Dave Meltzer is high on the women's achievement:
The Carano vs. Santos main event itself did a 2.9 rating and 856,000 viewers, adding 17 percent over the audience from the preceding Gegard Mousasi vs. Renato Sobral light heavyweight title match. Those numbers were far ahead of any MMA match ever on the network.
Also impressive is that the card did these numbers on a short show, as MMA events on television generally will draw better when they are longer, because the pattern is people will find out about the show and stick with it, and a longer show has a higher ratings advantage.
From a ratings standpoint, which throws out the obvious advantage a show on Spike or CBS would have because they are seen in more homes than Showtime, the match was not close to a ratings record-setting event for the sport. But it was the highest rating for an MMA match or event in the U.S. this year, even though as far as total audience, any first-run UFC television show on Spike will have more actual viewers.
And while the UFC touted their replay of UFC 100 on Spike beat every other sporting contest on that evening in the ratings in the male demographic of 18-34 year olds, it's worth looking at what the huge volume of other numbers do to the broader ratings context. Namely, more than 12 million people tuned in to see Tiger Woods lose to Y. E. Yang in the PGA Championship, an achievement MMA in North America hasn't even sniffed:
Nielsen Media Research says its overnight measurements of big cities found ratings for the golf tournament up 150 percent over 2008. Only 4 million people watched the final round last year. Woods was injured and didn't play in the tournament, and the Summer Olympics were televised at the same time.
Nielsen and CBS don't yet have a precise estimate of the audience nationally for this year. In the metered markets, it was the best PGA final round since 2002, when Woods lost by a stroke to Rich Beem.
The golf tournament led directly into "60 Minutes," which featured Vick's interview about his prison time for running a dogfighting operation. CBS estimates that some 12.6 million people were watching the network between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, when the golf tournament ended and "60 Minutes" began with its interview with Vick, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles last week.