Fedoring: Emelianenko/Rogers Bouts Grabs 5.5 Million Viewers

By Jake Rossen Nov 11, 2009
The American public wants what it wants: Saturday’s live bout between reputed number-one bruiser Fedor Emelianenko and former tire worker Brett Rogers scored 5.46 million viewers on CBS. In October, a tape-delayed, spoiled-result UFC telecast featuring Kimbo Slice and a distended Roy Nelson grabbed 6.1 million. It is this kind of mass-consumer thinking that will give us a “Transformers 3.”

Strikeforce’s debut ratings for network television are roughly on par with what EliteXC drew in 2008. They also won the evening in the prized 18-34 male demo. But the idea that a basic cable channel could use a UFC logo and a boatyard athlete to outdraw a network special is a lesson in the UFC’s reach of the American fight business. Spike devotes hours and hours each week to putting that signature in neon lights. CBS has no similar investment in Strikeforce. This is the end result.

The rating -- solid, unspectacular -- answers one question but leaves the issue of retention: that will be addressed in a future broadcast, when we find out whether viewers were satisfied with what they saw with enough enthusiasm to return. Emelianenko effectively got himself a seven-minute commercial on free television. That has to count for something.
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