UFC on Fox 3 Prelims on Fuel TV: 86,000 viewers

May 9, 2012

MMA Weekly reports that UFC on Fox 3 prelims airing on Fuel TV received an average of 86,000 viewers.  Its by far the lowest ratings of the three UFC on Fox prelims.

In comparison, UFC on Fox 2 Prelims scored a 144,000 viewer average in January.  Its the first time that the average viewership has dipped below 100,000 for a live prelim event airing on Fuel.  

Payout Perspective:

The numbers are low but almost expected considering the 3 hour broadcast went up against the Kentucky Derby and the NBA and NHL playoffs. It also had to deal with the Mayweather fight hype.  The ratings coupled with the lower UFC on Fox 3 ratings make one wonder whether it was the card or the date of the card that was the issue.  The first weekend of May is traditionally a huge weekend for sports so the competition had to be anticipated.  But, the lack of a big name, big fight or title defense also contributed to the lack of appeal.  Knowing that it was going up against some stiff competition, the card lacked the appeal for a casual viewer.  The ratings for the Fuel broadcast are forgivable but the broadcast on Fox must be addressed for the UFC’s next appearance this summer.

9 Responses to “UFC on Fox 3 Prelims on Fuel TV: 86,000 viewers”

  1. Michael on May 9th, 2012 1:16 PM

    Hi, I don’t mean this article specifically, but I rather just realised that all mma websites that I read in the last days attribute the low ratings a) no big names on the card, b) bad time for the event. And it often sounds as if “the UFC should know better…etc.”
    -> I would mildly suggest: ***FOX*** as a TV network would absolutely know what other programs air when.

    So maybe the UFC & Fox thought: “The first weekend of May is traditionally a huge weekend for sports so competition has to be anticipated, let’s not use the big names for a bad date.”

  2. Nick on May 9th, 2012 1:23 PM

    I think lack of promotion plays a huge part in this. I watch a LOT of TV and didn’t see a single commercial. The Fall show was helped a ton by all the NFL promos. This was also not a great card to get people interested to tune in, but was a great card for people to watch. It would have drawn more viewers with a main event like Davis/Evans on the last card, but was MUCH better as far as entertainment value.

  3. BrainSmasher on May 9th, 2012 3:32 PM

    I agree with michael. FOX knew it would be rough to get good numbers. It seems all the netowrks knew this. Jose mentioned before the event that he noticed there was almost no advertising on Fox for the event. 2 of the other netowrks ran re-runs except for NBC who ran their normal sitcom that was in it finale but the show is about to be canceled so that was likely why they didnt show a rerun. Most saturdays the networks put on movies are new shows or sports and get good ratings. During bad weekends they show old reruns.

    I think numbers should go back up but the next card is trash. I really hope the UFC starts using their FOX platform for something beside “amatuer hour”.

  4. Diego on May 10th, 2012 6:06 AM

    I agree that the UFC and Fox are not exactly stacking the deck in their favor when they don’t roll out their big stars for UFC on Fox cards. Stann is popular but not necessarily a big draw and Lombard is unknown to anyone except the few hundred thousand hardcore fans who follow Bellator. Again, regardless of what else is going on that night, you can’t expect big numbers from that card.

  5. Diego on May 10th, 2012 6:09 AM

    Cutting back on advertising because you know a card will do poorly seems like a strategy designed to amplify failure. Why bother to put the card on at all if you are not going to invest in it’s success?

  6. Machiel Van on May 10th, 2012 7:03 AM

    Why didn’t they just choose a different date?

  7. BrainSmasher on May 10th, 2012 2:49 PM

    “Cutting back on advertising because you know a card will do poorly seems like a strategy designed to amplify failure. Why bother to put the card on at all if you are not going to invest in it’s success?”

    This is what people dont realize. It is fans claiming this as a failure not FOX. Fox beat everything on for those 2 hours in the key demo. They also got higher total ratings than they get with their normal program. So it was a win win for them. They did so without dumping a lot into advertising that couldnt give them their return on investment.

    “Why didn’t they just choose a different date?”

    The UFC wants to reach new viewers. This was a cheap card that did exactly that. They got 1 million people outside their 18-49 adult demo. Maybe the UFC knew it was a bad date and that could be the reason for the weak card. I believe the UFC and FOX look at this as a positive number. Although i think they were hpoing for something in the 3 million range. But the UFC numbers allowed Fox to win the 18-49 and 18-34 demo for the 4th week in a row during primetime.

  8. Sampson Simpson on May 10th, 2012 7:38 PM

    I believe this move by Bellator coming up in 2013 will mark the fall of the UFC…

    Fox will end up dropping them. Bellator can do things with their product that the UFC can’t get away with on FOX.

  9. Eric Brockmann on May 13th, 2012 7:53 AM

    Sampson Simpson you are right on the money. The UFC has made a big mistake with “partnering” with FOX. Spike TV catered to them with the best time slots and promotion but Fox,FX,Fuel just want the UFC to fill out their weak hours of programming and the main network of Fox may soon demand better fights because of low ratings which could hurt the UFC’s most important pay-per-view model anyway you cut it something has to change.

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