WSOF viewership shows slight increase over first effort


The World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 's second show, WSOF II, on Saturday night saw numbers increase from the 198,000 figure from their first show to 210,000. The bad news, however, is that Andrei Arlovski, the company's best-known fighter and who both shows were built around as the headliner, lost. He is unlikely to be able to headline next time out.

The Andrei Arlovski-led World Series of Fighting's second outing on Saturday night saw a slight increase in ratings from the initial WSOF show on November 3.

Arlovski (19-10), who held the UFC heavyweight championship for a 14-month period during 2005 and 2006, headlined both shows. The first saw him beat Devin Cole via first round stoppage. Saturday, he lost a decision to a blown up light heavyweight, Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson (16-4).

Saturday's show did a 0.19 rating and 210,000 viewers on NBC Sports, beating the 198,000 viewers who watched the initial show live.

But overall, the show has shown more strength. A replay immediately following did another 140,000 viewers, up from 80,000 for a replay of the first show. In addition, the promotion claims to have had another 200,000 viewers that saw the show online.

The event also aired on Univision Deportes with ratings not yet available.

The viewership would be well above what most programming on the station gets, but it is still a little below the 270,000 range that boxing telecasts on the network were getting in 2012.

NBC Sports, formerly known as Versus, was the home for World Extreme Cagefighting from 2007 to 2010. The WSOF ratings were well below that WEC, the home for smaller fighters, was doing. WEC ranged from 300,000 viewers on the low end to as much as 1.45 million viewers when Urijah Faber was the headliner.

The WSOF will now face a challenge in its third show, since it would be difficult for Arlovski to headline coming off a loss, particularly since he didn't look good in the process. When the promotion started, Arlovski and former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Angel Torres, were pushed as the biggest stars. But Torres lost his debut fight to Marlon Moraes, and was not brought back on the second show.

The company's third show is scheduled for June 14, a Friday, to avoid going head-to-head with a UFC pay-per-view show the next night from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Saturday's card showcased an impressive newcomers to television in lightweight Justin Gaethje (8-0), as well as a second impressive win for Moraes (10-4-1). But neither are well known.

There were hints on the broadcast of a main event next time that would feature the debut of Jon Fitch. Fitch (27-5-1, 1 no contest), a legitimate top ten in the world welterweight who was recently cut by UFC, was hinted on television to be facing Josh Burkman (25-9), who looked impressive in finishing Aaron Simpson in just 3:04 of the first round at Saturday's WSOF II. That fight is not official.

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