Strikeforce – Rockhold vs. Kennedy: 420,000 viewers

July 18, 2012

MMA Junkie reports that this weekend’s Strikeforce event in Portland, Oregon received a Showtime ratings average of 420,000 viewers.  The numbers pale in comparison to other Strikeforce on Showtime events but is decent considering the lack of promotion for the card.

Via MMA Junkie:

Strikeforce’s previous three events in 2012 averaged 426,000 viewers. The season average now stands at 425,000 viewers. By comparison, Strikeforce’s eight 2011 “Arena Series” events drew an average audience of 521,375 viewers on Showtime.

Payout Perspective:

It would be interesting to compare ratings for the Strikeforce event with HBO Boxing’s Khan vs. Garcia.  I have to say Khan vs. Garcia was compelling considering the momentum shift in the third round.  As for the Strikeforce ratings, it’s not clear to me what Zuffa will do with the Strikeforce brand.  If it intends to keep it, there needs to be more of a promotional push leading up to the event.  “The Marine vs. the Surfer” promos Strikeforce ran were not compelling.  The quality of the Silva-Sonnen II promos were far better than Rockhold-Kennedy.  Yes, the talent level is higher in the UFC but the effort to push the Strikeforce fighters should be there.

5 Responses to “Strikeforce – Rockhold vs. Kennedy: 420,000 viewers”

  1. BrainSmasher on July 18th, 2012 9:35 PM

    Why does Showtime all of a sudden stop using peak viewers? Before Zuffa took over thats all you would hear is th epeak and everyone claiming how those were all that mattered. Now you never see them. I would like to see them because they do have some use. IF numbers are pretty steady from start to finish it suggests it could have been promoted well if the fights were good. Or lack of word of mouth if the fights are uneventful. If numbers keep climbing it could suggest few knew abut the event and word of mouth is spreading. It doesnt have anything to do with the success of the show like people claimed before but they do have some purpose. Strikeforce before was not getting the message out their events would start extremely low climb rapidly with big name fighters and good fights on the card.

    Also interesting to see numbers not down to far from past SF events. The UFC took almost every fighter of value and Fedor left. Yet SF numbers are still comparable to before. Every single headliner SF used in 2011 that had higher ratings than this event is gone except for Cyborg the male and numbers havent declined like one would expect.

    1.”Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva” (February 2011): 741,000 viewers
    2.”Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum” (June 2011): 624,000
    3.”Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson” (July 2011): 571,000
    4.”Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg” (January 2011): 561,000
    5.”Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley” (April 2011): 528,000
    6.”Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey” (March 2012): 472,000
    7.”Strikeforce: Heavyweight Grand Prix Final” (May 2012): 463,000
    8.”Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal” (December 2011): 460,000
    9.”Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy” (July 2012): 420,000
    10.”Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson” (March 2011): 412,000
    11.”Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine” (January 2012): 344,000
    12.”Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov” (September 2011): 274,000

  2. Weezy02 on July 19th, 2012 7:39 AM

    From what I’m hearing those that want Strikeforce discontinued might be in for disappointment. Supposedly Showtime is really happy with the Stirkeforce arrangement. Consider the following:

    Victor Ortiz – Josesito Lopez fight on Showtime average around 510,000 – 515,000 average viewers.

    Rockhold – Kennedy averaged 420,000 viewers.

    Now here’s the kicker: Showtime allegedly invested at least $1.2 million in the the Ortiz-Lopez fight, whereas they invested around $625K in that Strikeforce event. Again, it’s just heresay at this point, but the word I’m getting is that Espinoza and company are VERY impressed with the ROI on their MMA investment in relation to their boxing investment. Do not be surprised if they make an aggressive offer to renew the Strikeforce contract well before its expiration date. I kind of hope I’m wrong just because I’d like to see the talent fold into the UFC brand but we’ll see. Part of any renewed deal could allow for a concession of a couple of fighters to bolt for UFC.

    One additional thing to consider: It’s sometimes mentioned that the arena show average viewership for 2012 is lower than 2011. This is true but it leaves out a bit of information:

    First, the cost to produce was significantly higher in 2011 as well but is not nearly as bad now that Zuffa either cut ties with toxic contracts or moved them to the UFC brand where they can recoup their investment via PPV revenue.

    Secondly, Strikeforce has been on Showtime for a number of years now but by my count this is their second highest season in terms of average viewership (a fact not lost on the folks at Showtime Sports), despite not having a few of the name value/higher dollar guys that made 2011 viewership such an outlier.

    Just some food for thought.

  3. 5 Oz. MMA Link Club : Five Ounces of Pain on July 19th, 2012 10:31 AM

    […] Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy Draws 420,000 Viewers (MMAPayout.com) […]

  4. Sampson Simpson on July 19th, 2012 11:49 AM

    Looks to me as though Zuffa is just keeping SF in place on Showtime so that a competitor can’t move in on the network.

  5. JB on July 20th, 2012 11:35 AM

    @Weezy02

    I could see SH being perfectly happy with those numbers. Dexter is their biggest draw and it averaged 2.4 million viewers for season 6. Hall will be paid $800k+ per episode for seasons 7 & 8. Homeland (which they are really pushing) averaged 1.4 viewers in a prime Sunday night slot.

    Spending $600k or so for over 400k viewers on a Saturday night probably seems like a no brainer bargain.

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