Strikeforce: Diaz vs Cyborg Payout Perspective

February 1, 2011

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective! This week we’ll be taking a look at the Showtime event headlined by Strikeforce Welterweight champion Nick Diaz, as he made his return to the cage against Brazilian Chute Boxe member and challenger Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos.

The event took place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California and featured 4 fights: Nick Diaz vs. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos,  “Jacare” Souza vs.  Robbie Lawler, Herschel Walker vs. Scott Carson, and Trevor Prangley vs. Roger Gracie.

Fighter Disclosed Payouts

MMAJunkie reports that Strikeforce: Diaz vs Cyborg had a disclosed fighter payroll of $463,500.

Champ Nick Diaz: $150,000 (no win bonus)
def. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos: $20,000

Champ Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza: $85,000 ($15,000 win bonus)
def. Robbie Lawler : $65,000

Herschel Walker: $5,000 (no win bonus)
def. Scott Carson: $5,000

Roger Gracie: $75,000 (no win bonus)
def. Trevor Prangley: $30,000

Nate Moore: $4,000 ($2,000 win bonus)
def. Nathan Coy: $3,000

Isaiah Hill: $3,000 ($1,500 win bonus)
def. Bobby Stack: $1,500

Ron Keslar: $3,000 ($1,500 win bonus)
def. Eric Lawson: $1,500

Germaine de Randamie: $3,000 ($1,000 win bonus)
def. Stephanie Webber: $1,000

James Terry: $3,000 ($1,500 win bonus)
def. Lucas Gamaza: $1,500

Jenna Castillo: $3,000 ($1,500 win bonus)
def. Charlene Gellner: $1,000

DISCLAMER: These are the base salaries reported to the commission and do not reflect the total amount earned by each fighter.

Attendance and Gate

MMAJunkie reports that Strikeforce: Diaz vs Cyborg achieved an attendance of 9,059 (tickets sold: 8,817; tickets complimentary: 231, unsold: 11) with a gate of $533,214.50. The number stands as the second most attended event for Strikeforce in all of 2010 and so far in 2011, just trailing behind the Fedor vs Werdum event held in the same venue, which drew 11,757 spectators.

– 11,757 spectators, “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum” (June, 2010)
- 9,059 spectators, “Strikeforce: Diaz vs Cyborg” (January, 2011)
– 8,635 spectators, “Strikeforce: Houston” (August, 2010)
– 8,196 spectators, “Strikeforce: Nashville (April, 2010)
– 8,136 spectators, “Strikeforce St. Louis: Heavy Artillery” (May, 2010)
– 7,559 spectators, “Strikeforce: Diaz vs Noons II (October, 2010)
– 7,146 spectators, “Strikeforce: Henderson vs Babalu II (December, 2010)
– 7,010 spectators, “Strikeforce: Miami” (January, 2010)
– 5,259 spectators, “Strikeforce: Los Angeles” (June, 2010)

Ratings

MMAJunkie reports that Strikeforce: Diaz vs Cyborg averaged 561,000 viewers (1.9 rating) and peaked at 853,000 viewers (2.8 rating) for the main event between Nick Diaz and “Cyborg” Santos on Showtime this past Saturday night . The average and peak numbers are the second highest for an MMA event ever on Showtime (topping previous events headlined by MMA ratings king Kimbo Slice and MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko), only trailing behind the Gina Carano vs Cris “Cyborg” event, which averaged 576,000 viewers (2.2 rating) and peaked at 856,000.  Another eye popping stat is that this event drew a higher rating than any MMA broadcast on television since December 5, 2009, when Kimbo Slice fought on Spike against Houston Alexander, and the show drew a 2.38 rating (H/T F4Wonline).

MMAPayout has learned that both Strikeforce and Showtime are “thrilled” with the numbers and it couldn’t have come at a better time as the event was used to heavily promote the upcoming Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix event, kicking off with Fedor vs Antonio Silva from New Jersey in just a couple of weeks.

NOTE: A key number to observe here is the peak number, which means more for Showtime because of the correlation between how many current and new subscribers are watching Strikeforce, which differs from the UFC, WEC, Bellator, and other promotions with TV deals (with non-subscription channels) which are ad and rating dependent.

- 561,000 viewers (853,000 peak), “Strikeforce: Diaz vs Cyborg” (January, 2011)
– 517,000 viewers (peak not available), “Strikeforce: Miami” (January, 2010)
– 412,000 viewers (700,000 peak), “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum” (June, 2010)
– 367,000 viewers (470,000 peak), “Strikeforce: Houston” (August, 2010)
– 350,000 viewers (509,000 peak), “Strikeforce: Diaz vs Noons II (October, 2010)
– 341,000 viewers (465,000 peak), “Strikeforce: Henderson vs Babalu II (December, 2010)
– 308,000 viewers (448,000 peak), “Strikeforce St. Louis: Heavy Artillery” (May, 2010)
– 164,000 viewers (197,000 peak), “Strikeforce: Los Angeles” (June, 2010) [Special Wednesday Show]

Storylines Coming Out of Event

Strikeforce Gets Positive Buzz From Event, Great Jump-off for Heavyweight Grand Prix

– Aside from the great rating numbers, Strikeforce has to be thrilled how the event turned out for them this past weekend.  This is now their second big show in a row (Strikeforce: Henderson vs Babalu II) which produced some really memorable fights and finishes . Strikeforce now has the perception of a promotion that puts on quality and exciting fights for the fans, slowly filling the void that the demise of the WEC left for MMA fans.  Strikeforce and Showtime were thrilled with the card and the numbers it generated, and used the 850K plus viewer platform who tuned in to effectively prop up and plug the upcoming Heavyweight Grand Prix, which both Showtime and Strikeforce are fully supporting throughout 2011.

– Herschel Walker was once again the difference maker for Strikeforce.  Walker is single handedly responsible for bringing a good amount of intrigue and interest not only to MMA, but specifically to Strikeforce.  Both events that Walker has participated in, Miami and San Jose, have resulted in some of the highest rated events for Strikeforce on Showtime.  Not only does he get the casual fans attention who are familiar withhim for his college and professional football careers, but he brings in the casual and mainstream media coverage as well. In fact, Strikeforce Diaz vs Cyborg  ranked in the top 10 both in Google Trends and Twitter.  After the event concluded, it was made the lead-story on ESPN and put on the front page.

– RJ Clifford, 710ESPN host of MMA Worldwide, also posted on Twitter that Strikeforce: Diaz vs Cyborg was on the front page of the USA Today app.

– The Strikeforce: Diaz vs Cyborg ESPN chat with Josh Gross was the frontpage headline on the ESPN’s mobile page.

– As the Strikeforce event was happening on Showtime, there was a boxing event on HBO between Devon Alexander vs. Timothy Bradley.  the consensus was that the Showtime Strikeforce event was much better television than the boxing bout. Eddie Goldman, of No Holds Barred Radio host and combat enthusiast Eddie Goldman posted on Twitter:  “Showtime #MMA KOs HBO #boxing tonite. 3 sub wins vs. head butt-filled technical dec. Down goes boxing, again”…. as far as ratings go, Alexander vs Bradley peaked at 1.45 million viewers, but HBO is in more homes than Showtime and typically draws well for boxing events. Combined, there were over 2 million viewers watching boxing and MMA last night on the premium channels.

– Cris Cyborg and Fabricio Werdum received fan award trophies in the middle of the cage during the non-televised portion of the event.

– Cris Cyborg was said to be a big hit during the event.  Reports say that she was one of the most popular fighters on the scene, usually dealing with big lines from MMA fans waiting to take pictures and get autographs from the Strikeforce 145 lbs female champion.

– There were many memorable moments from Saturday night’s event, but one that stands out the most to many is the shot of Showtime focusing on Cris Cyborg crying as her husband tapped out due to an armbar executed by Nick Diaz.  Many from within the business stated that the shot of Cris Cyborg showing off the softer side outside of the ring not only created great drama for television, but will make her an even bigger star.  Saturday’s show produced great drama and action for the fans watching live and the fans watching from home.  Creating these storylines and humanizing the fighters to the level where viewers can relate will go along way for the promotion.

– After the Diaz victory over Cyborg, a couple of drunk fans were mouthing off at Diaz from their seats 20 feet away from the cage and eventually threw a drink at him after Diaz threw his mouth piece at them.  The drunk fans were quickly confronted and surrounded by Diaz supporters. Both men were escorted out of the building by security as Diaz supporters heckled both men and chanted “209” as they exited the area.  Cesar Gracie pulled Diaz from the cage and told him to focus inside the ring and to let it go.  Some fans thought Diaz was directing his comments at Cris Cyborg after he defeated her husband, but that was not the case. Cesar Gracie tells the story on the UG: http://tinyurl.com/4bvf9nb.

– MMAPayout learned through sources that Strikeforce was already looking at the possibility of hosting future tournaments in other weight classes before Saturday nights event. During the telecast, Strikeforce and Showtime asked the fans which weight class they would like to see host a GP next.  The fans voted 1) MW 2) LHW 3) LW 4) WW.  The results are very interesting considering most hardcore MMA fans were looking at the Lightweight class as the next logical choice.  It seems that fans that tuned in on Saturday night were more interested in both the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight divisions.

– Before the event started, a number of fans pointed out that there was a Facebook add popping up [H/T to @Martinitus] stating the following “DANA WHITE fans! See Diaz vs. Cyborg Sat, Jan. 29 at 10 pm et/pt plus 3 more fights on SHOWTIME! “Like” us here!” … This is fascinating to point out considering the UFC just streamed the prelims to last weekends “Fight for the Troops” event on Facebook, which they gained over 60,000 “likes”  during that weekend.

Post-Event Notes

– Strikeforce announces the March 5th event in Columbus, Ohio.  It will be a part of the Arnold Classic and will be headlined by Strikeforce LHW Champion “Feijao” Cavalcante as he takes on MMA legend Dan Henderson. The co-main event will be Strikeforce 135 lbs champion Marloes Coenen, as she takes on title challengers Miesha Tate.  Time Kennedy vs Luke Rockhold and Jorge Masvidal vs Billy Evangelista will also be on the televised portion of the event. Jorge Gurgel vs Tyler Combs, Roger Bowling, and Jason Riley are all expected to participate in the event as well.

– HDNet is scheduled to air the Strikeforce 2/12 New Jersey event undercard live.  It will be the kick-off event to the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.

- JoshGrossESPN : Hanging around hotel lobbies at 2 a.m. pays off sometimes. Coker and Shinoda negotiating for April in Japan. http://twitpic.com/3utaaz

Loretta Hunt from LA TimesWatched Dream’s Shinoda and @cokersf negotiate at 2am in lobby – april 9 @strikeforce highly likely for japan

Roy Nelson, Stephan Bonnar Tweet About Strikeforce Fights: Roy Nelson: “http://plixi.com/p/73465700 @andrewhdnet @SchiavelloVOICE here we eating bbq and watching strikeforce”; StephanBonnarDamn…just watched the 1st rd of diaz vs cyborg…all I can say is “holy f*ckin sh*t!” Shhhhhhhhh!!!! Don’t tell me what happens.

- Josh Gross of ESPN reports that Real Entertainment/Dream plans to promote lightweight GP w/Strikeforce fighters in May: http://es.pn/fFdcc0

– Nick Diaz stated that under the new contract signed with Strikeforce, he is free to fight a professional boxing bout for Showtime. He has already called out Fernando Vargas and Ricardo Mayorga as potential opponents for him.  Strikeforce giving him the opportunity to pursue his boxing career, as well as compensating him fairly well were two factors for Nick to re-sign with the promotion.  He is also hesitant to go to the UFC since both his brother and his training partner Jake Shields are already fighting in the Welterweight division.  It will be interesting, now that Showtime has signed Manny Pacquiao vs Shane Mosely away from HBO to see how much cross-promotion they will do with both sports.  Showtime has both MMA fans and boxing fans tuning in for upcoming bouts in both sports, and it was a major coupe by Showtime and CBS.

Twitter and Google Trends

Great news for Strikeforce here, as the key words “#Nick Diaz“, “#Herschel Walker“, “#Cyborg“, “#Jacare“, “#Roger Gracie“, and “#Robbie Lawler” were all top twitter trends during the evening of the Strikeforce: Diaz vs Cyborg event. In fact, one hour after the event had already finished, “#Nick Diaz” and “#Herschel Walker” were remarkably still top trends on Twitter. Another great stat here is that 6 out of 8 fighters who fought on the televised portion of the event were top twitter trends for the evening.

Also, “Nick Diaz” and “Strikeforce Diaz vs Santos” were top searches. They were among the top 20 Google Trends in the U.S. on that evening, with “Nick Diaz” breaking the top 10.

That would make it 6 out of the last 8 events that have trended on Twitter for Strikeforce, with the previous being the highly entertaining rematch between Dan Henderson and Babalu Sobral back in December of last year.

Sponsor, Promotion and Marketing Watch

– All the usual sponsors where there for this event: FullTilt Poker, Rockstar, GoDaddy, ClinchGear, etc. As we like to point out here on MMAPayout, we always like to see more synergy between big sponsors and the promotions.

– Strikeforce had a promo to Tweet where you were seated and you had a chance to win floor seats, dubbed #sfpickme. Three luck fans won floor seat upgrades at the event.

#sfpickme congrats to @carmean83 @csmithmedia @doubledge007 you won floor seat upgrades!

Verizon and Showtime team up to create an interactive experience for its subscribers. According to both parties “With SHOWTIME HD and FiOS, you can access interactive fight features right on your TV screen. Just click your remote during select live Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts events.” The cutting edge features the services provide on your TV screen include fighter stats and records, live polling with instant results, bios and quotes, updated fight calendar, and live trivia games.

– Strikeforce is slowly integrating the fighters and their brands with the promotion.  If we take a look at the Strikeforce Store, we see that Herschel Walker was advertised on the front page with his own signature shirts for the event with the Strikeforce brand also on the t-shirt.  We will keep a look out and see if they will keep this strategy for future big show headliners.  They have recently added new Fedor, King Mo, and Jason “Mayhem” Miller signature shirts as well.

Strikeforce Apparel for St. Louis Henderson vs Babalu Event

31 Responses to “Strikeforce: Diaz vs Cyborg Payout Perspective”

  1. Ed on February 1st, 2011 6:41 PM

    Why did Strikeforce make so few tickets available for the event? They had a total attendance of 9,059, with 231 comped and 11 that went unsold, In other words, they didn’t even try to sell 10k. Do they have to pay some sort of tax on all tickets printed, whether sold or unsold? Upper deck tickets were sold out on Ticketmaster starting about 5 days before the event, and there’s no way the upper deck was full. They easily could have sold more tickets, from what I saw on Ticketmaster during the last week of sales.

  2. Jose Mendoza on February 1st, 2011 6:46 PM

    Ed,

    I believe they are scaling it down more now due to the lower attendance numbers at the venue. Diaz vs Noons drew much less and that was a highly anticipated matchup. The event will probably shoot up above 10K again if Gina, Fedor, or Cung Le fight again. Perhaps Diaz will be a bigger draw now after that performance. From what I have gathered, they try to arrange the venue according to how many fans they expect in attendance.

  3. jv on February 1st, 2011 6:51 PM

    A lot in there. I was happily surprised when I first saw those numbers. This will give them a bit more ammo in their battle to get back on CBS. It would be interesting to see the hourly break down numbers as that would help us get a better idea of what fights people were watching. Hershel no doubt gets peoples attention but I think the bulk of the eyeballs would be on the title fights.

    Did we ever get the full numbers meaning including the free viewers for the free preview show? I know we got the subscriber numbers.

    What I didn’t see and was really hoping to was an add for a fight camp 360 for the first round of the HW tournament. Nada. How about Arlovski on Letterman since they are in the area? I have serious doubts that CBS and SHO are going to step up. I think they have boxing on the brain and SF is going to fall through the cracks.

    I am getting rather worried about the ticket sales for the NJ show. Using my not so scientific method of logging into Tickey Master and checking where the best seats are in each section. Only half of the floor is sold, half of the lower section and only the first 6 rows of the upper section. In the last week they have sold ~ 4 rows of the upper section but only 1 row of the middle section and pretty well nothing on the floor. I know they have a pretty big PR push coming up in the last week. But I would hate to see them have a half empty house or end up having to paper half the house. That is why I am not surprised they are looking at Japan.

    It will be interesting to see if any of the sponsors change for the tournament.

  4. jv on February 1st, 2011 7:03 PM

    Jose, Ed:

    They has an job add out just before Xmas looking for a new guy to handle ticket sales and part of the job description was scaling the venue. So maybe this was the persons first shot at it. The ticket sales being so close to sold out with a low number of comps is interesting. Going forward do they first go straight to opening the upper section or do they try to raise ticket prices first? If they just open one slim section up top it will look odd and kill any scarcity in ticket availability. They really can’t just put 1000 tickets in play. They need to add maybe 3000 for their next step. After that they can add them in in smaller increments. they also will have people choosing first and second row upper deck seats at a lower price over higher priced top row lower deck seats. Scaling has to be a real headache.

  5. Jose Mendoza on February 1st, 2011 7:03 PM

    jv:

    They don’t compute free viewers to rating numbers, not sure if we will ever get those. When I get more info on the ratings, I will post it for sure.

    Yes, the PR push will be pretty big in the next few weeks, and I think they want to get more than 8K in the arena. Breaking 10K would be the goal. The event was a great way to get the word out, so we will see how it does.

    A fight camp 360 is in discussion, but not sure if it happens, what stage it will appear in. Perhaps semis and/or finals for PPV event is my thinking.

    P.S.
    Sorry about there being a lot in there. =)

  6. mmaguru on February 1st, 2011 7:38 PM

    Jose, excellent recap. Enjoyed the read. Showtime must be very pleased with the numbers. Is Diaz becoming a brand?

  7. BrainSmasher on February 1st, 2011 10:22 PM

    LOL at Low Class Fighting Championships. Cant even keep the drunks from the cage. Maybe they can back the crowd off the cage and get some security and send Diaz’ loud mouth packing. They sure pick the worst types to protect.

    I still dont buy the Peak Viewers BS. Fact is if people are not tuning in from the start they cant be considered as favoring the product. There is a reason every show peaks way above the average and the next shows dont average what the last peaked at. These fans dont come back and dont follow the sport. So the peak viewers is just as meaningless as it is on cable tv. The average is all that matters. The peak is already calculated in. No one cares that the event got 800K to watch for the final 15 minutes. The average is the gauge to show the true strength of the product. Just about every show gains viewers during the airing. Maybe the first quarter hour ratings should count as it shows the true interest in the product before good fighter and stumbling onto the channel effect the ratings. There is more than 1 way to spin numbers. Also if they are so important why even track the average? Why is the peak not available for the Miami event? Surely being such an indicator of a shows success would be available more so than the average! Using peak allows shows to piggy back off of viewers waiting for the following show even more so when the show runs over. Its just a misleading stat. If something significant happened like the Pettis kick then it would be important to know how many were watching at that time to debate the possible of people it could have influenced. That is the extent of its use.

    In the end the show did well. The average viewers was high for a SF card. Walker is bring in good numbers when he fights. But im not sold on his effect to the sport or SF as the numbers between his fights don’t seem to be very impressive. Basically people tune in to see Walker and only return to see Walker. Walker is bringing his football followers and they don’t seem to be getting stuck on the sport. So to me it seems SF is selling their credibility to get a few eye balls on “Ultimate Fighting”. The walker experiment will only pay off when he is beat. If they can get him to be taken serious and pass him to a up and comers who can peak the interest of Walker followers. Then he might pay off. Running Amateur Night until he gets beat by some joke like his last opponent will only leave them sitting on their hands with a wasted opportunity like their mishandling of Lashley.

  8. Jose Mendoza on February 1st, 2011 11:02 PM

    mmaguru:

    His next show will be very telling. He did not draw against KJ Noons but drew very well against Cyborg. Now, we now Walker was a big factor for these numbers, but well have to see how many fans will tune in next time for a Diaz fight. I will say this, Nick made A LOT of fans after his performance on Saturday.

    BrainSmasher:

    The incident did not happen at the cage, it happened where those gus were sitting. Diaz had to jump on the cage to address them. They were about 20 ft from the cage.

    You may question the viewership numbers, but the bottom line is how many MMA fans ordered Showtime to watch the fights, and that’s the x-factor. Since 2007, Showtimes subscritpion base has increased and MMA has been a big part of that. Falling only 3k of Gina Carano vs Cyborg as the all most watched MMA event on Showtime, beating Kimbo and Fedor.

    Another key stat is that yes, Walker does draw in the casual fan, I wouldn’t say just the football fan, but KEY is that the Walker vs Carson fight was not the peak of the event, it was Diaz vs Cyborg. So fans tuned in and stayed to watch the fights, eventually peaking at the 853k, which is remarkable.

  9. Diego on February 2nd, 2011 8:13 AM

    We need to take into account as well the fact that the card was on tape delay in the West Coast which usually hurts viewership, and that the fights were exciting and a lot of Showtime subscribers will probably watch the replays or OnDemand and that Showtime cares most about total number of views and not just views during the event and you have a very successful card.

    As to the why:

    • I didn’t notice any special effort being made at promotion. Did something slip by me, or is SF just getting better at the day-to-day nuts and bolts of promoting their cards? If that’s the case, then it’s a positive step for SF since their build up for cards has been crap in the past.
    • Herschel Walker did the media rounds, but “Walker Still Fighting in MMA!” isn’t as big a headline as “Walker Fighting in MMA!” was a year ago, so like Jose mentioned, I can’t imagine the inclusion of Walker on the card alone explains those numbers. It also doesn’t explain why the peak came during the Diaz-Cyborg fight, unless Walker fans thought he was the main event.
    • The card was solid. All of the fights had something going for them, but none of the fighters are blockbusters. This could be a case of the increasing education of MMA fans, they won’t watch just anything, but they’ll watch if you give them a reason. If more people are finding a reason to watch SF then again it speaks to the incremental improvements ongoing at SF.
    • A spillover effect from the previous SF card may be occurring. The last card had a number of spectacular knockouts and trended well in social media, people who watched that card or were able to catch some highlights may have decided to tune in to this card. If that’s the case then SF may carry some momentum to the HWGP.
    • The buzz about the HWGP may have helped this card just as much as this card’s success may help the HWGP. That’s also a good sign for SF; if they can build momentum with some big cards (HWGP) they can boost their brand awareness and all of their cards benefit.
    • Nick Diaz may be coming into his own as a draw. He’s always been popular and his fights do well, but a peak of 850k is a big improvement over his past draws.
    • It’s probably a combination of all of the above or,
    • It could just be a blip. Time will tell.

    Their next card should also be big, both in gate and viewership. If the fights themselves live up to the hype, that will mean three solid cards for SF (and one solid Challengers card as well) and hopefully some momentum they can carry through the year.

  10. Jason Cruz on February 2nd, 2011 11:06 AM

    Its amazing that Walker made only $5K while James Toney made $500K for what amounted to a short BJJ Black Belt test for Randy Couture. Wow. I would have assumed that Walker could/would receive more for the amount of buzz he is getting for SF.

    After watching the Diaz fight last night, I am becoming a big fan. The middle fingers and beer flying after his match was reminiscent of a Stone Cold Steve Austin moment. I think Nick can be the face of SF if he were much more media savvy. (See the Ariel Helwani interview). I think he can toe the line with some of his antics but has to be smart about it. Also, I am against any type of boxing match with Vargas. That would only diminish Diaz’s status in the fight game.

  11. Diego on February 2nd, 2011 12:22 PM

    One point that bears mention – the commentating team continues to struggle. They do not transition well with each other, and were often caught off guard when a graphic that required commentary appeared on the screen. I gave them a C- for this past effort. They’ve had enough time to get used to each other by this point, and really need to step it up, or Showtime/SF (whichever of the two is in charge of the booth) need to take action. They are beginning to drag down the broadcasts, and where I was willing to cut them some slack before, now it’s time to start nailing it.

  12. Diego on February 2nd, 2011 12:42 PM

    Last point of criticism – the prelims streaming on Sherdog.com were garbage. The feed was terrible, and though the fights looked good, I missed most of the action while the picture buffered. The same thing happened when they tried to stream on the EA Sports website. The UFC stream on Facebook worked fine, and while I’m not IT geek, I can’t imagine it’s that damn hard to do a decent stream.

    They’ll improve on that with their move to HDNet, but beyond the opening round of the HWGP they need to figure out a solution. HDNet works fine with me, but if they’re going to stream, they need to do it on a site where they can control the quality.

  13. Jose Mendoza on February 2nd, 2011 1:06 PM

    Jason:

    It’s rumored that Herschel Walker made 100K, but he donated 95K to charity and the 5K was reported for expenses, etc. He donated the majority of his purse last time he fought as well.

    Diego:

    Excellent excellent points, and I pretty much agree with all of them. Sherdog’s stream of the prelims could have been a lot better. The good thing is that the fights are now archived and can be watched anytime. The bad is that the quality was very low. The fights were pretty good so its a shame.

  14. jv on February 2nd, 2011 3:20 PM

    The stream didn’t work very well for me this time. But the previous time sherdog did them it worked great. I am glad that atleast some of the prelims will be done on HDNet going forward even if I can’t get HDNet. HDNet usually puts their stuff up online sooner or later.

    Here is hoping that some Schavello rubs off on Mauro.

  15. Jose Mendoza on February 2nd, 2011 3:25 PM

    UPDATE: Updated with more details for the ratings plus an eye popping comparison.

    jv:

    I heard mixed results. I heard it was great for some, smooth and good quality, while others said it buffered with low quality.

  16. Jason Cruz on February 2nd, 2011 5:04 PM

    Jose,

    Thanks. I really hope that that’s the case. $5K is way too low to pay a guy that’s giving the organization this much good press.

  17. Jose Mendoza on February 2nd, 2011 5:08 PM

    Jason:

    He is using the publicity to promote his charities and his chicken company. =)
    http://www.renmanfoods.com/

  18. BrainSmasher on February 2nd, 2011 9:31 PM

    Everyone who watches SF didnt buy Showtime for them. So how many people stumbled apon the show is meaningless if it dont bring the average up. The Diaz fight should have got higher rating as it was the last fight. All shows continue to draw more people where there is a main event. Again the 850K is not the number of people who lie the event. That is non sense. There is no relation to SF value to the peak. There is no proof why those people subscribed, why they just caught the end of the show, and why they dont catch the start of later shows. The lack of starting viewers still shows a lack on interest in the product. So there is no conversion of this peak. So it is meaningless.

    I subscribed to Showtime when XC got on there. Since i have canceled it. When they offer something besides a 18-14 (1-1 SF) record as a challenger for their Champ i might get it back.

  19. Jose Mendoza on February 2nd, 2011 10:15 PM

    BrainSmasher,

    HBO boxing on Saturday night peaked at 1.45 million viewers, Strikeforce peaked at 850K. HBO has about 10 million more subscribers and paid a massive license fee of around $3 million to land the fight and advertise it. In addition, it guaranteed the loser a comeback fight at $1.25 million. Showtime spends a small fraction of that amount, not to mention that the fights were much better and entertaining for Showtime. That’s the bottom line. Great numbers for Showtime and Strikeforce.

    I will cover the correlation in an upcoming article I will write soon re: Showtime and Strikeforce.

  20. jv on February 3rd, 2011 9:27 AM

    I know you guys don’t have a lot of spare time Jose. But I am curious if the Blue Book is going to be updated?

  21. bigfan on February 3rd, 2011 10:24 AM

    Also i was at the event,and strikefrce had promo going around,Twit where you are seating and have chance to win floor seats

  22. Jose Mendoza on February 3rd, 2011 12:31 PM

    jv:

    Yeah, Kelsey said he was updating it, maybe I should give him a poke!
    =)

  23. Jose Mendoza on February 3rd, 2011 6:36 PM

    bigfan:

    Yes, thank you for reminding me.

    Strikeforce had a promo to Tweet where you were seated and you had a chance to win floor seats.

    http://twitter.com/Strikeforce/status/31534926448824320

    Here were the winners:

    #sfpickme congrats to @carmean83 @csmithmedia @doubledge007 you won floor seat upgrades!

  24. BrainSmasher on February 3rd, 2011 9:38 PM

    I never said the numbers wasnt great or that it did poorly. Fact is the peak numbers are only used as a counter to look more impressive compared to UFC ratings. And yes i understand one sis subscriber based. Yet that dont mean the difference between average and peak subscribed just to watch Strikeforce. If the peak viewers didnt subscribe soley due to SF and they clearly dont care enough about the event to catch the entire show. Why is the emphasis put on the peak? I hvae said this before and never get a clear answer. The average viewers are more telling of the shows success and are influenced less on follow up programs. Im sure of SF was lead in for the Super Bowl they would peak at 20+ million. All of whom were waiting for the football game to start. And im sure SF would be claiming victory.

  25. Jose Mendoza on February 3rd, 2011 11:25 PM

    BrainSmasher:

    Not sure what you are getting at. Everyone uses average and peak viewership numbers for television, specially sporting evenst with multiple matches/bouts. Sporting events, like boxing or MMA, always have a lower viewership as the event starts and increases throughout the programming until the main event is televised. The main event is what is typically advertised, and it’s what the casuals and the masses tune in to watch, so the peak number is a good indicator of how many subscribers tuned in to catch the fight and what kind of interest the event generated. Whether they subscribed to Showtime for SF or not, as long as they watched and it was a good show (gave value to their subscribers), Showtime will be happy and the likeliness to retain some of those viewers is also great. Also, programming following the event typically has nothing to do with Showtime/Strikeforce since its a paid premium channel and events ALWAYS finish before they are supposed to (no prelims), so you can’t say that ratings on Showtime were bumped up because folks tuned in to catch Dexter, local news, etc, which would heavily impact both average and peak numbers.

    Also, your scenario about placing an event as a lead for the Super Bowl and claiming a victory… anyone would be happy to claim that a victory. It means you got the most eyeballs on your programming and is likely you retain a certain percentage of that viewership for following shows. There is a reason Spike typically uses a Fight Night or live fight card as a lead in to the beginning of each TUF season. Trying to say that Strikeforce or Showtime are using different indicators to claim success is off basis here, everyone plays the rating game the same way. Typically when ratings are reported by newspapers and websites, the stat they prefer to use for headlines is the peak number. Of course, average numbers, just like demo rating numbers are key stats as well, but they mean more to channels that have to get advertisers and sponsors to compete for time slots to reach a certain demo. For Showtime, higher peak and average numbers means more people are tuning in to Strikeforce, which ultimately means they are increasing the interest in the product and their subscription base.

  26. mmaguru on February 4th, 2011 5:54 AM

    Just read an article regarding SF and the heavyweight grand prix second round being in Japan. I have big concerns about this move. They should have held this on U.S. territory. Many will argue that they are holding the event in Japan because Overeem is big in Japan. I have a feeling the real problem is licensing of Josh Barnett. We need an article posted on this so we can discuss further. Coker is making a bad business move in my opinion but not holding all of the HW fights in the U.S. If they think they can go PPV for the finals without doing such they will fail.

  27. Diego on February 4th, 2011 8:01 AM

    The peak and average are normally used as shortcuts to gauge the overall success of the show and it is standard all networks. When the UFC is on Spike or Versus they also talk about average and peak.

    The number Showtime really cares about is total views, that means peak # during the event (which is usually the biggest component of total views), plus peaks number of all the replays plus how many people checked out the fights on OnDemand. Ultimately, if those numbers are high, Showtime will put more money into MMA. The reason they care about that composite number of total views is as Jose has been mentioning, because Showtime cares about how many of their subscribers derive value from any particular program.
    Showtime is paying for content that they then sell on to their customers who pay a flat fee to access unlimited content for 1 month. As long as the perceived value of the content Showtime is offering is higher than or equal to the amount their customers are paying, Showtime will retain/increase its customer base. Showtime judges the perceived value of any particular product by how many people chose to watch it. This is how they view all of their products: Dexter, Strikeforce, Showtime Boxing, or the movies for which they pay a licensing fee. The higher the total views for any product, the more money Showtime is willing to put behind that product.

    Networks that derive their revenue from ad sales typically track the quarterlies – ratings broken down by 15 minute segments – since what advertisers care about is how many people where watching at the time that their ad ran. Ad companies also care about demographics because their products/ads are targeted to certain segments of the population, so you will usually see the “key demos” breakdown as well.

  28. Jose Mendoza on February 4th, 2011 2:55 PM

    mmaguru:

    Will do, but most are ignoring the fact that the SF HW GP will take place in the US, Japan, and possibly Canada. They want to make it a WORLD HW GP, so not sure what the problem is. Also, if Overeem and Barnett win, they will fight in Canada or in the US postentially, so its not as bad as some are making it out to be. PLUS, Strikeforce is working with Barnett to get the issue resolved before they hold their Semis and the Final.

    Strikeforce could have easily gone to Texas or another commission and host the event in the US still, they didn’t need to go to Japan just for Barnett.

    I will create a post once the April 9th show becomes official, b/c it would be speculation until, but I am certain all signs point to it happening in Japan.

    Diego:

    Thanks for elaborating. =)

  29. jv on February 4th, 2011 3:58 PM

    SF also announced a couple of weeks ago that all the fighters will be teted at all of the events.

    I find it interesting that after years of every one saying that the CSAC is completely fooped that suddenly they are the gold standard of every thing combat sports and every state has to do what they do. Bizarre.

  30. Jose Mendoza on February 4th, 2011 5:24 PM

    Well, MMARising just posted this:

    April 9th #Strikeforce event no longer targeted for Japan; U.S. venue likely.
    http://bit.ly/i8B0Dp

  31. Perspective: Why Nick Diaz May Get the Next Title Shot | The Flying Knee MMA on March 24th, 2014 9:00 AM

    […] Diaz’ final fight in Strikeforce was Vs Evangelista “Cyborg”, and that event peaked at around 850,000 viewers. Diaz’ popularity lead him to be signed to the UFC prior to Strikeforce’s demise. His 2nd debut […]

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