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Strikeforce/CBS And The Ratings Game

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MMAFanhouse's Ariel Helwani spoke with CBS's Kelly Kahl featured above.  Notable quotes transcribed by Watchkalibrun and my thoughts can be found after the jump:

"The good news is you know we’ve sold out all the advertising time and uh you know the bar for success on a Saturday night really isn’t all that high so if we can improve say our male demographics a little bit that will be a success."

"Again, we just you know we try to do a little better than our typical Saturday night average. Uh, yeah, it’s a real question mark. I I I we hope for high ratings. I think the potential here is we should really have every MMA fan in the country watching this, uh, on the other hand you know the question is we don’t know how many people know about Fedor, uh, outside the MMA hardcore fans so um if we can peak a little interest hopefully we can make that into you know a slightly bigger audience than just MMA fans but um that’s the goal and we’ll see what happens."

I asked the question on Monday if Strikeforce/CBS had done a good enough job of promoting Saturday's event headlined by Emelianenko vs. Rogers.  I have to admit that they did a pretty decent job of ramping up their promotion of the event this week.  They had Rogers on ESPN, several radio outlets, and they aired the well put together Fight Camp 360 show that aired on Showtime on Tuesday night.  According to the video above, they plan to heavily promote the event during the college football games that will air on CBS.  The world series is over now so that will be one less obstacle to overcome.  Most people think the show needs to do better than the 2.6 million viewers done by the EliteXC event that featured Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith.  That was the lowest rated MMA event that aired on CBS while they had their partnership with EliteXC.

If they can pull 3 million viewers in I'm pretty sure they will call that a success being that Fedor Emelianenko has never proven to be a huge draw on PPV.  To be honest, I don't see why they can't pull in 3 million viewers.  The ratings have leveled off since Kimbo Slice lost on TUF 10, but the UFC is still pulling in 2.5 million viewers every Wednesday night with TUF while being available in 30 million homes less than CBS.  Whereas in the last couple of years TUF has struggled to reach the 1.5 million viewer mark.  So there's no question there are more people interested in mixed martial arts not to mention the increased usage of DVR technology.  THE question is are all of these new viewers equating MMA with the UFC?