UFC 143 initial PPV buy rates and other ratings
February 8, 2012
Dave Metzler of the Wrestling Observer reported the initial PPV buy rate for UFC 143 were approximately 400,000 buys. The numbers seem to be a pleasant surprise for the overall viewership for UFC 143 which includes improved prelim ratings on FX.
MMA Junkie reported that the UFC 143 prelims on FX earned 1.4 million viewers. While the prelim numbers still do not compare with Spike TV’s version of the prelims, its a significant improvement from 142 and the FX version is a 2 hour show.
Also, the UFC 143 weigh-ins on Fuel TV scored 38,000 viewers for the fighters just getting on the scale.
As for the success of UFC 143, Metzler indicated that the UFC Primetimes aided in the buy rate. Also, the Nick Diaz factor helped the buy rate as well since none of the other matches were heavily promoted.
The 400K buy rate blows away my expectation of 250K buys. The buy rate is surprising and while the Diaz factor definitely helped, I also have to think the new marketing and promotion (including the new shows on Fuel) from the Fox deal was a factor. If indeed, Diaz carried this PPV, it will be interesting to see what happens with him next. Certainly, the UFC hoped that Diaz would have won which would set a great matchup with GSP. A rumored rematch with Condit was on and off most of Wednesday.
Frankly, it makes no sense for Condit to grant a rematch until he faces GSP to unify the titles. For Condit, he was originally forced to step aside for Diaz at 143 and then reinserted when GSP went down. Unless, the UFC forces the rematch, it makes no sense for Condit to do it.
From the UFC’s perspective, Diaz is a talented, but temperamental star on the rise. Arguably, the buy rate can be attributed in large portion to his persona. So, if you are the UFC, what do you do?