UFC on Fox 3 TV Ratings Signal Significant Drop

May 8, 2012
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UFC on FOX 3 posterThe Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday night held its third live event on “Big Fox.” UFC on Fox 3: Diaz vs. Miller took place at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J.

The fights were exciting. Nate Diaz submitted Jim Miller in the second round. Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks fought to a split decision. Alan Belcher and Lavar Johnson both scored impressive knockouts.

While the fights delivered inside the Octagon, not so much in competing for viewers.

UFC on Fox 3 signaled a continued drop in viewership for the promotion’s live events on the broadcast network, pulling in an average audience of 2.4 million viewers for the two-hour-and-10-minute broadcast, according to industry sources.

That is a significant drop from each of the UFC’s first two efforts on Fox.

UFC on Fox 1: dos Santos vs. Velasquez drew 5.7 million viewers, while the promotion’s sophomore effort, UFC on Fox 2: Evans vs. Davis culled 4.6 million viewers.

UFC on Fox has continued to develop over time. UFC on Fox 1 was a one-hour “introductory” offering that wasn’t part of the current TV deal between the UFC and Fox. It featured just one fight, the heavyweight title fight between Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez. Dos Santos captured the title with a one-minute knockout.

UFC on Fox 2 was a three-fight, two-hour-plus broadcast that featured Rashad Evans and Phil Davis in the main event, with a co-main event pitting Chael Sonnen vs. Michael Bisping, as well as Demian Maia vs. Chris Weidman.

The promotion returns to with UFC on Fox 4 on Aug. 4 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard squares off with UFC middleweight contender Brian Stann in the main event. Will it be enough to pick the ratings back up?

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  • That time slot is horrible, the show started at 5pm (PT). Nobody is watching TV at 5pm on a Saturday. I don’t know why they didn’t bump it up two hours and start the main card at 7pm (PT).

  • phrankthetank

    1st event was for the title, 2nd event has rashad Evans and chael sonnen, 3rd event had Nate Diaz and koscheck. No offense to the fighters but they need to use fighters with more drawing power on “big fox”

    • AdamBianski

      I think they had it in the first fight, it was just very foolish (and Dana being a cocky PRICK) to only put one fight on T.V. It turned a lot of people off that there was way more talking then fighting.

  • KBEsq

    This is disappointing. I was hoping for the opposite news. I’m wondering if the UFC needs to put PPV names on the Fox cards to get ratings. I don’t think they wanted to move the fight up for two reasons, though. First, this was an East Coast show, so that would make it start at 10 p.m. in the East (if they wanted to keep it live in the West), and second, they probably didn’t want to compete with Mayweather.

    This was an amazing card, but probably only to hardcore MMA fans. Not that I know 1/100 of what White and the Fertittas know about marketing, but I think they should put a marque PPV fight on the fox cards to draw

    • AdamBianski

      I agree if they want it to be a huge event have it at Cowboys Stadium (im not sure of the actual name) and have Jones or Silva fight. The problem with that is Dana and the others no that everyone will always pay the money for the big names so they think they will lose alot of money on ppv to put a big fight on FOX.

  • RonnieV

    I agree with KBEsq, of the three FOX cards that was by far the most entertaining. All four fights were good. Time slot & star power were the obvious reasons for decline.

  • kjoklj

    Another huge factor people are forgetting is UFC’s demographic. 18-34 year old males. I am pretty sure most 18-34 year old males were out partying for Cinco De Mayo. A combination of Cinco De Mayo, Not enough mainstream star power and the Mayweather fight contributed to the low ratings. Although it was a great fight Nate Diaz and Jim Miller do not have enough star power to draw huge numbers


    i think the reason for the decline in viewers is simply that the first 2 ufc on fox cards weren’t that good, so the casual fans weren’t that interested in the third one.

  • This shouldnt be surprising considering the matches involved. Of course the heavyweight championship and the double contendership fights of the first two would do better than this one. Don’t expect much from the next one either.

  • Sup everyone.
    UFC on Fox 3 was my first UFC on Fox event but I have been following UFC for 3 years.

    I have to agree that the timeslot is pretty bad. Saturday night is a “going out” night but pushing it back a couple hours would have helped draw a larger crowd.

  • dontayjohnson

    Ratings weren’t very good for any of the 4 major networks that night, and the UFC did win the 18-49 demo. So will they consider it pretty good all things considered or feel the need to add a major fight to the next one?