The ratings for Saturday's UFC on FOX show were well below average for the series, but they weren't as bad as the initials numbers that came out Sunday morning indicated.
The show delivered a 1.6 rating and 2.5 million viewers. Of the 10 previous shows on the network, it beat out three of them and was behind the other seven. However, of the five specials that took place outside of football season over the past three years, it was the second highest rated and most-viewed, trailing only last year's April show. That show had a far stronger lineup with Benson Henderson defending the lightweight title against Gilbert Melendez, the Strikeforce champion in the division when the promotion closed, plus support of Daniel Cormier vs. Frank Mir and Josh Thomson vs. Nate Diaz.
The overnight numbers for Saturday were the lowest the show had done to date, with 1.99 million viewers. The reason for the major difference is because the overnights only measure the 8-10 p.m. time slot across the country, meaning that whatever programming aired in that slot on the West Coast (where the UFC show aired from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) was figured into that number, nor was most of the main event figured in.
The Fabricio Werdum vs. Travis Browne main event, most of which took place after 10 p.m., did a 2.0 rating and 3.3 million viewers. The inclusion of the main event also took the show from third place in the 18-49 demo for the night to tying ABC for first place on network TV. It was second in Males 18-49 overall, behind NBA playoff coverage on ESPN. Had the main event itself been considered a separate half hour show, it would have been in the top five in Males 18-34 among prime time shows for the past week among all network broadcasts.
While down from a 1.9 rating and 3.22 million viewers for the Jan. 26 airing, headlined by Benson Henderson vs. Josh Thomson, the UFC on FOX events always do significantly better during football season, since they are heavily promoted on NFL and college broadcasts with a high concentration of adult male viewers.
Last year's two shows outside of football season were the April show, which did a 2.2 rating and 3.74 million viewers, and a July show headlined by Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga for the flyweight title, which did a 1.5 rating and 2.38 million viewers.
The prelims on FS 1 did a 0.49 rating and 521,000 viewers. That's down from a 0.60 rating and 713,000 viewers in January.