The early estimates for UFC 167’s pay-per-view rate are in courtesy of The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer and suggest that between 600-650,000 fans paid to witness one of the fights of the year between Georges St.Pierre and Johny Hendricks.
If so, that makes it the second biggest UFC PPV of the year so far, but nonetheless would have to be considered something of a disappointment given that GSP has been consistently racking up 700,000+ for his fights over the past five years, and drew 1 million viewers on pay-per-view earlier this year for his fight with Nick Diaz at UFC 158.
UFC 167 had all the makings of a big event with GSP and Hendricks headlining, Chael Sonnen Vs Rashad Evans taking the co-main event slot and Robbie Lawler Vs Rory MacDonald offering a strong third fight, while the fact that this was the promotion’s 20th anniversary show added extra spice to the proceedings.
So, on paper it had the right ingredients to be a big success, but perhaps the biggest difference between this one and something like UFC 158 was that there was no real heat between GSP and Hendricks as there was when he fought Diaz.
Given that some of the UFC’s other recent shows haven’t exactly set the world on fire (at least in terms of PPV numbers – the actual action inside the Octagon has been first class at times in recent months) that also lends weight to the argument that the switch from FX to FOX Sports 1, which resulted in a dip in TV ratings for the promotion, has actually been detrimental to them.
‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is a phrase that seems to apply here, and it’s going to continue to be a concern for the UFC as they head into their busiest year yet in 2014.
Of course there’s the small matter of UFC 168 before then and Dana White has been bullish about the fact that the event’s headline attraction featuring a rematch between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman is going to be the biggest PPV they’ve ever done.
While there’s no doubting it’s a huge fight and will be ably backed up by Ronda Rousey’s rematch with rival TUF coach Miesha Tate in the co-main event, the recent ratings trend suggest that White’s estimation could end up being well wide of the mark.
UFC PPV Buys In 2013:
UFC 156: 330,000
UFc 157: 450,000
UFC 158: 1,000,000
UFC 159: 550,000
UFC 160: 380,000
UFC 161: 150,000
UFC 162: 550,000
UFC 163: 170,000
UFC 164: 270,000
UFC 165: 325,000
UFC 166: 330,000
UFC 167: 625,000 (Early Estimate)