Strikeforce TV Ratings Continue to Flounder; Can it Survive Dana White’s Exodus?

March 6, 2012
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While the UFC is still pulling in a million-plus viewers for even its Fight Night broadcasts, the TV ratings for Strikeforce, which airs on Showtime, are still mired below half a million.

The UFC on FX 2, emanating from Sydney, drew an audience of 1.4 million viewers on Friday night, while Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey, featuring a high-profile title bout between Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey, garnered just 431,000 viewers, according to sources.

That number is fairly typical for a Strikeforce event on Showtime. The promotion hit its peak viewership with Fedor vs. Silva early in 2011, drawing 741,000 viewers. Other more common showings for Strikeforce were the likes of Henderson vs. Feijao at 412,000, Diaz vs. Daley at 528,000, and Melendez vs. Masvidal at 460,000.

Zuffa, which operates the UFC and Strikeforce, recently renewed Strikeforces agreement with Showtime with a promise from UFC president Dana White to step in and help build Strikeforce to something comparable to the UFC.

His efforts to help improve the brand were recently rejected by Showtime officials, however, leading him to go back to being all-UFC all the time.

“Tell Showtime, they run that (expletive), not me. I’m out. I’m 100-percent UFC,” he tweeted.

The UFC has already raided much of the top-tier talent from Strikeforce. Now, without the support of the UFC brass, that trend will likely continue. Can Strikeforce on Showtime survive?

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  • ctmmafan

    Disappointing ratings for Tate/Rousey. I purchased Showtime just because of this fight. They need to move Strikeforce on a non-premium channel.

    BTW I think you mean founder.

    Founder comes from a Latin word meaning “bottom” (as in foundation) and originally referred to knocking enemies down; it is now also used to mean “to fail utterly, collapse.” Flounder means “to move clumsily, thrash about,” and hence “to proceed in confusion.”

    • afk

      No, I think he meant flounder.

    • Prodigy815


    • Addiction365

      I agree…. Strikeforce has been putting on more exciting fights than the UFC.
      Being on showtime hurts them.
      If they were on regular tv.
      Even on Spike.
      They would pull way better numbers.

  • alhmiel

    when Melendez moves over to the UFC it’s over for Strikeforce. Woman will end also because one is a man/cyborg one is the star/Rousey. one broad is overrated/Tate and one is so plain and dull it’s pitiful/Sara
    kaufman. nite nite shut the light.

  • pooby

    DW has withdrawn his support? Damn, another fight organization bought up by Zuffa that is failing? I can’t believe it. Well…I guess all the good fighters will have no choice but to come to the UFC now…..Crazy how this keeps happening.

    I hope Bellator stays small. God help them if they get a few big stars.

  • Good news all around!

  • match maker

    I’ve never seen strikeforce but i’ve seen Bellator and watch UFC all the time. They need to focus on online TV. Because it sounds like they’re on a crappy network.

  • MMALibrary

    Strike force is never going to be on par with UFC events. Women’s MMA has nothing to offer as proven by Tate vs Rousey. Women are just not good fighters. Even Kaufman vs Davis ppl r saying was exciting. But it was just 2 hacks throwing crappy robot combos with no finishing power. Complete garbage. No technique. Tate showed even the women champions r crap. All one dimensional. They fight like they took a couple self defense classes.

    • Lesnardo

      400k viewers is a lot. If Fedor vs Silva could only pull 700k, (AND YES IT’S FEDOR vs SILVA and SERGEI VS ARLOVSKI!!!!!) SF did an awesome job pulling 400k for Ronda vs Tate.

      I swear, MMAWEEKLY needs to think before posting.

  • Lesnardo

    Dude, that event did well! Just look at the fighters on that card and look at UFC cards.

    400k viewers is a lot of people for a card with women’s MMA as main event.

  • Steven UK

    I have several years of experience working in the TV industry (albeit not in the US). It’s not really fair to compare UFC ratings on FX with those on Showtime and draw any sensible conclusions about the success or otherwise of the Strikeforce event. Showtime will be more concerned with the ratings compared to previous Strikeforce events (which don’t look too bad) the audience share and more importantly the demographic. A rating of 300,000 with a prominent younger demographic 18-36 would probably be more appealing to Showtime than a 500,000 rating that is skewed towards an older audience.

    That said, Dana is spot on about the production on Showtime. It could be improved massively; its rather clunky and plodding at the moment. As much as I like Mauro Ranallo from his days calling Pride, admire Frank Shamrock and Pat Miletich as fighters; the commentary mix doesn’t work. The chemistry is wrong.

    That said, there were some good fights on Saturday and still some good fighters in Strikeforce but it does seem to me that that promotion is suffering a slow painful death by a thousand cuts.

    btw, I didn’t pirate the Tate v Rousey event I was actually in the States at the weekend and caught the programme on TV.