The UFC aired their final event on Spike TV on December, the UFC 141 ‘Prelim’s Live’ special, and they ended on a high note as an average of 1.8 million viewers tuned in for the broadcast.
That makes it the second most watched prelim show on the network since they began airing the specials in September of 2009, with only UFC 126’s audience of 2 million outdoing it.
Those who watched the broadcast live saw Ross Pearson defeat Rafael Assuncao and Danny Castillo get the better of Anthony Njokuani, both by decision.
There’s a couple of reasons for the impressive ratings.
For one thing there would have been more interest and promotion around this event as a whole than usual since it was headlined by the sport’s biggest draw Brock Lesnar.
The event was also airing on a Friday for the first time, and the fact it came on the day before New Years Eve means that there may well have been more people staying at home than usual.
From now on the UFC’s preliminary broadcasts will air primarily on Fuel TV where the numbers are expected to be far lower, to begin with at least, as the channel is not well known yet and has a much smaller reach than Spike TV.
While that may seem like a step down for the promotion, they also now have access to both FOX and FX which are considerably more popular than Spike TV, and as their new deal progresses Fuel TV’s audience should expand rapidly.