UFC on Fox 8 overnight ratings: 2.04 million viewer average

July 28, 2013

Television By Numbers reports that UFC on Fox 8 overnight ratings scored a 0.9 rating/4 share (in 18-49 demo) for an average viewership of 2.04 million viewers.  Its the lowest rating for the UFC on the Fox network.

The ratings do not include the overrun which was approximately 15 minutes over from its time slot.  The ratings reflect a 40% ratings decrease from UFC on Fox 7 in April.

Comparing this to UFC on Fox 4 which was last year’s summer show which received an average viewership of 2.14 million and a rating of 1.1.  That show was headlined by Shogun Rua versus Brandon Vera.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings were expected and seems to be on par with what it put on last year on the network.

The UFC did win its demo for the night with a card that was not attractive to most fans.  It also served as a way to grab the young male audience for its late night Animation Domination programming.  So, despite being the lowest rating ever for shows on Fox it did do enough to grab its core demo and essentially served its purpose.

36 Responses to “UFC on Fox 8 overnight ratings: 2.04 million viewer average”

  1. Sampson Simpson on July 28th, 2013 8:59 AM

    Wow. That shows a pretty strong DISinterest amongst the general public for the product. As if the UFC has cornered the frat boy market and literally nothing else.

  2. Andrew on July 28th, 2013 9:57 AM

    it wasnt exactly the best time to put an event on. The FLW aren’t gonna draw at least for awhile

  3. aintitthetruth on July 28th, 2013 11:04 AM

    Ufc should only have names with a title headline a free tv event. White put the little people on just to prove a personal point. and that is he doesnt care what people think or like. i respect that no matter how bad for business it might be.

  4. Tops of on July 28th, 2013 11:39 AM

    ….one portion of the fight card…joe rogan interviews Dana white….and Dana tried really hard to sell the next fight Aldo…..hahaha….hard selling….might be because of the bad performance of the last 2 cards…and now this one…he knows the official numbers and probably does not look good……so he’s back micromanaging the whole thing…..

  5. Diego on July 28th, 2013 12:57 PM

    There was boxing on Showtime and HBO as well. Any idea how those did? The fights on Showtime were great, the HBO card was forgettable.

  6. Sampson Simpson on July 28th, 2013 1:17 PM

    HBO2 event was from China. Shiming’s first bout had an estimated 300 million viewers in China.

    It played live at some absurd hour in the US.

    Showtime event probably did crappy as usual with 600k to 700k viewers

  7. BrainSmasher on July 28th, 2013 2:30 PM

    This card had a few things working against it which cant be helped. First the Co Main event would have made it look much more appealing if it was the main event and they were given the attention. The reason that wasn’t done was against understand able. The UFC always outs titles as headliners. Some times in rare cases this hurts. But you cant pick and choose when you put the belt on the back burner and think it wont have lasting effects and devalue the belt. So I understand what they have to do that. The other is the UFC is trying to push the light weight fighters. Again this is totally understandable. They do not sell PPV’s. and that weight is big in boxing. Best to use the Fox platform to build those fighters up so they can sell PPV’s and maybe make the division as popular at it is in boxing. This was the best part of the year to do this without the NFL promotion. Yeah it sucks the UFC could have done better. But long term this will pay off. You cant create new divisions and not promote them.

    I also expect the final ratings to push past UFC on Fox 4 and no longer be the lowest rated Fox show.

  8. Jason Cruz on July 28th, 2013 3:41 PM

    @Diego: We’ll do a post once we get them. As SS pointed out, Shiming’s fight was at a weird time. It was over before I got to KeyArena yesterday and couldn’t find the replay on HBO yesterday.

  9. Sampson Simpson on July 28th, 2013 4:25 PM

    If I’m correct in my estimates, the UFC is hording cash right now in order to gradually scale back on the number of PPV’s year over year.

    They have 5 more years to go in the FOX deal.

    I see them doing 14 again next year. (2014)

    Maybe 12 in (2015). 10 in (2016). 8 in (2017) and likely 4 in (2018). The strategy would be to put their big stars in big match-ups on FoxSports 1 cards to drive the ratings up and make them more valuable to FOX. Instead of the current $90 million annually, they could possibly ask for $400 million annually.

    We’ll see over time if my assessment is correct. The biggest X factor is whether FOXSports 1 can garner enough distribution and overall viewership to drive advertising dollars.

    The biggest problem for the UFC is that they are killing their momentum with all the PPV’s as many have tuned out of the product only following the “names” they see as worth buying. That and if Bellator consistently poaches old names and puts them in action for “free” it further dilutes the MMA fan base. Interesting times

  10. aintitthetruth on July 28th, 2013 7:44 PM

    The only things working against this card is that the casual fan only wants to see heavyweight champions or longtime non little person champions. That rules out mightymouse. the average fan would not give a damn if mcdonLd and ellenberger was the main event. White would look even dumber with a five round snoozefest fox headliner.

  11. aintitthetruth on July 28th, 2013 7:54 PM

    That means it has to be jones, gsp , or rhe heavyweight champ. the silva weidman rematch would be a perfect fox headliner.lw,fw,bw and fw should only co headline.i hate thay term. in terms of the ufc it is relatively new. its a way to add an artificial sense of importance to a fight.

  12. Sampson Simpson on July 28th, 2013 8:34 PM

    That’s what it is.

    They would have to put all the headliners on FoxSports 1 to build up the viewership to levels that other sports drive. If they can do that and advertisers accept the product they have a big opportunity to re-up for big money.

    If they stay with the current format of big names only on PPV, it becomes a top heavy company relying on stars rather than the platform.

  13. BrainSmasher on July 28th, 2013 11:29 PM

    I think the UFC will get to that point in the future. But I don’t think PPV’s will ever drop down to that few events. With the UFC building other countries. It is a matter of time before they have to run many events in Europe, China, Brazil, Australia, Mexico, etc in addition to their North American events. That is a lot of fights and fighters. The only way to organize it would to keep it regional until they make the top 10 for example. Then PPV’s can be saved for Title fights and the highest level of contenders in each division. I think 8-10 PPV’s would be ideal. It would also give the UFC a chance to really draw big numbers eveny time out without people having to choose between PPVs’ which to buy not to mention they will be stacked.

  14. BrainSmasher on July 28th, 2013 11:39 PM

    A problem I see with an increase presence on Fox is the top fighters contracts. There has already been talk of fighters in the past with a PPV cut looking to piggyback events with big draws. How do you get big names who get a cut of PPV sales to fight on free tv? Part of it can be solved by larger fight pay. But fighters will always want a cut of the pie. The purpose of PPV cuts are to get the fighters to work to sell the fights. I feel that missing will cause problems at some point.

    With people DVRing tv to skip ads and more people watching online. How stable is Ad driven revenue? Right now it would better for the UFC to get a Big TV deal like a major College Football conference or NFL or NBA. That might not be the case10-15+ years from now. But at the same time the UFC wouldn’t be as effected by pirating as they are now. It would still go on. But it would be a part of a PPV revenue they are no longer solely dependent on.

  15. Machiel Van on July 29th, 2013 6:55 AM
  16. Sampson Simpson on July 29th, 2013 8:47 AM

    It’s pretty simple.

    You look to the left, look to the right, and realize that your top draws have no alternatives to make money. You dictate to them that their guaranteed pay might go up but there is no more PPV.

    Put those big bouts on FS1 and draw strong ratings = big leverage in 2019.

    As of right now their leverage is marginal since they are keeping their best bouts for PPV which FOX sees no benefit from. 5 million annual ppv buys X net $30 = $150 million or… $300 million guaranteed from FOX in 2019? hmmmmmmmmmm

  17. Random Dude on July 29th, 2013 11:55 AM

    Just goes to show that Spike TV was a better platform for pushing UFC ppvs than all of the FOX channels have been.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, both the UFC and Spike TV will regret breaking apart their relationship.

    Sampson’s idea about putting big bouts on FOX and FS1 is a good idea that might fix these problems since they left Spike, but the UFC can’t even stack their PPV cards let alone cable/broadcast cards.

  18. Sampson Simpson on July 29th, 2013 12:50 PM

    Their biggest problem is if their debt level, regular overhead, and repayment structure wouldn’t allow them to scale back the number of PPV’s within the proper time frame in order to increase their leverage.

    It happens all the time in business when a company cannot make the best moves due to having their hands tied in other aspects.

    Right now the UFC brand is hurting due to becoming overly reliant on the established names to drive PPV sales rather than the brand itself. It’s not a good shift and one must remember that PPV events can be replicated with names while platforms cannot. If I was running the UFC ship I would focus on the creating something unreplicable.

  19. BrainSmasher on July 29th, 2013 1:24 PM

    I agree the UFC is and has always been stuck in a position to push the brand rather than the fight. I believe under the circumstances it was the right thing to do. If you do it the other way around the fighters can leave and self promote like boxing. The only way to stop pushing the brand is a mega TV deal. Then a fighter and no other promotion could match the UFC platform to promote. Fight or even set up a meaningful match up. King of like someone in the NFL. If you leave who will you play? How will anyone see it or know about it? Then the uFC can’t build the fighters and the Brand will grow with them. But they need a better deal than they have now with Fox. But I would t cut out PPV. Atleast they can do an end of year PPV like WWE is moving to with Wrestle Mania while putting the rest on their channel. They can still go big on FOX but sell tons of PPVs each year with a super bowl event.

    The one problem I see if fighters might try to leave once they reCh a curtain level of popularity and put themselves on PPV. If the top fighter reaches the level of top boxers then it will be hard for the UFC to ever pay them as much as they can make on their own. So those might jump ship to PPV. We would just have to hope this doesnt happen and fighters take a little pay cut for the good of the sport. Which I do t have much faith it that happening.

  20. Sampson Simpson on July 29th, 2013 1:42 PM

    You obviously don’t get it. Cutting out PPV and putting these guys on FOX helps the UFC brand gain leverage over fox for a new 2019 contract. It’s a gamble in order to really make it to the big leagues.

    Do the simple math my mentally challenged friend. 5-7 million PPV buys netting $30 = $150-$200 Million net – whatever marketing costs are associated with PPV. That’s the number they would need from FOX in addition to the number they are generating right now ($90 million annually). $300 million annually is a reasonable figure to literally own a major sport.

    This would allow the UFC to up the guaranteed fighter pay significantly while decreasing their marketing costs/risks. Right now with the current model they are using, it will inevitably turn into boxing. The guys at the top will fight to get out in order to increase their earning potentials whether it’s the truth or not.

    Right now the UFC is in no man’s land. Too many PPVs and not enough high profile match-ups on the FOX outlets to increase the leverage. But I’m guessing that they have a plan to pull back a lot on PPVs over the coming years, it’d be stupid of them not to.

  21. aintitthetruth on July 29th, 2013 2:13 PM

    They definitely need less ppvs if they want casual fans to be able to keep track of what’s going on. for over 2 years now i just don’t have time to watch all these lame ppvs. most of us have school,work,a wife, i don’t have kids but that would make it that much worse. the worst are the non title ppvs. we need more mega ppvs like ufc 100. Can you imagine the buys if the ufc put jones,gsp and the silva weidman rematch on one card? Then get nick diaz on there vs a mcdonald type? then have sonnen on there hyping his main card fight? WOOOOO!!!! come on ufc its not that hard. I know injuries happen but just go for it.

  22. aintitthetruth on July 29th, 2013 2:22 PM

    Then have frank mir commentating. then a heavyweight on the card gets”hurt”. maybe slips and falls backstage and mir just comes down to fill in real quick as if he were jerry the king lawler. I’m telling you ufc is not working the entertainment angles even though white says he is all about entertainment and likes vinces business model.

  23. Sampson Simpson on July 29th, 2013 5:00 PM

    You can definitely tell that a lot of the UFC fans live in a TINY world when they don’t see an issue with more than 4 Pay-Per-View events per year.

    The fans should be clamoring for more free high-quality product to eventually gravitate towards the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB model. It’s the same thing that makes those sports so popular. Low cost and high accessibility.

  24. Random Dude on July 29th, 2013 5:32 PM

    $300 million from a network is definitely doable if the UFC could get it together and get their ratings back up. Brainsmasher should call up Dana and tell him to hire Sampson. But Dana and the Fertittas are too busy sucking as many pennies as they can get from PPV, the fighters, Station Casino workers, etc. to want to deal with the situation properly. Too bad they will end up damaging the sport of MMA with their bs.

  25. BrainSmasher on July 29th, 2013 6:44 PM

    The problem with your fantast is it takes ratings. Even with the big stars. I do think your idea is what the UFC plan to do. But to do that they would have to get huge ratings out of their stars to pay it worth giving up huge PPV buys. The first Fox event did great. But that was a first event. The UFC would have to assure that all their big PPV headliners would do as good or better ratings. I don’t think they would with all of the fighters. For example. I think GSP isn’t as popular as he has loyal followers. Those who like him will pay for him but there isn’t 10 million viewers who would watch his fight. Maybe there is for him. But there are other headliners who draw the hardcore MMA fans and sell good PPV’s who wouldn’t bring in mainstream viewers.

    So I think the UFC is trying to build up the fanbase for the sport with Fox and the smaller fighters. Once they get the fan base built up more. I think they could go ahead with that. But they have to build up the demand for MMA first. It just isn’t there to replace the PPV numbers yet. But I think events like this weeks FOX 8 card need to be drawing 4 million and the big names up towards 8-10 million. As the Fox deal progresses I think more fans will be created and it will grow other demographics to where this will be possible down the road.

  26. Sampson Simpson on July 30th, 2013 9:29 AM

    My fantasy? HAHAHAHAHA!

    My fantasy is that they keep doing what they’re doing and run themselves into the ground. I love the fact that they do so many PPVs that are lack-luster. I love that they do shit ratings on national television due to showcasing shit fighters.

    It’s hilarious. It’s also hilarious that you admit nobody would even care if they put their top draws on free television. It admitting to the fact that it is a TINY fan base with a crappy product.

  27. BrainSmasher on July 30th, 2013 12:54 PM

    The Education of Sampson Simpleton

    Running themselves into the ground? How is that? Their PPV numbers will be WAY up this year. Their events on FOX are on par with last year.

    People would care if the UFC put their top draws on network tv. BUt not enough to get the ratings they would need. Neither would boxers. Look at the low ratings every boxer but Manny and FMJ draw on Showtime or HBO. They couldn’t get high ratings either. It is arguable if even Manny or FMJ could draw the ratings need. Which would be over 10-15 million viewers.

    Only a fool would think all you have to do is throw Anderson Silva on for free and everyone would watch. Anyone who knows the top draws are already buying the PPV’s except a few. Putting them on for free would just get the people who were already paying for them. How would those who don’t buy PPV’s know anything about the top draws they may have never seen fight. That goes for the sport too. They have to build a following of those who are not buying PPV’s. To get the ratings it takes more than the PPV buying combat sports fan. That is what the UFC is building with their Fox events without bankrupting the company using Big draws and getting less ratings than they need.

    You have the business sense of a 5 year old. IF they cut the PPV model and dump all their stars on Network TV and the ratings are not high enough or The Network wont pay up. It will be to later to go back to PPV. After all everyone has been getting it for free. So it will basically kill the UFC and the sport. Good thing your low IQ isn’t running things. There isn’t enough boxing or MMA fans to keep either on Network TV and earn the money you are talking about. The problem with PPV is it limits the fanbase. As everyone saw when Boxing moved to PPV. People couldn’t follow it and Boxing’s fan base shrunk. MMA has always been on PPV and needs time on Network TV to reach more people.

    IF the media and ESPN get behind the MMA draws like that have for the Big PPVs like UFC 100 and Rampage vs Evans, etc. The ratings would be there. Because mainstream people tune in. But I don’t think that can be depended on consistently or for all the big MMA draws.

  28. Sampson Simpson on July 30th, 2013 2:53 PM

    Actually you are right, UFC and none of the “stars” in it are in demand enough to draw anything on Free TV. The general public has caught on to the VERY low quality product it churns out.

    Carry on eating worthless PPVs Dana

  29. BrainSmasher on July 30th, 2013 5:03 PM

    Dana must be doing something right. You are paying a aweful lot of attention his product. Stole you away from boxing. You are on this site multiple times a day, likely for hours at a time. Sounds like a pretty high quality product and you cant get enough of it.

  30. Sampson Simpson on July 30th, 2013 6:20 PM

    I don’t watch UFC on free tv or order PPVs it but I do study sports industry models. It’s very interesting to watch the rise and fall of the UFC that is for sure.

    I see an opportunity for them to drive ratings for FS1, not FOX. If they can average 2 million viewers to FS1 putting the top UFC stars on, that is leverage my small-brained stool pigeon. Just think of it… they can try to match the same numbers they did on Spike a few years back.

    The masses will never adopt UFC which is clear. I never meant for them to put their top stars on FOX as that would be a HUGE blunder and a clear indication that it’s a weak product to the general public as nobody but the frat boys care. But there are 2 million broke frat boys out there that the UFC should use to their advantage.

  31. BrainSmasher on July 30th, 2013 8:47 PM

    LMAO!!!! So the UFC can pull the same ratings on Cable that Fox paid them 90 mill per year to do. And you think Fox will give them 300 Mill per year? What a fool. If Fox was going to pay that for 2 million viewers. The UFC would already be getting that jackass.

    Before you “study” sports industry models. You might want to enroll in a junior college or something or maybe a trade school. Hell pre school would be a good start for you. You see a failing UFC that doesn’t exist and your prediction of Bellators ventures was borderline Nostradamus. HAHAHA!

  32. aintitthetruth on July 31st, 2013 7:54 AM

    Correct me if im wrong but i think sampson meant that fans would see the stars on fox and as a result watch more fox sports channel.That makes a lot of sense actually and i hadn’t considered that. maybe more people buy fuel as a result. bs you got told haha.

  33. Sampson Simpson on July 31st, 2013 9:31 AM

    This dude is so stupid it’s wonderful! He somehow thinks drawing 2 million viewers average to a new channel is easy and inherently what FOX believes FS1 expects the UFC to draw.

    If that’s the case, the ceiling is sky high and the UFC is essentially fucked. That’s music to these ears! Shittiest product on television by far anyhow

  34. BrainSmasher on July 31st, 2013 10:19 PM

    Truth that isn’t what we were talking about. I was talking about NOW. Yes down the road more people would watch eventually. But how long could the UFC last with zero PPV revenue while those big draws got shit ratings? If the ratings didn’t increase to a point to command the big Network deal then you will have essentially killed the sport of MMA. The UFC lost only 40 million before it started turning a profit. The UFC has made close to a half a billion in PPV sales($465 million) in some years. To cut out PPV from here on out to earn a bigger TV deal would cost them a couple Billion dollars in lost revenue. Which means they would be in the red by the end of the contract 500 million to 1 billion. Virtually impossible. The only way anything like this would ever be possible is to do it gradually over years. Add better and better fighters to the Fox cards over time until the ratings grow.

    Like I said before Simpleton. Welfare bums shouldn’t give business advise.

  35. Sampson Simpson on August 1st, 2013 8:32 AM

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! In other words… UFC = fucked.

    Wonderful

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