The UFC launched the Fox Sports 1 network with strong TV ratings for UFC Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen, pulling in an audience of 1.78 million viewers, but that number has steadily dropped with subsequent events.
Wednesday night’s UFC Fight Night 28: Teixeira vs. Bader from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, drew 539,000 viewers.
Of course, the main event fight between Glover Teixeira and Ryan Bader didn’t come close to the drawing power of longtime veterans Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Chael Sonnen. Shogun vs. Sonnen had the added advantage of heading the launch event for Fox Sports 1, receiving a strong promotional push, while trying to establish the new network.
UFC Fight Night 27, which featured a rematch between Carlos Condit and Martin Kampmann, attracted a slightly larger audience than Teixeira vs. Bader, drawing 809,000 viewers.
Those numbers still pale in comparison to the 1.3 million viewers similar events averaged on FX. The UFC Fight Night events now air on FS1, however, which is a new sports network that launched on Aug. 17. They also air on Wednesday nights, a change of pace for most fight fans.
The Teixeira vs. Bader preliminary bouts drew an audience of 277,000 viewers.
The preliminary port of the fight card began at 5 p.m. ET, while the main card began at 7 p.m. ET.