The TV ratings for Saturday night’s UFC 205 preliminary card are in and show that an average of 1,801,000 viewers tuned in on FOX Sports 1.
Following Saturday night’s show in New York City, UFC president Dana White had said that the UFC 205 event was breaking records left, right and center, but at that stage he was still waiting on the FS1 numbers, believing that they would also set a new highwater mark for the company.
However, that didn’t quite prove to be true, with UFC 205’s prelims ending up as the third highest in their history, with UFC 194: Aldo Vs McGregor’s prelims, headined by Urijah Faber Vs Frankie Saenz remaining the most watched ever with 1,931,000 viewers, while UFC 196: McGregor Vs Diaz’s prelims, headlined by Siyar Badahurzara Vs Brandon Thatch drew 1,843,000.
White had appeared convinced that UFC 205 would outdo those two shows, and there’s no doubt that Saturday’s show had a much stronger preliminary line-up, with Frankie Edgar Vs Jeremy Stephens headlining, while Khabib Nurmagomedov Vs Michael Johnson was also a compelling match-up.
However, the prelims had suffered a blow earlier in the week when a major middleweight fight between Rashad Evans and Tim Kennedy fell through.
So, does the lower than expected TV ratings indicate that the UFC 205 pay-per-view event has also not done as well as the record breaking numbers White has indicated he’s anticipating?
Not really. The prelim numbers are a useful indicator, but it’s worth noting that the current 1.7 million PPV buys record held by UFC 202 earlier this year came on a night where the prelims were watch by just 1.3 million viewers.