While Strikeforce’s product may still be too weak for a network deal, Showtime’s Senior VP Ken Hershman seems happy enough with what he’s getting:
“The other thing, in terms of the male 18-to-34-year-old demo, the [Diaz v Shamrock] Strikeforce show did garner almost nearly half of the audience of 18-to-34-year-old males, which is a very, very significant number for us.”
“No programming on Showtime draws that kind of number. So, in terms of hitting the demo, it does so dead on.”
It’s interesting to see how the game changes when you’re dealing with a premium channel instead of your standard cable. Strikeforce’s Shamrock vs Diaz event scored a .64 rating, or 364,000 people. If the Ultimate Fighter (which hovers just over 1.5 million viewers per show) had a week like that, show producer Craig Piligian would probably blow his brains out.
That being said, the folks at NBC are used to a few more eyes. The 30 minute Strikeforce show they air at like 2 or 3 in the morning depending on Sham-Wow infomercial preempting them have pulled over 900,000 viewers. EliteXC’s ‘successful’ CBS shows pulled 4.56 million, with the ‘failure’ shows clocking in around 2.5 million.
That’s a lot of numbers right there, but it all just goes to show you that smart promotions don’t have to pull millions of eyes to try and survive. So long as they start out on a platform where everyone is happy and no one is being taken advantage of, then things can work out. Showtime’s goal was to get people under the age of 200 to subscribe. So long as Strikeforce’s events keep doing that, they’re happy.