Spike TV re-broadcast draws more viewers than Versus live event

June 28, 2011

MMA Weekly reports that Spike TV’s re-broadcast of UFC Fight Night 22 scored better ratings than UFC on Versus 4. Spike TV scored an average of 793,000 viewers while Versus received 744,000 viewers.

The numbers for this past Sunday’s event on Versus were up from the UFC’s March event on Versus. UFC on Versus 3 received 681,000 viewers. On the other hand, Spike TV ran its marathon of programming culminating with Nate Marquardt battling Rousimar Palhares. Ironically, that fight ended in a little controversy as Palhares claimed Marquardt had grease on his leg to avoid a submission.

Payout Perspective:

It looks like Spike counter-programming worked. While some may not believe Spike’s Sunday schedule was “counter” programming Versus’ fights, the numbers read otherwise. The Nate Marquardt scratch as well as other fight juggling prior to Saturday’s weigh-ins contributed to the lack of star power and interesting matchups. While the card was still entertaining, Spike beat Versus in ratings with a rerun of an event originally airing on Spike. For the casual viewer, the UFC is synonymous with Spike TV. This may be an issue when the UFC looks for a new television home later this year. If the casual viewer were flipping through channels on Sunday and they came across the UFC on Spike, it may stop on that channel without realizing that Versus had the live card.

2 Responses to “Spike TV re-broadcast draws more viewers than Versus live event”

  1. Machiel Van on June 29th, 2011 7:46 AM

    Will Spike be able to air old UFC content after the TV deal expires? Or does Zuffa hold all the rights even if the events were broadcast on Spike? And what about TUF reruns? If Spike has some rights to the footage, they could milk the UFC brand for a bit longer.

    If not, however, it won’t matter that Spike TV was synonymous with the UFC if they no longer air any UFC content, people will find it on whatever channel it ends up on, though it might take a little time.

  2. Dana White Talks UFC 132, Nate Marquardt Firing, Spike TV Negotiations & Japan Event on June 30th, 2011 9:28 PM

    […] because Spike TV’s replay of UFC Fight Night 22, which went head-to-head with UFC on Versus 4, actually beat the live Versus show in the ratings. It was an obvious shot across the bow of the UFC as they’re currently in negotiations with […]

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