(Talk that shit now, "Nurse Jackie." Photo courtesy of AllElbows.com)
Strikeforce: Miami drew 517,000 viewers on Showtime this past Saturday night, proving that there are some benefits to putting well-known but largely untested fighters in against outmatched opponents. The numbers may not have been quite as good as the 576,000 viewers who tuned in to see Gina Carano and “Cyborg” Santos go at it back in August, but it was still a marked improvement from the 341,000 that watched the last Strikeforce offering on Showtime in December.
So what made the big difference this time? Was it Herschel Walker’s appeal to the common sports fan? Bobby Lashley’s drawing power among pro wrestling fanboys? The mere presence of Wes Sims, one of MMA’s tallest fighters? There’s no way to know for sure, but we’re going to go ahead and speculate that it was some combination of all three, plus all the people who have sold Nick Diaz weed at some point in the past.
The one somber note to all this is that once again the replay of a UFC event – this time UFC 107 – beat Strikeforce in terms of sheer numbers. Spike TV pulled in 2.2 million viewers with B.J. Penn and Diego Sanchez, though of course they did have the advantage of being available in roughly eight times as many homes. Still, over half-a-million people on a premium cable network in lean economic times is nothing to be ashamed of. Now if they could only work in some kind of vampire-related storyline they might really draw huge audiences. Your time to shine, Stephen Quadros.