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Zuffa's attempts to run Strikeforce into the ground are working

Tallica19812011-09-15 18:22:08 +0000 #1


Strikeforce had been showing significant improvement in their ratings thus far in 2011, but that train seems to have come to a screeching halt with the release of the ratings for this past Saturday's Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi-Finals. After the first two Grand Prix events landed in the top two all time Strikeforce ratings slots (741k viewers for Fedor vs. Silva and 624k viewers for Overeem vs. Werdum), Saturday's show pulled in just 274,000 viewers. This made the event the second worst major Strikeforce event performance since the Showtime deal.

This was the product of a card that, while solid in terms of fights, featured almost no one of significant name value.

Josh Barnett may be a former UFC champion, but that was well before the "boom period" for the sport and he has had basically no fights of consequence for casual fans in years. Nobody but hardcore MMA fans know who Sergei Kharitonov is. Daniel Cormier is a rising star but he's also a nobody in terms of being a draw.

The Strikeforce brand is simply not big enough to be a draw on its own and Zuffa provided very little support in pumping up the event, instead (understandably) focusing their PR on the much bigger news of the upcoming Fox event and the news that Brock Lesnar would return and face Alistair Overeem.

So an under-supported card featuring no names for a promotion that is clearly being picked over by its "big brother" drew terrible ratings. I suppose that shouldn't be a shock. But seeing that Bellator was almost able to pull off the same numbers is still pretty amazing.

BulldogWrestler2011-09-15 18:37:36 +0000 #2
I think the novelty wore off with this show. Also, there wasn't a whole lot of advertisement for it, it was on a premium channel, and it had college football to contend with.

I just think it was a perfect storm to have a bad show.
Tallica19812011-09-15 19:02:44 +0000 #3
Just as a quick comparison:

Bellator last Saturday: 235K

Strikeforce Last Saturday: 274K

Fedor/Silva: 741K

Reem/Doom: 624K

The numbers were terrible, and I'm sure Zuffa couldn't be happier.
Onion2011-09-15 19:14:33 +0000 #4
Also, Ariel said there were 1,500 ppl at the show, tops.
Ash2011-09-15 20:05:58 +0000 #5
bahahahaha. Well, so much for Barnett's claim that he's more popular than any UFC HW. Not that we needed this event to know that was BS, though.
Tallica19812011-09-15 20:06:23 +0000 #6

Originally Posted by Ash

bahahahaha. Well, so much for Barnett's claim that he's more popular than any UFC HW. Not that we needed this event to know that was BS, though.

Let's be honest, the names on this card played a part in the ratings, but not THAT big of a part.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the week prior was used to break about 600 major news stories for the UFC, and ZERO promotion for Strikeforce. I won't be the least bit shocked if something similar happens before the finals to help push Showtime towards not exercising their option to re-up till 2014.

Zuffa tried pretty damn hard to make sure that card was gonna flop.



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