The third UFC on Fox show was certainly entertaining, but one of the bigger stories wasn't the excitement and the fights, it was that 50% fewer people tuned in for this card than the previous network effort. It was a predictable drop-off for a variety of reasons, but UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta doesn't seem too worried.
"Would we like to see the numbers be trending differently? Yes, of course," Fertitta said. "But we're not concerned and we don't think it's an overall reflection of our business. There are reasons for it. If you think about it, for the first [Fox] fight we had a massive amount of promotion within the NFL on Fox. And we led with our big show, the heavyweight championship, so of course, we were going to draw a much broader range of viewers.
"The fight in January in Chicago actually performed pretty well, even though it was a little below the first one. It was still super solid. This last show, I'd say it was a moderate performance. Really, what we're looking at is, 'How did we rank within the competition compared to what was going on that night?' And in hindsight, going on Cinco de Mayo may not have been the best thing to do."
This is basically what I said the other day when talking about the ratings drop. A bad show rating isn't the end of the world, Fox appears to have a bigger commitment than would lead to them to make a major decision off the performance of the third Fox effort.
Obviously no one involved is going to be happy with the dip in ratings. A 50% dropoff is really, really bad.
One of the biggest questions is, if the UFC will try to change up their plans for the fourth Fox show. Brian Stann vs. Hector Lombard certainly doesn't strike me as something that is going to pull in the masses. They may want to try to shift some stuff around to boost the card. While a single poor rating isn't a horrible thing, starting to create a string of low-rated shows could be.