UFC Primetime Episode 3: 613,000 Viewers

March 26, 2010

MMAPayout.com has learned that the third episode of UFC Primtime: GSP vs. Hardy drew an average audience of 613,000 viewers on Wednesday night.

Payout Perspective:

Episode 1: 1,000,000
Episode 2: 506,000 (-50%)
Episode 3: 613,000 (+22%)

There are many theories as to why there was a 50% drop in viewership between 1 and 2. Some panicked because they thought it was a sign of disinterest in the fight, others were more reserved in thinking it was likely just a result of tough competition due to March Madness and St. Paddy’s Day.

Why did the ratings increase? It’s possible that some of those lost to MM or St. Paddy’s during episode two, returned for episode three. However, I’m also inclined to think┬áthat the third episode benefited from a host of media coverage during fight week. Jon Jones and UFC on Versus, GSP and his endorsements, Dana White with Q&As, ESPN and MMA Live, THQ’s video game parties, etc.

Those looking to compare GSP vs. Hardy to GSP vs. Penn will be interested to know that, in terms of total viewership, there isn’t a lot of difference: GSP vs. Hardy scored a total of 2,119,000 viewers over three episodes, while GSP vs. Penn scored 2,367,000.

15 Responses to “UFC Primetime Episode 3: 613,000 Viewers”

  1. Machiel Van on March 26th, 2010 1:05 PM

    Good comparison of overall viewer numbers.

  2. marty michaels on March 26th, 2010 1:36 PM

    or…this episodes ratings went back up because spike and the ufc put a special highly rated unleashed with 4 unseen fights as the lead in..

  3. Kelsey Philpott on March 26th, 2010 2:35 PM

    Absolutely, Marty.

  4. Diego on March 26th, 2010 3:49 PM

    What is the estimate for PPVs based on these numbers? I find it hard to believe it will do as well as GSP v. Penn.

  5. mmaguru on March 26th, 2010 4:21 PM

    Good point marty, that’s why i watched part of it, i just don’t find GSP all that appealing. Hardy is more interesting.

  6. mmaguru on March 26th, 2010 4:25 PM

    My guess is this event will do 550 to 600 K buys. Anything less than that would be worrisome.

  7. Kelsey Philpott on March 26th, 2010 5:45 PM

    My gut says 700k; sort of the number I’ve had in my head since the double title fight was announced.

    I’ll have a prediction thread up early next week, but the numbers are pointing to about the same; although, as reliable as its been lately, that doesn’t say much. It’s been an unpredictable couples months on PPV.

    I think this last week of promotion has been very strong; the Versus card, UFC Primetime, the ESPN stuff, the USA Today stuff. Add that to the general level of interest in GSP – he’s just so well respected in the sport – and how that interest seems to be increasing. I tend to think it’ll do better than 107 and probably make the 700k mark.

    Threats? Certainly there are some. March Madness has taken some coverage away from the UFC, as has Tiger’s return. There’s also the thought that Sunday’s Wrestlemania is going to impact the card.

    We’ll see. That’s what makes this all so exciting.

  8. Roger on March 26th, 2010 6:23 PM

    Hey Kelsey,

    What does Meltzer say in regards to how the numbers are trending?

  9. marty michaels on March 26th, 2010 6:34 PM

    agree with kelsey…and i suspect higher…maybe 750,000…really well promoted event…and the fans have saved their money on the last few lacklustre cards….like him or not, gsp is a champion and he’s reaching rockstar status…if anything this card steals some of wrestlemania’s money….(wwe ratings were way down this week too which is not a good indicator as their pre wrestlemania ratings are usually one of their highest weeks of the year)

  10. jj on March 26th, 2010 11:31 PM

    UFC 111 is getting a good amount of buzz. 600k seems likely.

  11. AmericanPankration on March 27th, 2010 2:09 AM

    I say it does more than most expect. First strong card in a while. The UFC seems to be slowly taking the boxing agenda; huge stars bring huge numbers, everyone else brings in small numbers. With two very huge fights on the card, I say it hits the 800k mark. Wouldn’t surprise me if it did 850k. With the momentum from this card, I say next three UFC events combine will hit the 2 million point. Time will tell.

  12. Brain Smasher on March 27th, 2010 2:53 AM

    i think 550-625 range would be more accurate. This is a normally around 700-800K card last year. But with the loss of momentium recently everyone isnt going to jump back into the swing of things at the same time. Some fans who took a break during the down time will jump in here and some will join in along the way of the UFCs stretch of big events this summer. I dont think this event is big enough and getting the amount of attention needed to get everyone interested. Some it will, others it will take a few big events to get everyone talking then the rest will start buying the PPVs.

    I also think having 2 non americans headlining the even in GSP and Hardy and an unknown co mainevent contender in Carwin. There isnt anyone who is drawing in the american mainstream fans here.

  13. marty michaels on March 27th, 2010 10:07 AM

    the ratings for prime time, the countdown shows on several networks, the addition of ufc on versus and the promo time in that…usa today, radio city, lesnar;s reapppearance as part of the promotion, the promotion for the upcoming season of tuf, the thiago controversy, the first east coast fight in a while….a title fight with a strong co main event and an interim belt on the line…it all adds up to the most heavily promoted card since ufc 100….

    it will go over 750,000..

  14. kldub4life on March 27th, 2010 3:11 PM

    Something that hasn’t been brought is Fathom Events closed circuit showing throughout the country at movie theatres. This is the first time the UFC has done a national showing at theatres.

    An interesting side note: here in the Oklahoma City metro area UFC cards have been shown for the last 2 years at The Warren Theatre (which is the areas nicest theatre) with tickets in the theatre costing $12 and the balcony (with to seat alcohol and food service) going for $20. However tonights fights through the Fathom group will be at a theatre in a much more seedy area of town and all tickets are $20.

    With this being a national agreement between Fathom and the UFC it will have an impact on the Pay Per View numbers, I personally think it will more effect the sports Bars business though.

    I am expecting +700,000

  15. uberVU - social comments on March 27th, 2010 5:00 PM

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by MMAPayoutdotcom: UFC Primetime E3 manages 613,000 viewers; 22% increase from E2. Total viewership not far off GSP-Penn: http://tinyurl.com/yg74vn9

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