Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
The UFC 153 preliminary card ratings are in and it's positive news, as they hit the one million mark for the first time since UFC 149.
We've had enough news about declining UFC ratings, so here's some viewing figures on the UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar preliminary card special on FX. MMA Junkie confirms that the two-hour broadcast hit one-million, which is a mark they've failed to hit for their last couple of shows.
Ratings for FX's broadcast of this past weekend's UFC 153 preliminary card hit the 1-million-viewer mark for the first time in three events.
Overall, FX's two-hour broadcast, averaged 1 million viewers, a slight increase compared to UFC 152 and UFC 150's numbers but slighter less than the overall 1.24 million average.
The UFC had seen a decrease in ratings from UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen, which stands as the biggest PPV of 2012. They hit rock bottom at UFC 151: Jones vs. Henderson, where estimates came in at around 0 viewers. UFC 150 and 152 dipped below 1,000,000, and so far 4 of the 11 PPV prelims have failed to hit that number.
There's no concrete evidence that prelim specials help PPV numbers, but the correlation between the PPV buyrate and prelim ratings is pretty strong. UFC 148 and 146, the two best-selling PPVs of 2012, also have the best-rated prelim specials. At the other end of the spectrum, UFC 150, 147, and 142 are 3 of the 4 worst-rated FX specials and also the worst selling PPVs.