MMA Fanhouse has the story:
The final Nielsen ratings are in and 5.46 million viewers tuned in Saturday to watch Strikeforce and M-1 Global's main event between Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brett Rogers from 11:00 pm to 11:15 pm ET on CBS.
While CBS still fell short to Fox and ABC, the channel was a big winner in the 18-34 demographic. Saturday Night Fights was the top program for both adults and men 18-34, beating out college football and was an improvement of 283% on CBS' season-to-date average on Saturday nights.
For reference, Kimbo Slice vs James Thompson drew 6.51 million viewers on CBS in May of 2008 and Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter featuring Kimbo Slice vs Roy Nelson drew 6.1 million viewers only a few weeks ago. It was far stronger than the Robbie Lawler vs Scott Smith headlined EliteXC show which only drew 2.5 million viewers.
Before the show, Josh Gross said it would be a major disappointment if the show did anything less than 5.5 million viewers. I'm curious to see if he sticks with that metric now. I'm also very curious to see if CBS gambles with another Saturday Night Fights headlined by Fedor Emelianenko. These numbers are right on the edge of good enough to try again.
[Update by Luke Thomas]: Full press release with all of the numbers after the jump.
"CBS SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS" MAIN EVENT FEATURING FEDOR VS. ROGERS DRAWS 5.46 MILLION VIEWERS
Full Broadcast Averages 4.04 Million Viewers, Winning its Time Period in Adults 18-34 and Men 18-34 and Significantly Boosting the Networks Time Period Averages in all Key Adult and Men Demos
"CBS SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS" Tops College Football on ABC and ESPN in Men 18-34 and Adults 18-34
The main event of CBS SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS featuring Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brett Rogers reached 5.46 million viewers while drawing impressive young adult and male demographic ratings, according to Nielsen live plus same day ratings from 11:00-11:15 PM on Saturday, Nov. 7. The demographic ratings include a 3.5/10 in men 25-54, 3.3/11 in men 18-49 and 3.1/12 in men 18-34, 2.5/7 rating in adults 25-54, 2.4/8 in adults 18-49 and 2.4/09 in adults 18-34.
For the entire broadcast, CBS SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS (S) (9:00-11:24PM) averaged 4.04m viewers, winning its time period among adults 18-34 and men 18-34, and delivering ratings significantly higher than the Network's season to date averages in the time period among young adult and male demos. The ratings include a 1.8/06 in adults 18-49, 1.8/07 in adults 18-34, 2.6/07 in men 25-54, 2.5/08 in men 18-49 and 2.3/09 in men 18-34.
Compared to CBS's 9:00-11:00PM season-to-date averages, CBS SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS was up +38% in adults 18-49 (from 1.3/04), +125% in adults 18-34 (from 0.8/03), +117% in men 25-54 (from 1.2/03), +178% in men 18-49 (from 0.9/03) and +283% in men 18-34 (from 0.6/02).
CBS's SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS outrated ABC's regionalized primetime college football in men 18-34 (2.3/09 vs. 1.9/07) and adults 18-34 (1.8/07 vs. 1.5/06) and ESPN's Florida State vs. Clemson primetime game in men 18-34 (2.3/09 vs. 0.7/03) and adults 18-34 (1.8/07 vs. 0.5/02). CBS also topped ESPN2's primetime Vanderbilt vs. Florida game in men 18-34 (2.3/09 vs. 1.1/04) and adults 18-34 (1.8/07 vs. 0.9/04).
The audience composition for CBS SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS was 31% adults 18-34 and the median age for the broadcast was 41.4.