So far so good for Strikeforce in 2011. Their first major show of the year, Diaz vs Cyborg got the second best ratings of an MMA event in Showtime history. Now it looks like Fedor vs Silva broke all records for MMA on Showtime.
MMA Junkie has the details:
Overall, the Feb. 12 event averaged 741,000 viewers and peaked with 1.1 million for the Antonio Silva vs. Fedor Emelianenko headliner. Both broke Strikeforce's previous bests on Showtime.
The new ratings records break those previously held by "Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg," an August 2009 event headlined by female fighters Gina Carano and Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos that averaged 576,000 viewers and peaked with 856,000.
Here are the numbers for Strikeforce's most recent shows:
• 741,000 viewers, Strikeforce: Fedor vs Silva (Feb 2011)
• 561,000 viewers, Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg (Jan 2011)
• 517,000 viewers, Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Zaromskis (Jan 2010)
• 412,000 viewers, Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum (Jun 2010)
• 367,000 viewers, Strikeforce: Lawal vs. Cavalcante (Aug 2010)
• 350,000 viewers, Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons 2 (Oct 2010)
MMA Payout comments on Strikeforce's fortunes in the first quarter of this year:
There can be no conversation about the growth of MMA without mentioning Strikeforce. It may be the second largest fight organization in the world and far behind in the revenue race, but it possesses a heavyweight division as deep and talented as any out there. This Strikeforce HW GP is the perfect way to showcase that organizational strength and breathe new life into the organization. There's a significance and purpose to these fights that Strikeforce has sorely lacked over the years. It's not just enough to put on good fights in this business, Strikeforce has got to put on good fights that mean something, and this GP provides an answer to that age old sports marketing question of "why should we care?".
The ratings Strikeforce pulled with its last event are certainly encouraging. I'm not certain a PPV is necessarily in the cards for 2011 - especially now that Fedor is out of the tournament - but I do think they'll do enough to get themselves back on CBS within the year.