While the overnight ratings for UFC on FOX 24 were the lowest for any UFC card on big FOX, the final numbers provided enough of an improvement for last Saturday’s show to avoid being the worst-rated card to date. Sort of.
The main event between Demetrious Johnson and Wilson Reis came up just short of reaching three million viewers, which is a million more than the average viewership. MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer breaks it all down, including peak numbers and how the preliminary card (also on FOX) fared.
After accounting for West Coast viewers and the main event viewers, Saturday's UFC on FOX show headlined by Demetrious Johnson's record-tying tenth flyweight title defense against Wilson Reis did a 1.22 rating and averaged 1,996,000 viewers.
The final number barely beat out the Aug. 27 show headlined by Demian Maia vs. Carlos Condit for the least-watched FOX prime time show in the five-and-a-half year history of the relationship. UFC on FOX 21 did a 1.2 rating and averaged 1,983,000 viewers. But that comparison is misleading because the show aired either on tape delay or on another station in 15 major markets which instead aired preseason football, making Saturday's show the lowest number with full FOX national coverage.
Saturday's show peaked for Johnson vs. Reis main event, which from 10 p.m. to 10:15 p.m., did 2,874,000 viewers.
The post-fight show on FS 1 did 125,000 viewers.
It’s been a rough start to 2017 for the UFC on FOX. The January show in Denver, headlined by Valentina Shevchenko’s armbar win over Julianna Pena, was the third-lowest rated event at just 2,189,000 viewers, with the main event peaking at 3,003,000. As Meltzer notes, the January and April cards are down nearly 20% in viewership from last year. It may not simply be “Demetrious Johnson doesn’t draw” that’s the primary issue as it pertains to UFC on FOX 24.
The next UFC on FOX card is set for Saturday, July 22nd at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, New York. No main event has been announced, and the only fight booked for the card is Gian Villante vs. Patrick Cummins.