Re: THe French Open men final rating very very low
now compare this this sport is drawing people in and it is worldwide Will be the next big thing overtaking boxing probably. It is becoming even more popular now than tennis
Fight Biz: Live shows likely next round for NBC, Strikeforce
Steve Sievert, MMAjunkie.com
Jun 9, 2:07 pm EDT
Buzz Up PrintThe programming suits at NBC have a decision to make.
EliteXC’s Saturday Night Fights debut on CBS May 31 proved that live mixed martial arts is more than viable on network television. Despite the fact that most MMA fans jeered the show, ripping into everything from the production to the officiating, SNF was the most-watched MMA event in U.S. television history. The broadcast drew a peak audience of more than 6.5 million viewers â and 4.85 million viewers in total â to top the 5.9 million who tuned into the Quinton Jackson-Dan Henderson match at UFC 75.
Those are game-changing numbers that TV executives simply can’t ignore, especially when it comes to delivering the male, 18-to-34 audience that advertisers crave. That demographic comprised a sizeable portion of the viewers who tuned into SNF.
NBC already carries MMA, albeit in a time slot far removed from the bright lights of primetime. Strikeforce launched its weekly 30-minute taped series on the Peacock Network April 12. The promotion, which those familiar with the deal say purchased the airtime from the network, hoped the series would be the catalyst that leads to live shows on NBC.
“Periodically, we’re in talks (with NBC),” said Strikeforce’s Mike Afromowitz. “Of course, we want to be live on the network. That’s always been part of our long-term objective. People want to see live events. The show’s been a good way to introduce the brand and the product to people, but moving forward, we want to be live. That’s the next step.”
Not only do the ratings generated on CBS suggest that the next step might be imminent for NBC, programming brass at the network need to look no further than their own ratings to see that MMA draws a crowd. Viewership of “Strikeforce on NBC,” which follows “Poker After Dark” every Saturday night/early Sunday morning, has increased nearly 200 percent from its first show to one of its recent airings.
The fifth episode, during the week of May 5, drew an audience of 949,000 viewers. That topped the average ratings for other late-night fare, including “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson.”
“The show has exceeded our expectations,” said Afromowitz, who oversees selection of fights featured in the production. “We’re only several weeks into the series. We got the production together very quickly with minimal promotion. We didn’t have a big, big campaign to promote it, but word spread from the first week we were on.”
It seems only a matter of time before NBC makes a more significant commitment to MMA programming.
“We’re prepared for a live event,” said Afromowitz. “We’re ready to move forward. We have the venues, and we have the talent if we’re given the opportunity.”
Encore key to EliteXC success â In the wake of strong ratings for EliteXC on CBS, the question now is â can Gary Shaw and Co. do it again?
The first show was promoted exceedingly well by EliteXC. They scheduled a series of media conference calls, held open workouts to highlight fighters for media, had fighter video packages on the CBS website and drew considerable mainstream press.
While all of that drummed up interest in the show, no aspect of the broadcast promotion was more important to its success than the simple novelty of live MMA on network TV for the first time. That guaranteed that the show would get a sizeable audience, but the ratings topped even CBS’ projections.
The true test for the potential of a franchise-in-the-making in Saturday Night Fights will be measured with the second show, slated for late summer/early fall.
Tepid start to Ortiz book sales â Tito Ortiz’s autobiography, This Is Gonna Hurt: The Life of a Mixed Martial Arts Champion, hit book retailers last month, but it hasn’t been a hit so far with readers.
The 224-page read chronicles Ortiz’s challenging childhood, a trouble marriage and battles inside the Octagon. The cover of the book features Ortiz in a UFC championship belt, which, reportedly resulted in a cease-and-desist order from the UFC.
Ortiz kicked off a nine-city book tour this past Tuesday to jumpstart sales of the book, which currently falls short of making the list of the top 150 selling books in the country, according to USA Today.
Rival Chuck Liddell is currently the champion of MMA book sales. His memoir, My Fighting Life, hit The New York Times bestseller list earlier this year.
Further changing of the guard at IFL â Kurt Otto, one of the co-founders of the struggling International Fight League, has resigned from the company’s board of directors. Otto’s departure is described as a voluntary resignation. He will remain with the league in a matchmaking capacity and is still the company’s largest shareholder.
With Otto no longer on the board, the two men who conceptualized the IFL are no longer in leadership roles with the company. Co-founder Gareb Shamus resigned as CEO and board chair last November.
Steve Sievert is the Lead Staff Writer for MMAjunkie.com and the former MMA beat writer and blogger for the Houston Chronicle. He pens his “Fight Biz” column every other week.