Strikeforce rolled into Missouri for the second time in as many years with “Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery”, which featured a main card stacked with the promotion’s best talent. The five-fight main card was aired live and free on Showtime to the premium cable network’s subscribers last Saturday, May 15. The broadcast brought in 308,000 viewers for the evening’s event, according to MMAjunkie.com, which featured a heavyweight championship main event that saw Alistair Overeem defend his title with a first round technical knockout victory over Brett Rogers.
The viewership for “Heavy Artillery” fell about 200,000 viewers short of the 517,000 “Strikeforce: Nashville”, the last event to air on Showtime, managed to bring in. Granted, the “Nashville” card included a main event featuring the infamous Nick Diaz, a championship fight between Marloes Coenen and “Cyborg” Santos, and the debut of former-Heisman winning running back Herschel Walker.
If the 200,000 viewer drop off was not bad enough, Strikeforce was also dominated on May 15, as the UFC counter-programmed the live event with “UFC Ultimate Fights”. That broadcast scored 894,000 viewers, nearly three times that of the live Showtime broadcast. However, Showtime’s availability is much less than that of Spike TV, reaching only 12 million households compared to the nearly 100 million Spike TV reaches.