UFC on FOX 3: Diaz vs Miller Overnight Ratings: 2.25 Million Viewers

May 6, 2012

TV By The Numbers reports on the overnight ratings for UFC on FOX 3, as it wins the time slot for adults 18-49 with a 1.0 rating and a 4 share with an estimated 2.25 million total viewer average (the numbers may be adjusted upwards due to the nature of live programming).

The report states the following:

FOX won a slow Cinco de Mayo in adults 18-49 with its broadcast of a UFC fight, while CBS was number one in total viewers.
The latest UFC on FOX bout scored a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49.
On CBS, 48 Hours Mystery was the night’s top rated show among adults 18-49, earning a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating, up from last week’s 0.9.

Payout Perspective:

The numbers are down from the first two FOX events. In November of 2011, UFC on FOX debut drew a 3.1 rating with 5.7 million viewers with a peak of 8.8 million viewers.  Earlier this year, UFC on FOX 2 drew a 2.6 rating with 4.66 million viewers with a peak at 6.08M.  The West Coast tape delay and overrun may help with the final tally for the ratings a little bit, but I don’t see it topping 3 million viewers this time around, which has to be considered a bad number for the UFC and FOX.

The UFC focused on putting on exciting match-ups this time around, but what they made up for in exciting fights, it severely lacked in star power as was the case for the first two shows.  UFC on FOX 4 appears to be following a similar blueprint, as Brian Stann vs Hector Lombard has already been booked for the main event, but will have a much better co-main event with Lyoto Machida taking on Ryan Bader.

31 Responses to “UFC on FOX 3: Diaz vs Miller Overnight Ratings: 2.25 Million Viewers”

  1. Weezy on May 6th, 2012 2:55 PM

    Final numbers should be available tomorrow or the next day, but here’s some food for thought. There’s an old saying. When being chased by a lion, you don’t have to run faster than the lion. You just have to run faster than the guy beside you. In similar fashion, network viewership totals on Saturday nights are going to fluctuate tremendously, especially on holiday weekends known to have people not staying at home. All that FOX can hope for, with any programming, is to get the best share of the audience possible. I think that if they had a successful 9:00 hour and finish 2nd there, you could then argue that they’ve equaled their performance of the second show and outperformed the first show. See below:

    1. The first show was only one hour long and finished third out of the 4 networks in total viewership and finished third in viewership among 18-49 year olds.

    2. The second show was two hours long and finished second out of the 4 networks in total viewership and finished first in viewership among 18-49 year olds. Finished 3rd overall in the 8:00 hour and 2nd overall in the 9:00 hour.

    3. The third show was two hours long and MAY have finished third out of the 4 networks in total viewership and finished first in viewership among 18-49 year olds. Finished 3rd overall in the 8:00 hour and MAY have finished 2nd overall in the 9:00 hour. (Will depend on if the 9:00 hour beat ABC’s performance, which we should know soon)

    Maybe that’s a stretch and I apologize if it is. Just kind of stood out to me when reviewing last night’s data and comparing it to the first two outings. If their final hour of broadcasting finished 2nd out of the 4 networks last night, then they proportionally outperformed the first show and tied the second. I know that’s still an “if” but it will be interesting to see how the final rankings from Saturday look.

  2. Sampson Simpson on May 6th, 2012 3:43 PM

    No way to spin it really…

    Mayweather-Cotto was a $70 HD Pay-Per-View an likely generated over 1.5 million buys. It went up against the same factors that UFC went up against.

  3. Wheezy on May 6th, 2012 4:06 PM

    Definitely can’t spin UFC on FOX as being anywhere close to a Mayweather fight in significance or interest. You’re right. I guess all I’m saying is that the main hour of UFC on FOX last night could well have been the 2nd most watched show on TV while it was airing and the most watched by 18-49 year olds. You’re absolutely right about Floyd, though. From boxing and marketing standpoint he is legendary. But he isn’t FOX’s competition.

  4. Jack Frost on May 6th, 2012 5:57 PM

    On the other hand, we can hope this convinces them that they have to put major fights on Fox (like they said they would all along).

  5. BrainSmasher on May 6th, 2012 9:03 PM

    Jose Mentioned that Fox wasnt putting any advertising into this event. Maybe they knew Cinco Demayo was going to kill tv ratings and didnt waste the money. Strange the UFC can win the young male demo with a 1.0 rating. Seems to show that people, especially young people were not watching tv at all.

    Something someone mentioned on a tv ratings site i went to brought up the movie “The Avengers”. It just broke the record for biggest debut ever. It did over 200 million this weekend in the US blowing away the old record.

    “The movie appealed to a wide swath of moviegoers; half the audience was under the age of 25, and 60% of the crowd was male.”

    You factor in the big movie weekend, holiday, Boxing match. It was a bad day to be on tv. Also this wasnt a big name event. But under normal circiumstances i think this would have gotten 3.5-4 million atleast. Not the end of the world. Those who di tune it got a great night of fights.

  6. ABCD on May 6th, 2012 10:30 PM


    As always, I love your excuses

    Looking forward to the next UFC card that fails and your excuses afterwards

  7. Jake on May 6th, 2012 11:13 PM

    BrianSmasher does have great excuses.

    Not to give the guy too much credit UFC fans in general come up with some great excuses, from storms to holidays the excuses are always great for a laugh.

  8. ABCD on May 7th, 2012 2:23 AM

    My favorite excuse so far: Graduations and prom nights

  9. Jake on May 7th, 2012 5:05 AM

    The supermoon excuse was also very original.

  10. Th Rage on May 7th, 2012 7:08 AM

    How is it an excuse when Fox still won the demo for the night? Clearly there were factors keeping the demo away. Haters gonna hate.

  11. Diego on May 7th, 2012 8:26 AM

    No excuses. The card did not have big names and as a result did not do big numbers. It takes more than just the letters U, F and C to make a card big. We saw that throughout 2012 and 2013 is no different so far.

  12. Assassin on May 7th, 2012 9:24 AM

    Exciting card. Disappointing numbers, no other way to look at it.
    Then again, I had an enjoyable 6 hours watching the UFC for free, but I have to admit I was getting burned out (especially after watching TUF and Bellator Friday, and MFC on tape Saturday morning). That is a lot of MMA.

  13. JB on May 7th, 2012 9:30 AM

    To add to Diego’s comment, the only way to get the 18-49 old age group to stay home on early Saturday night is by having big names.

    If you look at the weekly top ranked primetime broadcast shows in the 18-49 age group; regular Saturday shows never make it and only big event shows have a chance.

    If they want to make it big on Saturday primetime, they will need to increase the star power. Otherwise they will need to change nights or time slots.

  14. BrainSmasher on May 7th, 2012 2:28 PM


    You can call it an excuse all you want. It is a fact. I know these number may be above your math level but there was less people in front of the tv this saturday than past saturdays. Low ratings wasnt just the UFC this saturday. It was every program. Do you not know what that means? Thats means the UFC cant get people watching FOX if they are not even home to turn the tv on.

    Here you go smart ass. This saturday the 8 pm hour the 4 major networks had a total of 11 million viewers. Last Saturday those same 4 at the same 8 pm hour had 17 million viewers. Basically the people watchign their tv dropped 35%. The same was the case for 9pm hour.

    I know your simple mind is looking for 1 simple reason but things are more complicated than that and to complicated for you to understand. There is many factors that effect everything especially in tv. The numbers for all tv shows why the UFC numbers were down. You can pick what ever reason you want but the biggest movie weekend in history had a huge effect as it does for hilidays. If this was just a UFC on FOX 3 problem you migth have a leg to stand on. But it was a tv problem.

  15. BrainSmasher on May 7th, 2012 2:42 PM

    I thought having Diaz on the show would draw i the young male demo. But i guess the Diaz demo have such short attention spans from ADD and dope frying their brain that they forgot he was fighting.

  16. Sampson Simpson on May 7th, 2012 6:42 PM

    “I know these number may be above your math level but there was less people in front of the tv this saturday than past saturdays.”

    Five Words: 2 million domestic buys Boxing

  17. BrainSmasher on May 7th, 2012 8:17 PM

    Yeah and if it was a normal boxing card rather than their biggest event of the year it wouldnt even be on PPV and would have got crap ratings on tv too. You really know how to pull random facts out of know where and throw them in when they have nothing to do with the topic.

    It was young males that was pulled away from the tv not old grey haired boxing fans. Unless “Matlock: The Movie” was in threatres i wouldnt expect Boxing to lose any viewers.

  18. ABCD on May 7th, 2012 10:12 PM

    Hey BrainSmasher,

    the funny part is that you have been making excuses everytime a UFC show isn’t doing well.


  19. Diego on May 8th, 2012 7:13 AM


    Nice job going to the strawman arguments as usual. The sad thing is that you bring up a good point in terms of possibly explaining the drop in ratings, but you lose it in a stream of immature insults. But here’s the real question that needs to be addressed: you mention a 35% drop in viewership from the week before, but UFC on Fox dropped from 5.7 M in November, to 4.7 M January and now to 2.4 M, what were the overall viewership trends for those nights (not the week before which is irrelevant) and do they match the drop in UFC #s?

    I suspect they do not, but I could be wrong. Until I see that analysis, I will continue to believe that the main reason for the drop in ratings is that the UFC put a UFC on FX quality card on their UFC on Fox slot and they got UFC on FX type results. This was not a championship fight, and it was not even a fight between former champions. We’ve seen it over and over again, the quality (in terms of fighter popularity) of a card matters.

  20. Sampson Simpson on May 8th, 2012 8:06 AM


    Fox = available in 115 million homes in us for FREE

    PPV = $70 cost for a one time event lasting 3 hours.

    UFC on FOX generated 2.25 million viewers which is less then HALF of what they generated in the past.

    According to stats, Mayweather-Cotto did about 2 million viewers on a $70 Pay-Per-View. When was the last time that the UFC did 2 million buys? Never.

  21. Wheezy on May 8th, 2012 8:43 AM

    No way to spin these stats as anything other than a step backwards. It will be interesting to see how these viewership stats play out over the next year. You guys here at this site do a great job covering the business aspects of MMA.

  22. Jose Mendoza on May 8th, 2012 1:20 PM

    Thanks Wheezy.

    The official numbers are out with peaks and all, just waiting on quarter breakdowns, so that will be up soon everyone.

  23. Diego on May 8th, 2012 1:35 PM


    Good point. Cinco de Mayo is seen a big fight night when it falls on a Saturday. Last time Mayweather fought on Cinco de Mayo was against De La Hoya, and they absolutely crushed the PPV record. This time, despite the fact that no Mexican was on the main event card, they appear to have also done extremely well.

    Bottom line is that Mayweather-Cotto was able to exploit the Cinco de Mayo holiday, while Diaz-Miller was not. Just looking at those two sets of names side by side suggests a reason.

  24. BrainSmasher on May 8th, 2012 3:49 PM

    Diego. I respond how i am responded to. Maybe i shouldnt stoop to the level of the trolls on here but that seems to be the on way they understand.

    I never said this UFC on FOX was as good as the other events on FOX. ABCD-LD says i always make excuses. But i put them in perspective. People like him want to use every drop in ratings or non record setting UFC news as the end of MMA.

    As for your question this event had 11 million viewers on the big networks in the early numbers release. UFC on FOX 2 had a little more than 14 million in the same time slot with every show being a rerun except the UFC. UFC on FOX 1 was on at 9pm and there were 19 million watching.

    FOX 3 was never going to beat the other events under any conditions. But the ratings are not as bad as they look. I believe if this event was done in the situation as the other events it would still be around that 4 million mark. But there was a lot of factors working against Network TV that day. The Avengers movie didnt help, Boxing didnt help, being a holiday didnt help. If you put on a huge main event you can pull people away from other interests. But a card with main event fighters even hardcore fans dont respect. I feel Miller was always a bum. He has skills but is always under sized and lacks wrestling to really be a threat. He was protected for a long time and even Dana refused to give hima title shot even on a 6 fight streak because the opponents he beat were sub par. Both guys are protected from wrestlers and are mid level 155 guys at best. But everyone knew the fights would be good but that doesnt sell to mainstream fans who only see the name power.

    The UFC will bouce back with better numbers even though their cards are never as good as i think they should be on their Fox platform. FOX 4 is already confirmed and it is much worse than this card on paper.

  25. Jake on May 9th, 2012 3:23 AM

    This guy thought the boxing would help…but what does he know?


  26. Mossman on May 9th, 2012 10:43 AM

    Drop in ratings period.

    No excuses.

    Glut in Content/Over Saturation + a Fickle Demo + Shitty Cards = Decline in viewership and less fans.

    They UFC needs new executive leadership or they will perish. They will be begging Spike to take them back in two years when Fox dumps them. Dana’s a promoter.. .its not Dana. its the idiots who don’t understand day to day business that they have running the company.

  27. BrainSmasher on May 9th, 2012 3:06 PM

    One thing i have always felt was strange about the way the UFC does business is how they take advantage of opportunities. Now i side with the UFC on most issue and its not because i will believe anything they put out there. But i actually see their reasoning and have the same type of reasoning and honest agree with them. But it seems the UFC has always been to scared to be to big of a hit to fast. Almost like they want to avoid mainstream attention. Like they want a lot of eyes on the product but want to keep the ones who are just interested in fights. Look back through history. Every time it was a big moment for the UFC to take that next step the fights didnt deliver when the UFC are great match makers. The best by far the sport has ever seen. They have it down to almost a science to get whatever fight or result they want. But when the UFC got back on Cable with UFC 33 it was the worst night of fights ever. All fights went the distance. When MMA payout would talk about the UFC building momentum off the back of a big PPV. The UFC did it one time for like 3 events in a row. But it seems they purposely put crappy cards around anythign they do big to kill momentum. Even when they did do well with momentum it wasnt by design. Their events after 100 did well but the cards were nothing great. They didnt do anythign to take advantage of the huge attention they got for UFC 100. The first event on Fox could have been a game changer if only they would have added the Guida/Bendo fight. It didnt happen. OK that wasnt their fault but still an example of things not falling in the right place. OK the number come back good and left a lot of people wanting more. Following up that with a great FOX 2 main event really could have made some waves. But they put guys they want to build up for later PPVs but not people that bring in new fans. So they blew all that hype of the first FOX event. Now ever Fox card is getting worse and worse by a large margin. There are other examples but i cant think of them off the top of my head. BUt there are many times over the years i have felt the UFC was in position to really blow up with a good showing and they blew it. And seeing their patterns of how they do things th elast 11 years it seems to be dont on purpose. Maybe they have a reason not to blow up and get tons of attention. Maybe they think it will be to much to soon and it will make MMA a fad. So they never get expectations to high choosing a slow and steady that allows the sport to get some history as it becomes part of the culture. Not sure what the reasoning is but i notice it and it seem intentional.

  28. Mossman on May 10th, 2012 1:44 PM

    The intentional actions that one can deduce from your inane rambling… is that your mother intentionally dropped you on your head as a child.

    Yeah… they purposefully sabotage their business EVERY single time they have the ability to take advantage of a game changer… to make more money… cause they don’t want to do that… at all…

    Or they are just run by the biggest brain dead marketers (I’m being nice calling them marketers) ever…

  29. BrainSmasher on May 10th, 2012 3:02 PM

    It is only “ramblings” when you dont have the attention span to follow. If it was just their marketing i would agree with you. But i consider myself and big student of the game and very skilled at breaking down fights and match ups. The UFC with the inside info they have are almost cant miss with their match making. But they always have a convienent bad fight at the worse time. I dont believe its by accident. It wasnt luck that UFC on FOC 2 was all decision. I could tell you that going in. How was those two main fights ever going to end in a finish? It was planned. Then when the ratings are going to be at their lowest on FOX 3 they book fights everyone knew was going to be exciting.

    You can call it “sabotaging” their business if you want. But they could be trying to prevent the UFC from becoming a fad. The UFC has always avoided short turn success if it effects long term success. Its why they treated Kimbo the way they did and why they refuse to put a mega card on FOX. You can tthink they are incompetent all you want. I think it is by design.

  30. Mossman on May 11th, 2012 6:50 AM

    That’s the dumbest shit I have ever heard…

    Looks like even the morons at yahoo knows more than “a student of the game”… http://sports.yahoo.com/news/mma–ufc-on-fox-ratings-dip–fertitta-not-worried.html

  31. BrainSmasher on May 11th, 2012 3:16 PM

    I will take that as a compliment considering you call everyone involved with the MMA industry morons. You sound like a guy i knew. He would always tell everyone how dumb they are and talk about so and so is stupid, and how he was so much better on every subject. Class A stubborn know it all. After giving his never wrong opinion on any subject. He would go back to work at his $7.25 an hour job wiping ass at the local nursing home. You guys have a lot in common. The only question is are you just elbow deep in sh*t or full of Sh*t?

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