The UFC was quite ambitious this past weekend, featuring fight cards back to back on FX Friday and Saturday. The question is how did their tactics fair in the ratings? Well, certain portions turned in above average ratings, while others were a bit cold. Starting Friday, Fuel had the prelims air from the UFC on FX 6 card. The prelims were only the third highest out of six shows with 96,000 viewers, but it’s good considering they nearly doubled the number of the 5th FX card, which pulled in 44,000 viewers.
The actual fight card did not do so well though, registering a series low of 972,000 when every other FX card has done well over a million. Some of this can be attributed to the card being filled with mostly unknowns. Hector Lombard may be known by the hardcore MMA fan, but the casual fan may only know of him from his lackluster debut against Tim Boestch. The next two slots were filled by an international season of the Ultimate Fighter which people may have also not heard of, followed by a headline between two fighters coming off losses, who are not the biggest names (Sotiropoulos vs. Pearson). The card was more of a first step in expanding to the Aussie viewer.
Moving into Saturday, the UFC aired the TUF U.S. Finale. The Fuel prelims improved upon UFC on FX 6 number by doing 104,000, but that is still down from the last season of the Ultimate Fighter which pulled in 165,000. Luckily, the main card did a lot better. The main card pulled in the season’s best numbers by attracting 1.3 million viewers, and that improved upon the last season of The Ultimate Fighter, which only pulled in a million.
You add these numbers to the great airing that the UFC had on FOX a few weeks ago you can see why the UFC’s distributor is happy with their MMA partnership. For those of you who do not know, UFC on FOX 5 averaged 4.4 million viewers, with the fight card peaking with nearly 6 million for the title fight main event between Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione. Not bad for a show that was once considered human cockfighting.