UFC On FOX 24 drew an average of just 1.74 million viewers on ‘big’ FOX this past Saturday night based on the overnight ratings.
That’s the lowest overnight number in the history of the ‘UFC On FOX’ series, which is unfortunate as it turned out to be a very good night of fights.
It should however be noted that we won’t know the final ratings until later this week, and traditionally when everything is taken into account these tend to be a little higher than the overnights.
The blame for the underwhelming ratings will likely fall on main event star Demetrious Johnson’s lack of star power, even though his exhilerating submission victory over Wilson Reis led some, including UFC President Dana White to declare that he is hands-down the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport.
That being said, while Johnson has never been a pay-per-view draw, he’s put together more respectable numbers while headlining on FOX in the past, doing 3.77 million for a fight with John Dodson, 2.04 million against John Moraga and 2.41 million in a rematch with Joseph Benavidez.
Those fights all took place back in 2013 though, and since then Johnson has continued to be an unstoppable force at flyweight, so pitting him against a fighter in Weis who was largely unknown to the casual fan base and wasn’t expected to pose a serious challenge to the champion may have dampened enthusiasm for the card.
Meanwhile, since defeating Paige VanZant in the main event of the last UFC On FOX show, Michelle Waterson had been getting something of a promotional push ahead of her co-main event fight with Rose Namajunas, but that didn’t seem to have an effect on the ratings and she ended up losing on the night.
The UFC had also just reupped their deal with Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza ahead of the final fight on his deal to fend off getting into a bidding war with Bellator, but his presence on Saturday night’s card also had a negligble affect on the ratings and he too suffered a loss.
The only consolation prize for the UFC and FOX will be that those who did tune in to watch the show will almost certainly have left feeling that their time had been well spent.