The ratings are in from Saturday's head-to-head MMA events. The shows did not evenly compete as Spike is available in more than 98 million homes, while Showtime, a premium channel that costs an additional fee, has about 18 million subscribers. Complicating the comparison, Showtime aired Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu for free, in an effort to gain more subscribers. Finally, the Strikeforce event offered their best fighters, while the TUF Finale was a free TV level show, rather than a PPV
Although Strikeforce put in a very respectable showing, the UFC dominated in terms of viewership. Fans who saw both tended strongly towards Strikeforce as the more exciting show.
This past weekend's live Spike TV broadcast of The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale earned a household rating of a 1.4 and an average audience of 2 million viewers.
The event, which took place Dec. 4 and concluded the latest season of the UFC's long-running reality series, peaked with more than 2.3 million viewers for a controversial Nam Phan vs. Leonard Gracia event-opening fight.
"Strikeforce Henderson vs. Babalu II" on Showtime peaked with 465,000 viewers for a main event between Dan Henderson and Renato "Babalu" Sobral.
Overall, the show averaged a 1.2 household rating and 341,000 viewers.
MMAMania provides a head to head breakdown in the key demographic:
According to USA Today, the conclusion to the network reality series garnered an overall household rating of 1.4 with a 2.3 rating among men 18-34 and a 1.9 among men 18-49
By comparison, the Strikeforce: "Henderson vs. Babalu" event, which began overlapping the UFC broadcast at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime, drew 341,000 viewers (peaking at 465,000) with an 0.81 and 0.9 in the key 18-34 and 18-49 demographics, respectively.
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