Tuesday, November 10, 2009

CBS "Saturday Night Fights" Ratings Good Enough To Do It Again

The ratings have come in for this Saturday's Strikeforce card on CBS. The average viewership was 4.04 million and the peak was 5.46 million, during the main event. For reference, the last night of live UFC fights to air on SpikeTV, Ultimate Fight Night 19, received an average viewership of 2.5 million. Of course, it should also be noted that the "Kimbo Slice" vs. Roy Nelson fight on "The Ultimate Fighter 10: Heavyweights" reached a staggering 6.1 million viewers.

Nonetheless, teasing apart the numbers for Saturday's Strikeforce show reveals a series of considerable coups for CBS. First of all, they outdrew college football on both ABC and ESPN, which, in the good ol' U.S. of A., is no small feat. Even more important than simply earning high ratings is the quality of consumer the programming in question draws in. Since nobody outspends young men on beer, video games, new trucks and other things no one really needs, and since young men are often too busy playing video games, drinking beer and riding in trucks (sometimes all three at once) to watch T.V., the CBS execs must be pleased that their week-on-week ratings for the Saturday evening time slot jumped 178% in males aged 18-49 and a whopping 283% among men age 18-34.

Overall, the show seems to have achieved most of its objectives: Fedor Emelianenko is now closer than ever to becoming a household name, MMA was returned to network television while proving it can succeed without a well-known ratings-grabber like Gina Carano or "Kimbo Slice," and Strikeforce has shown it's able to handle the pressure of working with a major network.

Rumour has it that CBS will order another round of "Saturday Night Fights" early in 2010.

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