Latest “Strikeforce on NBC” Episode Draws Record 1.1 Million Viewers
SAN JOSE, Calif. —Last Saturday’s episode of “Strikeforce on NBC” generated over 1.1 million viewers, a new high for the first-ever 52 week mixed martial arts (MMA) series in network television history, according to Nielsen Ratings.The record number of viewers shattered the previous high of 949,000, which was recorded on May 9th. The all-new, 30-minute program showcased the drama-filled light heavyweight (205 lb. limit) rematch between former South African National Wrestling Champion, Trevor Prangley (18-5), and former world championship challenger, Anthony “A-Train” Ruiz (21-12), which took place at Strikeforce’s second event at the world-famous Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, California on September 20th. “It’s obviously great to see our product growing substantially on the network, but it’s more than just that,” said Strikeforce Founder and CEO, Scott Coker. “The consistently strong ratings we’ve seen are a sign that the sport of MMA is flourishing and continuing to gain new fans as its visibility grows on national television.””Strikeforce on NBC,” which premiered on April 12th, airs every Saturday, immediately following NBC’s hit poker tournament series, “Poker After Dark” (check local listings). MMA legend Ken Shamrock and award-winning ESPN announcer, Lon McEachern, co-host each program and provide expert, play-by-play commentary. This Saturday’s “Strikeforce on NBC” episode will mark the premiere of the classic Strikeforce world lightweight (155 lb. limit) championship showdown between rival superstars Josh “The Punk” Thomson (16-2) and “El Nino” Gilbert Melendez (14-2), which took place at San Jose’s HP Pavilion on June 27th. About Strikeforce:Strikeforce is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265. Since 1995, Strikeforce has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts series with “Shamrock vs. Gracie.” Since then, it has co-produced the first SHOWTIME PPV mixed martial arts event in history with its world championship “Shamrock vs. Baroni” card on June 22, 2007 followed by the first-ever mixed martial arts event at the world-famous Playboy Mansion on September 29, 2007. On April 12th of this year, Strikeforce launched the first-ever 52 week MMA series on one of the four major television networks in The U.S. – NBC.