The UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch preliminary bouts that aired live on Ion Television on Saturday night drew an average of 714,000 viewers, according to industry sources. That number is a slight drop from UFC 125, which averaged 829,000 viewers for the broadcast network.
UFC 127 marked the second time that Ion carried UFC prelims. UFC 125 was, of course, the first.
Unlike Spike TV, the UFC’s main basic cable television partner, who usually airs two live bouts on its preliminary coverage, Ion once again squeezed three fights on air. Those bouts featured Ross Pearson defeating Spencer Fisher, Alexander Gustafsson submitting James Te Huna, and Nick Ring getting a controversial nod over Riki Fukuda.
Ion has averaged 771,500 viewers over its two showings of UFC prelims. Spike TV, by comparison, has averaged 1.46 million viewers over 13 episodes of prelims on the network. UFC 126 on Spike TV recently drew a record average of 2.0 million viewers.