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UFC 163 Prelims TV Ratings Suffer From Lack of Promotion and Difficult Summer Season

Posted on by MMAWeekly.com Staff

UFC-163-poster-478x270 UFC 163: Aldo vs. Korean Zombie failed to drive much interest heading into Saturday’s pay-per-view event, which emanated from Rio de Janeiro, and that was reflected in the TV ratings for the preliminary bout broadcast on FX.

The UFC 163 Prelims on FX attracted an audience of 1,000,000 viewers for the four-bout, two-hour broadcast.

UFC 163 admittedly suffered from a lack of promotional attention overall with the launch of Fox’s new nationwide sports network, Fox Sports 1, and the re-branding of Fuel TV to Fox Sports 2, receiving the lion’s share of the media giant’s focus. That coupled with the general difficulty in drawing a summertime viewing audience left UFC 163 fighting an uphill battle.

The lowest ratings the prelims on FX have ever drawn was 880,000 for its first airing, which was for UFC 142 early last year.

The prelims have dipped below the 1,000,000-viewer mark a few times in the past, but have averaged 1.26 million viewers per event since the initial UFC 142 preliminary bout broadcast on FX.

The lackluster TV ratings wasn’t reflective of fighter effort. The UFC 163 preliminary bout broadcast featured all the bonus winners for the event.

Anthony Perosh won Knockout of the Night honors with his 14-second knockout of Vinny Magalhaes, Sergio Moraes finished Neil Magny with a triangle choke for the Submission of the Night, and Ian McCall won a unanimous decision victory over Iliarde Santos in the Fight of the Night.

UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo defended his belt by stopping Chan Sung Jung in the fourth round of their bout, which served as the UFC 163 main event on pay-per-view.

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  • jbroce

    Your analysis is totally off. When you dont care about the main card, youre not going to watch the prelims. This will probably be the lowest buyrate UFC of the year. Thats why this wasnt watched. No one was home waiting to watch the PPV.

    • Served

      You’re wrong too. Your premise is correct in that less interest in main card generally leads to lower ratings for prelims. However, in this case, the prelims for this PPV were even LOWER then what they should’ve been. Case in point, the buyrate and overall views are NOT the lowest.

      The biggest reasons for this prelims rating to be this low was b/c the actual prelims were still carried by all relatively unknown BRAZILIANS. To the general UFC audience, there wasn’t a SINGLE recognizable fighter. The closest would be Ian McCall’s moustache.

      Normally, the UFC will throw in a higher profile fighter (or at least a popular TUF vet), such as a Chris Leben, Melvin Guillard, or at least some heavyweights like a Dave Herman, Gonzaga, etc… not Vinny Magalhaes.

      Summer show didn’t help the ratings much either.

  • The Best Eva

    That’s what happens when you put great fights on for free, people won’t pay for the cheesy PPV’s.

  • Maddawgmar

    The issue is the lack of recognizable names. Other than avid fans no one has ever heard of an Ian McCall or Anthony Perosh. This card was catered to Brazillian fans, a lot of names only recognizable to them or avid fans. There needs to be fighters that casual fans know and would draw them in.

    • Served

      exactly. it was about the huge attending crowd.

      UFC made sure a Brazilian was in EVERY SINGLE fight. Lot of the fighters were in TUF Brazil which WASN’T even broadcasted in the US.

  • Kbroesq

    I have purchased EVERY UFC on PPV for the last 6 years and this was the first card I did not purchase. The card had absolutely no depth to it. I wanted to see Aldo/Zombie and Davis/Machida, but the card fell of a cliff after that. I consider myself to be a hardcore MMA fan, but I hadn’t even heard of a lot of the guys fighting on the main card. I cannot remember the last time that happened.

    I have no idea how UFC marketing works, but when they put a card in Brazil or the UK, do they just hope to coast on the local ratings they’re going to get? From what I understand, Brazilians don’t even pay for the PPV events, but maybe there is some kind of advertising going on that makes the UFC not care about US ratings when they put on an international card that they know will carry itself locally.