Not so according to the overnight figures for the premier of UFC Primetime: GSP Vs Hardy last night on Spike TV. According to mmapayout.com the first episode drew one milllion viewers, a record for the show.
‘Primetime’ originally launched in early 2009, giving viewers an insight into the build-up and preperations for the eagerly anticipated GSP Vs BJ Penn rematch back in January of ’09.
Back then the debut episode pulled in 880,000 viewers, and the UFC 94 card the bout featured on went on to do a highly impressive 1.1 million buys.
The fact that GSP Vs Hardy, which is undoubtedly a less enticing and meaningful fight, has drawn significantly better numbers must be welcome news for UFC officials.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why the show has started so strongly. As far as I could see there wasn’t a great deal of hype in the build-up to the premiere – in fact I was surprised at how little of a promotional push it received.
The premiere’s success could however indicate that after a large number of injury ravaged cards, MMA fans are now hungry for the stacked cards, title fights and major stars that are now being lined up for them in the coming weeks and months as the UFC finally gets back to firing on cylinders.
The series will continue with a further two parts in the coming weeks leading up to the fight on March 27th.
The first episode airs in the UK on Saturday night at 12.30a.m on ESPN UK.