The viewer ratings on Versus for WEC 47 were released today and despite the bantamweight title being on the line, and other popular fighters such as Miguel Angel Torres and Jens Pulver being on the card the results are disappointing.

Just 373,000 viewers tuned into the event, the second lowest audience the promotions has experienced in two years.  worryingly the lowest audience during that time was just two events previously at WEC 45.

Here’s how it compares with the promotions other recent events on Versus.

  • WEC 41 (Brown vs. Faber II): 1,300,000
  • WEC 42 (Torres vs. Bowles): 670,000
  • WEC 43 (Cerrone vs. Henderson): 419,000
  • WEC 44 (Brown vs. Aldo): 414,000
  • WEC 45 (Cerrone vs. Ratciff): 330,000
  • WEC 46 (Varner vs. Henderson): 640,000
  • WEC 47 (Bowles vs. Cruz): 373,000

It’s not an idea scenario for the WEC as they now head towards their first ever pay per view event on April 17th.

On the plus side however WEC 48 will feature Urijah Faber in the headline bout, and he has proven to have a major effect on the ratings whenever he appears – including their record viewing ratings of 1.3 million at WEC 41, and a less dramatic, but still significant 640,000 when he fought on the main card at WEC 46.

In the longer term though it must be a concern that they do not appear to have a number of other stars who can consistently provide a significant ratings boost.

The results of last weekend’s card perhaps didn’t help in that regard.

For instance, when Miguel Torres was developing into a dominant champion at Bantamweight he generated the kind of buzz that drew a crowd, but just as his star was rising he lost his title to Brian Bowles by KO, and then on Saturday night was handed his second convincing defeat in a row by Joseph Benavidez.

Meanwhile WEC 48’s ratings also suggest that Bowles hasn’t captured people’s imaginations yet, and losing his title to Dominick Cruz means the division lacks the kind of consistency that would help to generate a notable following for a champion.

The WEC aren’t completely lacking in potential stars however.  Jose Aldo is the kind of young, exciting fighter that people want to see, particularly if he can keep his unbeaten run going.  Donald Cerrone meanwhile is already a charismatic crowd-pleasing fighter, and certainly one of the key figures in the promotion, though that hasn’t quite translated into major tv ratings for his fights though.

Only time will tell if they and others like them, can make the leap to become the WEC’s next superstar.  In the mean time the promotion will have to rely heavily on Urijah Faber to draw the kind of numbers that makes people sit up and take notice.

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