Additional reporting by Paul Fontaine
Saturday night’s UFC on FOX show, headlined by Anthony “Rumble” Johnson’s 86 second knockout win over Ryan Bader, did 2.43 million viewers and an 0.8 in the 18-49 demo based on the overnight ratings.
Due to the nature of live sports and the way ratings are measured, that number doesn’t figure West Coast viewership so the number will rise somewhat. The show ended at 10 PM EST with the main event ending at about 9:50 p.m. so the usual late gain from the main event not being figured in won’t be there. Last year’s January show did 2.82 million viewers on the initial overnight rating and the final number came in at 3.049 million viewers. If this year’s number increases by the same percentage, the number should fall somewhere in the 2.6 to 2.7 million range.
That would be the lowest number that UFC on FOX show has done since the July 26, 2014 show headlined by Robbie Lawler vs Matt Brown. It would also be the lowest number that UFC has ever done for a January show. The previous low was last year’s show on January 24th, headlined by Johnson knocking out Alexander Gustaffson in the first round.
In fact, the January number has fallen every year since UFC on FOX 2 in January 2012. That show did 4.7 million viewers for the show headlined by Rashad Evans over Phil Davis. UFC on FOX 6 in January 2013 did 4.22 million for a Demetrious Johnson-John Dodson flyweight title fight and Rampage Jackson in the co-main. The 2014 show, UFC on FOX 10, headlined by Benson Henderson vs Josh Thomson did 3.2 million viewers and then last year’s show at 3.049 million.
FOX is likely to end up as the lowest total viewing audience among the networks, although it may beat CBS with rerun programming. In the demo,
it will likely end up second place behind ABC, which had live NBA programming.