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Insult to Injury: ‘Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine’ Ratings Tank. Like Really Tank.

(Look at it this way, Nate, at least no one saw Tarec do this to you.) 

Over the past few weeks, we’ve referred to Strikeforce’s final event as a lot of things: “a series of pathetic mismatches on the level of Pros vs. Joes,” “an injury-riddled metaphor for MMA in 2012,” “a once great promotion, now, a study in moppishness,” but no matter how hard we try, words often fail to accurately depict Strikeforce’s drawn out fall from grace.

But where words fail, numbers often succeed. And ladies and gentlemen, the numbers that were just released for Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine say so, so much more than we ever could. According to MMAFighting’s Dave Meltzer, the promotion’s final event brought in less viewers than your average Tuesday afternoon rerun of a Law and Order: Special Victims Unit episode. No, I am not currently watching a rerun of a Law and Order: Special Victims Unit episode. Meltzer writes:

Saturday night’s show was headlined by Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine for the Strikeforce welterweight title, but was really promoted around being the end of an era. However, there was little fan interest in that nostalgia and the event did a 0.82 rating and 310,000 viewers among Showtime subscribers.

From a rating standpoint, the only major Saturday night show on the network that did a number in that ballpark was the September 10, 2011, show from Cincinnati…did an identical 0.82 rating, with 274,000 viewers.

Ouch. While there’s no doubt that the removal of guys like Luke Rockhold and Gil Melendez from the card — and the subsequent cancelling of their title fights — is at least partly responsible for these abysmal ratings, we’re not sure anyone could have seen the former #2 promotion in MMA ending its career on lamer terms than, say, Ice-T in Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. 

Meltzer continued:

The rating was only slightly better than most of the Challengers shows, low-budget Friday night shows with little or no name talent – and with very little promotion – that usually ranged from 0.5 to 0.75 ratings, and once hit the 1.0 barrier.

The ratings were down 43 percent and total viewing audience down 41 percent from the previous Strikeforce card on Aug. 18, which featured no name fighters outside of a Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman main event.

As much as we should probably be surprised by that last bit of information, the fact that Strikeforce cancelled their two previous fight cards, then failed to put together even a few remotely hype-worthy fights for their final event likely drove more than a fair share of potential viewers away before all was said and done.

But if I can speak candidly, I would just like to say that Strikeforce deserved better than this. So, so much better than this. Over the past two years, the promotion has been abused, ridiculed, and purged from within, to the point that not even Detective Elliot Stabler could bring it comfort, let alone justice, in a two hour season finale of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. And for that, we will forever be in your debt, Strikeforce. You fought the good fight, and never once asked for anything but our undying viewership in return. Now let these ominous tones carry you into that good night.

-J. Jones

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painvelasquez- January 16, 2013 at 2:43 pm
Am i the only one who'z actually sad to see strikeforce being tossed aside like a napkin filled with my unborn baby gravy? Sad.
dipsetkilla316- January 16, 2013 at 8:13 am
I watched it too I thought most of the fights were fun except the main event. I mean at this point it's over, but for show time if they stay in mma they need to figure out wat there doing wrong.
elburrogrande- January 16, 2013 at 2:29 am
you forgot to mention there was an NFL play off game going on at the same time.
blooddrink- January 16, 2013 at 1:42 am
i am the smest. you are the googoo chest. as in like an old woman's chest
rasbutten- January 15, 2013 at 7:05 pm
@Sloppyspray: Ditto. The assholes at Comcast would rather I spend my evening catching up on Homeland than watching Strikeforce. At least it was an amazing weekend for football.
CWill859- January 15, 2013 at 4:42 pm
Yeah TWC was running free previews in my area too. I DVRd, saw the high points (I.e. the finishes) and that's it.
Sloppyspray- January 15, 2013 at 2:55 pm
@TheFanciness - I was excited to watch the fights when I heard that Showtime was doing a free preview weekend here in NJ (since I don't subscribe to Showtime), but was pissed when I found out that it was only a free on-demand service so you didn't actually get the channel, some bullshit.
Fried Taco- January 15, 2013 at 2:08 pm
I watched. Does that make me an MMA snob or just a loser?
TheFanciness- January 15, 2013 at 2:08 pm
What's even more telling, Time Warner Cable was running a free preview weekend for Showtime in southern California (don't know if they were doing the promotion elsewhere). That really tells you how bad that card tanked. I didn't even DVR it when I could have.