UFC on Fox 5 Sold Out; Will TV Ratings Follow?

November 1, 2012
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Following a strong showing in its initial UFC on Fox broadcast a year ago – drawing 5.7 million viewers – the TV ratings for subsequent UFC on Fox broadcasts have declined, leading many to question why.

UFC on Fox 2 slipped slightly to 4.6 million viewers, while UFC on Fox 3 and 4 each pulled in a relatively disappointing 2.4 million viewers.

Has the MMA bubble burst? Are there just too many UFC events? Are the fight cards lacking? Has Fox dropped the ball on promotion?

To be fair, the UFC and Fox haven’t yet even completed the first year of their seven-year broadcasting agreement. The programming spans across several networks, primarily Fox, FX, and Fuel TV.

In short, this partnership is very much still a work in progress.

As they head into UFC on Fox 5 in December, however, things are looking up; at least if ticket sales are any indicator.

“Hell yes, I am. I’m very excited for that card,” UFC president Dana White replied when asked about UFC on Fox 5. “The thing sold out already.”

Of course, you would expect White to say he’s excited about the card, but the bigger indicator is that it is already sold out.

Whether or not that translates into the almighty TV ratings turnout, and particularly in the key advertising demographics, when the show hits the “Big Fox” airwaves on Dec. 8 remains to be seen.

The UFC on Fox 5 main card features only the second title fight in five events to hit the Fox screen. UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson puts his belt on the line against Nate Diaz. The headliner is bolstered by a supporting cast that features Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Alexander Gustafsson, a light heavyweight contenders bout; welterweight prospect Rory MacDonald welcoming back future UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn; and original Ultimate Fighter alum Mike Swick squaring off with fellow TUF vet Matt Brown.

UFC on Fox 5 has already delivered at the gate. Will it deliver on TV, too?

  • stevemcz11

    Main event will probably be boring. Ben Henderson just stands still and moves backwards too much

  • Scotty_O

    Can you ever tell by that poster that Bud Light is an official sponsor ,

  • bajafox

    I would have paid for this fight

  • BobLemons

    Yeah, this card is better than most recent PPV’s with some nice undercard fights too..

  • Mark McDowall

    This card is better than a majority of the recent PPV’s. I think UFC is putting more emphasis on Fox cards than PPV’s. When was the last PPV that had 4 plus good fights on it??

  • Daniel Dieringer

    I got my ticket! and if someone drops out ill fight for free.

  • stevemcz11

    Shogun vs Gustaffson or Penn vs Macdonald for fight of the night. Probably Shogun vs Gustaffson because Penn probably wont show up and will send a fat lazy replacement instead. If Penn was motivated he would be fighting at lightweight but he wont cut the weight. Macdonald will not stand with him he will lay in his guard or push him against the fence for the decision

  • George Sperry

    I gave up TV, too expensive. Good luck UFC I am enjoying other MMA events on the ‘net.