It's probably no coincidence that the UFC aired back-to-back episodes of "Ultimate Knockouts" on SpikeTV this past Saturday during the same time slot of the Elite Xtreme Combat premier on Showtime.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the move looks to have been successful.
Here's a snip:
The debut of Elite Xtreme Combat Saturday night on Showtime couldn't top a rebroadcast of UFC's Ultimate Knockouts 2 on Spike TV. EliteXC's Destiny show from the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Miss., drew a total of 365,000 viewers on SHO in the 10 p.m. - 12:30 a.m., EST, daypart, while the UFC KO compendium on Spike attracted 1.2 million total viewers in the 10 p.m. time slot.
It's important to note that Showtime is a premium cable channel, meaning people need to shell out extra to access it.
SpikeTV, meanwhile, is standard with most cable packages.
(That means that the audience for SpikeTV is larger than that of Showtime.)
As Seivert points out, however:
... the head to head does show where the majority of MMA fans spent their viewing evening.
The ratings are all the ammo UFC President Dana White needs the next time a reporter asks him about EliteXC, which he recently called a "rinky-dink" upstart in an interview with the Baltimore Sun.
Certainly not the last time we are going to hear about this ...