UFC Fight Night 35 drew an average of 629,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1 this past Wednesday night.
That’s the second lowest audience for a live event on the channel to date – perhaps not surprising given that while the fight card for the event was fairly solid and provided good entertainment, it did lack in star power and the two headliners were each coming off a loss.
The fact that is was also a Wednesday night event and hadn’t received much publicity beforehand also contributed to the lackluster rating.
immediately following the event was the premiere of TUF Nations: Canada Vs Australia and it only managed an average audience of 371,000 viewers.
By comparison, the TUF 18 premiere last year drew 762,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1. It’s perhaps not fair to compare them though since TUF Nations is a lower tier version compared to the standard editions of TUF, being primarily targeted at the two nations the show features and that’s reflected in the fact that the season coaches, Patrick Cote and Kyle Noke, aren’t exactly marquee stars.
Still, the UFC and FOX Sports may have well have been hoping that the premiere would have performed better given that it had the live ‘Fight Night’ card as a lead-in, and that does leave a question mark over what kind of numbers we might see in the coming weeks when there’s not a live show proceeding it.
Overall, it’s a little disappointing that after the highs of UFC 168, which saw even the preliminary card on fS1 do 1.5 million viewers, that the numbers have fallen steeply.
That’s the nature of the beast nowadays though as the UFC attempts to ramp up the number of events and TV shows it’s doing, meaning that they aren’t always going to be must-see TV and fans are clearly picking and choosing which one’s they want to tune in for.