Esther Lin for MMA Fighting
According to reports from Tatame.com, 12 million Brazilian households watched UFC 153 featuring Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar on the Globo TV network. Continued strong ratings should make the UFC's plans to put together a series of "regional" cards in Brazil in 2013 more likely.
Tatame.com is reporting that over 12 million households tuned in live for UFC 153 on Globo TV. It's hard to get a good comparison with the last two UFC's held in Brazil. UFC 147 drew a reported 20 million Brazilian viewers and UFC 142 was watched by a reported 23 million in Brazil presumably 12 million households is more than 20 million viewers.
The UFC is carried by Globo TV in Brazil, that country's largest network. Since the break through Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort fight at UFC 126, the market has been the fastest growing in the world for the UFC. The debut season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil drew an average of 10 million viewers per episode.
The live gate of UFC 153 fell from previous visits to Rio per MMA Payout:
MMA Junkie reported the attendance and gate announced at the post-fight press conference. There were 16,844 fans for a gate of between $2.5 and $2.6 million.
In comparison, UFC 134, the first show in Brazil for Zuffa and the last time Anderson Silva appeared at home scored a $4 million gate with over 14,000 in attendance at the HSBC Arena.
The inability to find a suitable venue in Sao Paulo has forced the UFC to over-work the Rio market a bit.
Last week UFC exec Marshall Zelaznik hinted at plans to launch a regional fight series in Brazil. The promotion has talked about launching regional series in international markets in the past with plans falling through in both the UK and Japan.