We thought UFC 173’s numbers looked bad and they were, but if early indicators hold true, UFC 174 set the new standard for bad buy rate.
Ratings Guru, Dave Meltzer explains: (Via The Wrestling Observer)
UFC 174 was the night that tested what the least amount of interest UFC could garner from a PPV perspective was.
The show had everything going against it. The lineup was weak across the board. There were few name fighters on the undercard. The main event pitted Demetrious Johnson, the flyweight champion, who is not a draw, against Ali Bagautinov, very close to the least known main event title challenger for any UFC belt to date. Plus, it was three weeks after a show, and three weeks before the biggest show of the year.
It’s too early to get accurate numbers, but every indication we’ve gotten was very bad, and that it showed a steep decline from UFC 173, which was among the lower numbers of the last eight years. UFC PPV shows usually range from 200,000 to 500,000 Google searches after the event, and are usually in the top few searched for items in the country. A bad show may only do 100,000. Bellator’s show last month hit 100,000. A big show can top 500,000, with the shows that hover around 1 million buys usually doing anywhere from 1 million to 5 million searches. This show did less than 20,000, unheard of for a PPV.
Unlike UFC 173, which looked weak on paper and everyone knew wasn’t going to draw much, it still had Dan Henderson and Daniel Cormier in the No. 2 spot. They brought some star power in what was really the main event. It also had a lot to talk about after, due to T.J. Dillashaw’s upset win over Renan Barao.
This show didn’t have much interest going in. But most of the time, those type of shows deliver good action. This had none of that. It wasn’t terrible, but there was no fight you needed to see. As a likely sign of how the show went, Dana White didn’t even attend the post-fight press conference.