Saturday night’s ‘World Series Of Fighting 2’ event drew an average of 210,000 viewers on NBC Sports.
That’s up 12,000 viewers from their debut event on the channel last year, while an additional replay pulled in 140,000 viewers and 200,000 watched via an online stream.
These aren’t great numbers – falling into the range of Bellator’s older shows on MTV2 – but they are higher than most of NBC Sports shows get.
Saturday night’s show featured two of the highest profile fighters on the WSOF roster in the main event: Andrei Arlovski and Anthony Johnson.
This was Arlovski’s second time headlining, but they’ll need to rethink their strategy now after his loss and the fact that as he’s going to be out for a considerable amount of time due to the badly broken jaw he suffered during the fight.
It’s likely that they’ll look to put another former UFC fighter Jon Fitch in the main event next time out, but while he’s certainly well known his wrestle-heavy fighting style is not generally considered fan-friendly and could prove to be a turn off ratings wise.
Meanwhile, WSOF have work to do behind the scenes before their next show to ensure it goes more smoothly after a number of gaffes during Saturday’s show.
For instance, the first round of the Arlovski Vs Johnson fight went on for aprox 10 seconds longer than it should have – right around the time when Arlovski had his jaw broken. Later a commercial break following the second round resulted in viewers missing the first 15 seconds of the final round, while some eagle-eyed fans spotted that Arlovski was actually wearing UFC branded gloves during the fight.
The commentary team was also having a bad night with former WEC commentator Todd Harris calling Jon Fitch, ‘Aaron Fitch’, and mixing up the chronology of Paulo Filho’s fighting career, claiming that he’d fought for the WEC first and then moved to PRIDE.
Color-commentator Bas Rutten was also off his game, making one of the night’s biggest blunders when he asked lightweight fighter Justin Gaethje if he’d fight Fitch next, leading to a painfully awkward moment as Gaethje explained that they were fighting in different weight classes.
These kind of mistakes reflect badly on the event as a whole and so it’s important that they make sure the next event goes through without a hitch as they try to establish a foothold in the MMA landscape.