Maggie Hendricks over at Yahoo sports makes her case that the UFC counter-programming of the Strikeforce event this weekend is silly and won't do anything to hurt the Strikeforce card. Check it:
Strikeforce, of course. The UFC is counterprogramming against Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg. It's all part of the UFC's plan to crush their new enemy, "Strikefarce." Too bad it isn't going to work.
Strikeforce is going to attract both casual sports fans, who want to see Gina Carano fight, and MMA fans, who want to see not only Carano vs. Cyborg, but also Mousasi vs. Sobral and Melendez vs. Ishida. We also want to see if Jay Hieron takes out his frustration from being screwed over by Affliction and Nick Diaz on Jesse Taylor's face.
I'm sorry, but aside from Gina Carano/Cyborg, Babalu, and maybe Tayor(because of TUF), casual sports fans don't have a clue as to who, Mousasi, Melendez, Ishida, Hieron, and Mousasi are. Not to mention that Showtime doesn't have that large of an audience to begin with. I doubt hundreds of thousands of casual fans ran out to subscribe to Showtime just for this Strikeforce event. Not to mention that casual fans more than likely don't even know the just of what went down with Affliction and why Nick Diaz will not be fighting at this event. It's a great card considering the circumstances and changes the event has gone through. I don't know if enough promotion has been done to reach those casual MMA fans though.
She goes further:
So that leaves Spike with UFC and Brock Lesnar fans from his days of MMA. Guess what? Those people, the ones loyal to Dana White and the UFC no matter what, wouldn't turn on Showtime on Saturday night if it were the last station left on Earth.
If the UFC was serious about taking viewers away from Strikeforce, then they should have done what they did last July, when "Affliction: Banned" aired. Put together an Ultimate Fight Night, have some live action to combat live action.
The same argument could be used for the fans that will watch the Strikeforce event. Those that are already planning to tune in are going to watch regardless of what the UFC puts on Spike TV. Also, Zuffa has staged 3 LIVE events this month and will host 3 more LIVE events next month. So for them to try and scrap together a LIVE event to counter-program a Strikeforce event that's going to be seen by a limited audience would be pretty dumb in regards to spending money.
The reason why Zuffa put together the LIVE event together on 3 weeks notice last year was because they were trying to take PPV buys away from the Affliction: Banned event. Which is a totally different scenario when compared to counter-programming an event that will air on Showtime. So Zuffa's planned counter-programming is good enough for what they are trying to do.