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Without Urijah Faber, WEC Ratings on Versus Are Weak

Saturday night's WEC 47 show on Versus featured promotional videos for Urijah Faber's upcoming fight, commercials starring Faber and an interview with Faber. In fact, it felt like Faber was on the TV screen more than any of the fighters who actually fought on the card.

The reason for that is simple: Faber is, by far, the WEC's biggest draw, and the success of his pay-per-view bout against Jose Aldo next month will go a very long way toward determining what kind of promotion the WEC is going forward.

MMA Junkie passes along the news that WEC 47 got a 0.46 household rating and 373,000 viewers on Versus, a 42 percent decline in viewership from WEC 46, which had Faber on the card. Overall, using the MMA Junkie numbers, in the last two years WEC cards that had Faber on them have averaged 936,000 viewers on Versus. WEC cards without Faber averaged 479,000 viewers.

I expect the WEC 48 pay-per-view to turn a profit for the promotion because Faber vs. Aldo is an excellent fight, because Zuffa will do a good job of promoting it and because Faber is very popular. But if the plan going forward is to have cards with Faber on pay-per-view and cards without him on Versus, WEC audiences of less than half a million people will become the norm.

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