Will Randy Couture on Spike TV Outdraw Fedor Emelianenko on CBS? Does it Matter?

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On November 7, Strikeforce will put on the biggest fight it can possibly promote in Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brett Rogers.  There are lots of ratings predictions going around, but the truth is that almost nobody knows what Fedor will draw on CBS.  The safe money puts the number between the 1.9 Jake Shields and Robbie Lawler draw and the 3.1 Kimbo Slice drew against James Thompson.  The former number was a disaster, while the latter was an unmitigated success.

It's also worth noting that the two successful EliteXC shows on CBS featured Gina Carano on the undercard, where she set records for viewers gained over the course of a fight.  Unless Strikeforce can land someone like Bobby Lashley, it doesn't look like they will have a strong semi-main event from a ratings perspective to help anchor their first show on CBS.

A week later, Randy Couture will fight Brandon Vera in Manchester.  It's a fight that wouldn't draw a strong buyrate on pay per view, but it's a very strong main event for Spike TV.  This fight will mark the first time Randy Couture has ever fought live on Spike TV, and if Spike heavily advertises what a big deal it is to have Randy fighting for free, they could be in for a ratings bonanza.

If the UFC household number is higher than the CBS number, expect Dana White to crow for weeks.  Realistically, it's possible that both shows could be successful.  If Fedor draws a 2.5 and Randy draws a 3.0, it's great for both companies and for both fighters.

Couture's fight is also up against Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto, but the boxing match shouldn't take anything away from the Spike rating.  The two audiences don't overlap all that much, and the Pacquaio fight is on pay per view. 

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