I really loved last night's show live, and so did almost everyone else. Unforunately, it looks like nobody saw it:
That airing back on May 31, 2008 scored 4.3 million viewers and a 1.9/6 among 18-49 year olds and since the Kimbo Slice bout for that airing aired past primetime (11p) the most viewed portion wasn’t included. But lacking any Kimbo anticipation, last night’s fights pulled a mere 2.62 million and a 1.0/3 from 9pm-11pm.
There's no way around this: It is a terrible rating. They won't be cancelled because the next show is Kimbo and Gina, but this is going to do a lot of damage to MMA's reputation at the networks in the long run.
Dana White is coming away from this whole thing smelling like roses. People bashed him for not getting this CBS deal, but he was clearly right not to put all the power in the hands of people that know nothing about MMA. I have a feeling this rating may hurt the UFC's chances at getting a deal.
*** UPDATE #1 ***
I've changed the title, because apparently people at ProElite expected to get a number this bad, so it wasn't really an unexpected disaster or anything. The bottom line, though, is that the second MMA show on broadcast television in America did a bad number. You can set expectations wherever you want, the number is still bad.
*** UPDATE #2 ***
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting the show got a 1.9 rating on the overnight. When all markets finish reporting in the numbers should bump up a tenth or two for either a 2.0 or a 2.1. This would fall into the low 2 range that MMAPayout.com felt would be a decent number for the show, per our show preview.