In an interesting turn of fate, the UFC’s most all-around entertaining fight card offered on Fox also pulled in their lowest ratings on the network to date.
The fact that the show, UFC on Fox 3: Diaz vs. Miller, aired on Cinco de Mayo just before a Floyd Mayweather pay-per-view and featured no title fights or grudge matches (just a few very entertaining match ups between great fighters), very likely impacted the show’s viewership.
While it certainly can’t be measured an overwhelming success, UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta points out that one night of bad ratings isn’t a death knell for the sport on network TV.
“Would we like to see the numbers be trending differently? Yes, of course,” Fertitta said. “But we’re not concerned and we don’t think it’s an overall reflection of our business. There are reasons for it. If you think about it, for the first [Fox] fight we had a massive amount of promotion within the NFL on Fox. And we led with our big show, the heavyweight championship, so of course, we were going to draw a much broader range of viewers.
“The fight in January in Chicago actually performed pretty well, even though it was a little below the first one. It was still super solid. This last show, I’d say it was a moderate performance. Really, what we’re looking at is, ‘How did we rank within the competition compared to what was going on that night?’ And in hindsight, going on Cinco de Mayo may not have been the best thing to do.”
UFC on Fox 4 is expected to take place on August 4 and will feature a similar lineup of solid matchups with no titles on the line or juicy storylines.