The six week break between UFC events meant that this was the first card of 2012 to go up against college football. From a ratings standpoint, it lost. Numbers for the UFC 152 prelims on FX special were the 2nd lowest of 2012 at just 955,000 viewers. MMA Junkie has the details.
Ratings for FX's broadcast of this past weekend's UFC 152 preliminary card slipped a bit compared to its previous installment.
Overall, FX's two-hour broadcast, which faced heavy competition from a stacked night of NCAA football games, averaged 955,000 viewers, down from the 974,000 viewers who tuned for UFC 150.
I think the college football factor legitimately hurt the ratings for this one. Historically, of the 10 highest rated preliminary card specials on Spike (dating back to September 2009), only three took place during the college football regular season (UFC 121, 123, and 135). NBC and ESPN have really made an effort to put as many marquee games in the primetime slot as possible to the point where Notre Dame played a rare night game last weekend against Michigan.
That said, this may not spell good things for the PPV numbers. It's no coincidence that the top 5 best rated prelim shows are the 5 highest selling PPVs of 2012 - In order, UFC 148, 145, 144, 143, and 146. In contrast, UFC 149, 150, 147, and 142 all did one million viewers or less on FX and not a single one did even 250,000 buys.
We'll see how the PPV numbers go as this will be a huge test of Jon Jones' drawing power after the whole UFC 151 debacle.