rogers turns a Fedor fight down. And I doubt Rogers is going to want to burn his UFC bridge by telling on them if this is true, so I don’t see that happening.

  13. spacedog says:

    Does any one know if Gegard really only made 2K?

  14. Shane says:

    “One would think with the dollars that Viacom has, it could develop a reality series on its fighters that could be a CBS program.”

    Viacom and CBS are no longer part of the same company. They were split up into two separate independent companies a couple of years back.

    Viacom owns Spike TV, MTV, VH1, Nick and some others.

    CBS owns the CBS network, Showtime and The CW.

  15. Ivan Trembow says:

    The Nevada State Athletic Commission just instituted limited instant replay for MMA and boxing this morning. They also voted to allow MMA promoters to schedule non-title fights five rounds instead of three rounds without needing to obtain prior permission from the athletic commission. They also strengthened the language regarding greasing as a result of the Georges St. Pierre vs. BJ Penn fight.

  16. 45 Huddle says:

    I think people just see a big Network like CBS and just assume they can and will pour tons of money into MMA. That couldn’t be any further from the truth.

    Showtime Boxing always is secondary to HBO. Not sure how correct these numbers are, but somebody on BE was saying HBO gets ~$6.00 per subscription, while Showtime only gets around $1.60. It would definitely explain why the can’t afford what HBO does (not to mention HBO has more subscribers).

    These are public companies who have shareholders to answer to. They can’t throw around stupid money. And they have to make sure they hit their target profits. And no way CBS is going to pour millions into MMA. It just isn’t something they would do. They don’t even view MMA as a sport like the NFL, they view it as entertainment like “How I Met Your Mother”.

    Lastly, there is little chance of a reality show. Network TV already tried that, and it was called The Contender. And it ended up getting moved to ESPN, and then to Versus. There just isn’t a wide enough audience for a show like that. It is tailor made for cable (hence TUF’s success), but would be a miserable failure on CBS.

  17. Dave says:

    “Does any one know if Gegard really only made 2K?”

    I think Strikeforce might have a deal set up with his management ala Fedor’s ridiculously bad agreements. So, you know, management gets a lot, he gets 2k, that kind of thing.

  18. Alan Conceicao says:

    mmalogic saying what everyone already knows isn’t much of a leap of faith. I mean, if the UFC is serious about signing Paul Buentello to a 6 figure contract, let them, imo. If these fighters believe that nonsense before the deals are signed, they’re fools.

  19. Joseph says:

    I am pretty sure 45Huddle is AlwaysRelaxing on BE.

  20. Isaiah says:

    I think that’s a little paranoid. Half the posters on BE have the same views on every issue as 45 Huddle, though view express them as articulately.

    The funniest thread yesterday was Leland Roling and others insisting that they were smart to have bet on Babalu to beat Mousasi.

    FO’s comments section is by far the best of any MMA site that I’ve seen.

  21. SD Jones says:

    Alan, considering you’re bringing up the biggest golf events of the year on network television when everyone else is talking about a fight that occurred on premium cable at midnight Eastern on a Saturday night, and considering no other writers are trying to draw a false equivalence between the two, perhaps you’re not in the best position to refer to others as “embarrassing” on this one.

  22. klown says:

    Joseph, there’s no doubt about that.

  23. Robert Poole says:

    “Lastly, there is little chance of a reality show. Network TV already tried that, and it was called The Contender. And it ended up getting moved to ESPN, and then to Versus. There just isn’t a wide enough audience for a show like that. It is tailor made for cable (hence TUF’s success), but would be a miserable failure on CBS.”

    Not to mention, what would be the angle? If it would be the same basic show as TUF nobody would care. At some point nobody will care about TUF either because the novelty will wear off.

  24. Alan Conceicao says:

    Alan, considering you’re bringing up the biggest golf events of the year on network television when everyone else is talking about a fight that occurred on premium cable at midnight Eastern on a Saturday night, and considering no other writers are trying to draw a false equivalence between the two, perhaps you’re not in the best position to refer to others as “embarrassing” on this one.

    I am legit intruiged by your argument. So, I shouldn’t mock Sergio Non’s ridiculous talk because…it is ridiculous?

    No one even waited for final PGA numbers to start up the crappy writing about what a win it was. They just ran with the UFC’s presser. I think its legit cute that so many people need to legitimize themselves through being fans of the sport (much less blawg about it), but its kinda sad when I have to see it on a major media outlet’s website.

  25. Alan Conceicao says:

    To put it another way: I’m sure XGames replays get great ratings in 18-34 male bracket too. Probably way better ones than first day at the Bridgestone Invitational did. And maybe in 30 years, our future sports pundit overlords and audience will care more about it than golf. But I’m guessing not.

  26. 45 Huddle says:

    “Not to mention, what would be the angle? If it would be the same basic show as TUF nobody would care. At some point nobody will care about TUF either because the novelty will wear off.”

    The last 4 or 5 seasons, I just DVR it and then fast forward to the fights at the end. Even then I end up skipping through half of the fights.

    This season should be very entertaining. A lot of people (including myself) are really looking forward to it.

  27. david m says:

    If this season’s TUF isn’t the highest rated season of the show of all-time, then perhaps the UFC needs to come up with a different approach to getting their product on TV on a weekly basis. Perhaps they could do more live fights or they could do weekly specials showing guys training for bouts on upcoming UFC ppvs. A show could be called “This Week in the Octagon” or something like that–a news magazine type show; think Zuffa meets 60 Minutes.

    I am hopeful that this season of TUF will finally make mma popular in black communities; Rampage, Rashad, and Kimbo are the 3 most famous black mma’ers of all time, and all 3 are “black enough” so to speak, to make them cool to urban black kids. None of them are Bobby Southworth or Bobby Lashley or Josh Koscheck. I think the UFC should do everything possible to sign King Mo as well, who may be a breakout star and gives them another charismatic black fighter to bring in a whole other untapped demograhic.

  28. Diamond Dave Williams says:

    “Why would Viacom cut off it’s own nose in order to spite it’s face?

    Viacom owns SpikeTV. The UFC is their product.”

    Apparently Steve knows more than the rest of us. Although Viacom owns Spike, the UFC is owned by Zuffa and only has a television contrct with Viacom. The have actual interest in the production of the televised Strikeforce events. Strikeforce is also a more affordable product and if history tells us anything, did Spike not drop the WWE in favour of TNA and are still attracting a strong following of that product. Steve MMA is entertainment, do not be suprised if at teh end of the UFC deal, if Strikeforce gains some momentum, they may be on Spike. But thanks for the insight pal you really added to the debate.

  29. big boi says:

    Spike and the UFC are hitched through the end of 2011. I see the likelihood of Strikeforce gaining serious momentum and ending up on Spike in 2012 as being 1/100th the likelihood of there being no such thing as Strikeforce in 2012.

  30. Grape Knee High says:

    MMA fans are seriously delusional if they think MMA will supplant golf or baseball — or even hockey — as a major sport anytime soon.

    Sometimes I wish MMA fans would actually *watch* other sports before pontificating on them.

  31. EJ says:

    Actually the only delusional person here is the one that thinks that Spike it going to dump the UFC in favor of Strikeforce wow.

  32. Chuck says:

    [italics]Actually the only delusional person here is the one that thinks that Spike it going to dump the UFC in favor of Strikeforce wow.[italics/]

    They would do it if UFC decided to go to another channel. Spike did this in the past when WWE decided to go back to the USA Network, and Spike TV got TNA Impact out of spite.

    I hope I did the italics quote right. I don’t really know how to do it here.

  33. Diamond Dave Williams says:

    Anyone that thinks that Spike wouldn’t trade up or down as far as UFC vs Strikeforce or some other MMA organization down the road is delusional. Lets remember one thing here Spike had as much to do with the growth of the UFC as any other aspect. They are in it for corporate profits. They dumped the WWE for TNA for dollars and I am sure they would do the same thing with the UFC if they had a better offer. Anyone that thinks the UFC is going to hold on to their monopoly forever obviously has not followed the histoy of business in general. I never said that Spike is going to do it, but if landing another MMA organization is better for their bottom line, they would not be rewarding their shareholders by not taking a better deal. EJ think about that for another while. I am sure that if you were to get a better offer at the 7/11 around the corner, you would leave the one you presently work at, if not you are not the smartest cashier in the 7/11 chain.

  34. 45 Huddle says:

    WWE and SpikeTV couldn’t stand each other from day one. Completely different thing.

    And Strikeforce isn’t capable of churning out the amount of content the UFC has, and doesn’t have any if the recognizable stars.

    And Zuffa ain’t leaving anytime soon. SF ain’t gonna be replacing anybody. We are almost a month away from their next card, and try don’t even have a single fight announced. They don’t have their act together.

  35. sheldon says:

    Yeah seriously, I know Pride used to the the whole last minute booking thing, but at least we knew what fighters would be on the card, even if we didn’t know who they would be fighting. Have he heard anything about Strikeforces next card yet?

  36. Chuck says:

    The next card will have Tim Kennedy vs. Evangelista Cyborg. That is all Strikeforce’s website has up.

  37. The Gaijin says:

    Cyborg is off the card with an injury.

  38. Diamond Dave Williams says:

    It appears that 45 Huddle has added to yet another debate with his endless insight. Bravo.

  39. Chuck says:

    Zak Cummings (10-0) will now replace Cyborg Evangelista. Better fight on paper? Probably. We’ll see.

Comments

*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-spam image