UFC 190’s preliminary coverage was watched by an average of 1,322,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1 this past Saturday night.
That’s an impressive number, ranking as the third most watched PPV preliminary card ever on FS1. The coverage actually peaked even higher at 1,599,000 viewers during a fight between Patrick Cummins and Rafael ‘Feijao’, rather than the ‘main event’ of the prelims between Demian Maia and Neil Magny.
There’s a growing sense that the UFC 190 pay-per-view event may have done far better than anyone had anticpated, powered by a remarkable level of interest in main event superstar Ronda Rousey, and even the pre and post-fight numbers point to that.
The pre-fight show pulled in 518,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1, the third highest in pre-fight history, while the post-fight coverage produced 438,000 viewers, the second highest ever for that show.
Beyond that two FOX Sports 1 records were broken on Friday night when a ‘Main Event’ replay of Rousey Vs Tate II delivered 388,000 viewers – the highest ever for that show – while ‘UFC Tonight’ directly after that focused on Rousey to deliver an audience of 396,000 viewers, also a record for the news-based program.
Rousey exceeded expectations for her previous fight with Cat Zingano at UFC 184 which wasn’t expected to be much of a needle-mover, yet drew 600,000 PPV buys, indicating that the woman’s bantamweight champion was really starting to grow into a serious draw for the company.
However, while it’s still too early to say for sure, initial reports are suggesting that Rousey’s star power may have propelled Saturday’s event far higher than that, and perhaps even beyond the blockbuster UFC 189 event featuring the promotion’s other premium draw at this moment in time, Conor McGregor, which is currently rumored to have done in or around 1 million PPV buys.
If true that would be an astonishing achievement given that there was far less of a promotional push and pre-fight hype from the UFC for this event compared to McGregor’s latest outing and that Rousey was an overwhelming favorite to emerge victorious against Bethe Correia.
It’s slightly less surprising than it would have been to hear that news before Saturday night’s show though as post-fight the level of coverage Rousey has received has been nothing short of staggering and has almost been almost unavoidable whether you are an MMA fan or not as the mainstream media gorges on her latest victory and social media melts down with shares of all 34 seconds of her awe-inspiring KO stoppage.
There’s now talk that Rousey Vs Tate III could feature alongside McGregor Vs Aldo at Dallas Cowboys stadium in December which if true could send PPV numbers to astronomical levels, and the mind boggles at the numbers they could produce if they ever finally manage to get Rousey and Cris ‘Cyborg’ into the Octagon together.
Welcome to the Ronda Rousey era!