The past few days, North American sports coverage has focused on college basketball, as the annual NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament concluded with yet another win for perennial power Duke University.
As the tradition goes, it was yet another “One Shining Moment” for the Blue Devils.
Of course, there were some great moments to be had for fight fans too — with offerings from all three major combat sports.
Unfortunately, the ratings are in — and they’re not exactly shining.
As far as quality goes, the class of the bunch (in my humble opinion) was the GLORY 20 kickboxing event from Dubai, which aired on Friday night in the US. But it netted an average of only 359,000 viewers for the SPIKE TV broadcast, which was on tape delay beginning at 10 pm ET/PT.
That’s substantially lower than GLORY 19, which netted 542,000 viewers. That event, which aired live from Oklahoma, enjoyed GLORY’s best numbers since 2013 and had many of us hopeful for continued success.
Dave Walsh of LiverKick.com writes that the numbers still show signs of hope, though:
“The good to take away from this is that from what we’ve seen 350,000 viewers for GLORY on Spike seems to be the baseline, which for a sport that is relatively new to a major market like this is not a bad number at all. In the future, though, I would like to see GLORY veer away from these kinds of events that will end up on tape delay… While it’s nice to claim to be a global promotion, if the cost is running a show that didn’t particularly draw much attention in the area and hurt ratings I don’t think that it’s worth the risk moving forward.”
The numbers for UFC Fight Night 63, which aired live on FOX Sports 1 Saturday morning to afternoon, were also down. The broadcast scored an average of 389,000 viewers, while the previous Ultimate Fight Night enjoyed an average of 617,000.
Jason Cruz of MMA Payout describes the low numbers as due to the early start time, the competition (a boxing event on CBS and college basketball), and the event’s coinciding with Easter weekend.