(There’s really no reason for us to post this picture except that holy shit is Cris Cyborg terrifying.)
From an amusing new press release just sent out by Spike TV:
SPIKE TV’S RE-BROADCAST OF UFC 84 DRAWS MORE YOUNG MEN THAN A LIVE PRO ELITEXC CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT ON CBS
Need proof the UFC is the preeminent mixed martial arts brand in the world? On Saturday, July 26, more men 18-34 watched a repeat…a repeat…of a UFC event on Spike TV than a LIVE telecast of a Pro EliteXC championship card on CBS. Despite being available in over 17 million more homes [ed. note: I think they mean over 17 million less homes?], Spike TV drew 27% more Men 18-34 for a re-broadcast of “UFC 84: Penn vs. Sherk” from (9:00-12:00am ET/PT) than CBS’s live show (9:00-11:00pm). Spike TV’s telecast tallied 433,000 Men 18-34 to CBS’s 341,000.
Overall, “UFC 84: Penn vs. Sherk” drew higher ratings than Pro EliteXC in Men 18-49 (1.5 to 1.3) and Men 18-34 (1.5 and 1.0).
Reminiscent of the XFL’s rating collapse years ago, the CBS telecast was 69% lower in Men 18-34 and 57% lower with Men 18-49 than its initial broadcast on CBS in May featuring the “He Hate Me” of MMA, Kimbo Slice.
Garbling the competition’s name as “Pro EliteXC” is an awesomely passive aggressive touch, as is comparing EliteXC to the ill-fated XFL. We’re not sure what’s up with referring to Kimbo as “He Hate Me,” though it sounds vaguely racist, and Spike Lee is probably preparing an infringement lawsuit as we speak.
Anyway, sending out a press release on your competition’s weak ratings is a barrel of laughs, but maybe the joke’s on Spike.
First off, the UFC 84 rebroadcast was three hours, compared to EliteXC’s two-hour show. It’s a bit disingenuous to do a straight ratings comparison when many of SpikeTV’s viewers could have simply tuned in for that last hour, when Spike wasn’t going up against CBS — potentially after they had finished watching the EliteXC card.
But here’s the part that really strikes me: If “Unfinished Business” took in 2.6 million viewers, and only 341,000 of them were young males, who else was watching? The press release wisely leaves out how many total viewers each broadcast drew (leading me to assume that the Spike show got a lower total rating), but the data suggests that the EliteXC show enjoyed a more diverse crowd — more women, more older people — than the UFC 84 replay. So the UFC remained strong with their same old fans; is that something to brag about? Meanwhile, EliteXC is doing their best to make MMA a truly mainstream sport, appealing to a wider base thanks to their female division and newly cleaned-up production style. Dissing competition in press releases is the UFC’s obvious next step in their war against everybody, but we’re calling this one a ill-advised self-ownage.