This past week the UFC and Fuel TV aired the latest installment of the UFC’s countdown series, “Countdown to UFC 141” and it drew in a meager 15,000 viewers with a 0.03 household rating in the male 18-49 demographic and an all-time low of 0.0 rating in men 18-34.
Interestingly enough, the UFC put out their full length YouTube version of the show yesterday afternoon and within a few hours of posting it has been watched by 15,543 people.
The Fuel TV numbers indicate a failure in the broadcast; however it was the first of the series to air on the FOX affiliate network. These numbers just drive the point home that the UFC and Fuel have a long way to go in order to market the cable network as the new UFC television destination.
In the past several years on Spike TV, similar countdown shows to promote UFC pay-per-view cards have averaged approximately 500,000 viewers.
To be fair, Fuel TV is only available in 36 million homes while SPIKE is available in approximately 100 million. The UFC, Fuel and FOX are working on broadening the Fuel audience and campaigning for more cable providers to pick up the channel for their customers.
The hard to answer question is whether or not these shows really sell pay-per-views and if they do, what does a mere 15,000 views do for promotional purposes?
UFC 141 is set to take place on Dec. 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The end-of-year pay-per-view event will feature a five-round non-title fight between former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and newly signed heavyweight stand-out Alistair Overeem.