Counter-programming the UFC with the UFC has been fairly effective for Spike TV, consistently drawing hundreds of thousands of viewers by airing programming from the UFC library it maintains access to for the remainder of the calendar year.
But maybe, instead of going that route, Spike should consider countering the UFC with the “father of the mixed martial arts,” Bruce Lee. If the TV ratings for the debut of the I Am Bruce Lee documentary are any indication, betting on the legendary figure would be a sure thing.
I Am Bruce Lee on Wednesday night drew an average audience of 1.4 million viewers, making it the highest rated documentary ever on Spike TV. It blew the doors off of Facing Ali, which pulled in 860,000 viewers.
In comparison, I Am Bruce Lee’s 1.4 million viewers is on par with the average draw of live UFC Prelims episodes that ran for years on Spike TV, which averaged 1.41 million viewers per episode over 25 events.
The draw? Bruce Lee was much more than the father of mixed martial arts. He is an icon that crossed over into numerous areas of life, from martial arts to movies to philosophy to celebrity to breaking down many barriers of racism… and I Am Bruce Lee portrays that well.