With a show that delivered as far as action, but lacked as far as name fighters went, UFC’s Sunday afternoon show from the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland averaged 402,000 viewers.
The main show aired from 3-6 p.m. ET, outside of prime time. The most recent comparison for a Sunday afternoon show was the May 28 event from Stockholm, Sweden, which aired two hours earlier over the Memorial Day holiday weekend and went head-to-head with the Indianapolis 500. That show did 496,000 viewers.
The difference is the May show had Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixeira as the main event, while Sunday’s show had Gunnar Nelson vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio. While Ponzinibbio proved to be a legitimate welterweight contender, he did not come into the fight with any name value.
In addition, Gustafsson vs. Teixeira ended early in the fifth round, giving them time to build an audience and peak at 665,000 viewers. Ponzinibbio finishing Nelson in 82 seconds led to the main event having no time to build an audience, and peaked at 496,000 viewers.
Sunday’s prelims, headlined by a welterweight bout with Danny Roberts vs. Bobby Nash and with no real name fighters, perhaps the biggest name being Neil Seery, only did 284,000 viewers. That compares with 353,000 for the prelims on May 28.
The post-fight show did 222,000 viewers.
The last few weeks have not been good from a ratings standpoint, as the prior weekend, for International Fight Week, the pay-per-view prelims were the lowest in nearly three years and the Friday night prime time show was the least watched prime time show in a year. Day of the show interest on Saturday was also hurt by the main event of Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko, which was the focal point of the late promotion, falling through when Nunes took ill.
It probably didn’t help that almost all of the UFC’s promotional activity during the week was centered around the Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing match, which is a major key to UFC’s financial year and huge for the future of the company’s biggest star.
On Friday night, Bellator featured one of the year’s wildest fights in Derek Campos’ second-round stoppage of Brandon Girtz, did an average of 514,000 viewers. That is around the normal level at this point for shows without the company’s bigger name stars.
The main event did 628,000 viewers.
The next two weeks will be more interesting. Saturday’s UFC show will feature four hours on FOX. It’s not loaded with major names, but Chris Weidman is a solid FOX headliner and opponent Kelvin Gastelum has some strong wins to his credit.
The following weekend has Bellator on Friday night doing a replay of its Madison Square Garden pay-per-view show on June 24, airing free on Spike. On the next night, the UFC has easily its deepest show, UFC 214, featuring the year’s biggest MMA fight, Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title. That show is the first true test of the UFC since it’s the first fight of 2017 that had any potential to lift interest to a big show level.
Source:: mma fighting