It’s become abundantly clear that the popularity of the UFC pay-per-view main events has a definite effect on the TV ratings of the preliminary bouts broadcast on the FX network in the United States.
Saturday’s UFC 149 Prelims from Calgary drew an average of 1 million viewers over the course its two-hour broadcast on FX. The average draw of prelims on FX over the course of eight events is now 1.31 million per show.
UFC 149’s TV ratings seem rather low after UFC 148 pulled 1.8 million viewers.
The big difference? UFC 149 was a fight card plagued by injuries, undergoing a complete metamorphosis by the time it took place. UFC 148, on the other hand, was headlined by one of the most anticipated rematches in the promotion’s history, setting records on numerous fronts.
It’s not surprising then that the anticipation of the main card would filter down to the interest in the preliminary bouts.