UFC 178’s preliminary coverage of FOX Sports 1 drew an average of 698,000 viewers this past Saturday night, peaking with 744,000 viewers.
That’s up significantly from the dismal 436,000 viewers that UFC 177’s prelims drew on the same channel, but it’s still slightly below the average for 2014 as a whole so far for the UFC’s preliminary coverage which comes in at 726,000 viewers.
It’s disappointing that the UFC 178 prelims didn’t draw a larger audience as it was actually a relatively stacked prelim by the promotion’s standards with plenty of familiar faces including former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz’s long awaited return to action against Takeya Mizugaki, along with the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, Patrick Cote, Brian Ebersole and John Howard.
On paper it looked comparable to a main card on a ‘UFC Fight Night’ show, but for whatever reason it didn’t capture the public’s attention on the night.
That perhaps doesn’t bode well for the main card which aired on pay-per-view since it’s biggest selling point was it’s strength in depth across the line-up as a whole rather than the main event flyweight title fight between Demetrious Johnson and Chris Cariaso which had attracted very little interest in the build-up to the event.