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“UFC Primetime” Ratings May Justify Expense

(‘To the death, Georges.  To the death.  Right after I get back from vacation.’)

As if you couldn’t tell from the high production values in last night’s debut episode of “UFC Primetime” on Spike TV, that thing didn’t come cheap.  The pricetag for the entire series is $1.7 million, which is a lot when you consider that your run-of-the-mill “Countdown” show only costs about $200,000.  But judging by the ratings numbers from last night’s premiere episode, it may prove to be worth it.

MMA Payout reports that the show drew nearly 1.5 million viewers (1,494,000 to be exact), according to ratings estimates.  In case you’re curious how that compares to the “Countdown” ratings, the best that show ever managed to draw in its first airing was 782,000 viewers.  That means “UFC Primetime” drew nearly twice as well as the best “Countdown” ever, and it has the added benefit of being a recurring series, so we can see how many of those people come back for more next week.

But here’s the real question: will the high ratings translate into big pay-per-view buys?  Probably.  “Countdown” ratings have proven to be a fairly decent barometer for how a given PPV event will sell, and these kinds of numbers should give the UFC reason to be very optimistic about the potential for UFC 94.  Then again, Georges St. Pierre-B.J. Penn II was bound to be a huge event anyway, so it will be difficult to say how much “Primetime” helped.

Either way, as long as the UFC is putting out something this good, and as long as they keep employing our boy Ariel Helwani (who is hopefully seeing a big chunk of that $1.7 million, because we need to borrow some cash to cover our gambling losses after UFC 92), we aren’t complaining.  Let’s just hope this success means more “Primetimes” in the future.

Cagepotato Comments

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Hikuta Punch- January 18, 2009 at 1:36 am
Can you not read, anonymous? Primetime's ratings were almost twice as much as the best rated episode of Countdown.
Anonymous- January 16, 2009 at 7:36 am
Just wondering, is a 0.7 rating (According to Wrestling Observer) big for UFC? I'm not trolling, I'm actually just curious. Doesn't really seem like a high number, but I don't know anything about ratings and potential revenue (I.E. PPV buys) from such shows.
HammerTime- January 16, 2009 at 7:04 am
No doubt.

Any Cecil Peoples should be no where near the judges table.

Bas Rutten- January 16, 2009 at 4:51 am
Crittino Says:
Fri, 01/16/2009 - 02:15
"They're fighting to the death? Someone please make sure Steve Mazzagatti isn't reffing this one"

HAHAHA, if he is reffing one of them for sure is going to die.

Im not going to buy this Pay-per-view as i am going to be attending in person.
=D Muwahahaha
Crittino- January 16, 2009 at 2:15 am
They're fighting to the death? Someone please make sure Steve Mazzagatti isn't reffing this one
WAR BONG- January 16, 2009 at 1:53 am
yeah he did.
Jay Smith- January 16, 2009 at 12:21 am
@ All
Someone please tell me that dude did not just say "he can talk crap way better than GSP".
Sneaky Pete- January 15, 2009 at 7:49 pm
@Flying Hawaiian:

Hear hear. I am both a GSP and a BJ fan, mostly because I love the egregious usage of initials and acronyms. But I will not, on the sunniest day, hug either of their nuts. That's what Dana's delicate hands are for.
Hambuger Moran- January 15, 2009 at 7:36 pm
The Primetime show was good. But only compared to UFC's other Countdown episodes, which were all bullshit. Primetiime was good but is still nothing compared to the boxing ones. I don't even know anything about boxing, yet when I watch one of those HBO shows I get way juiced.
Flyin Hawaiian- January 15, 2009 at 6:54 pm
How did you get the impression that BJ is a stuck up asshole when they showed clips of him shaking hands and saying hello to strangers as he ran through Hilo. If you are referring to the comments he makes about GSP then you're an idiot. When you are going to kick someones ass, Hawaiians don't say to many polite things. I think all you GSP nuthuggers can't take the fact that BJ is going to smash him and he can talk crap way better than his "I'm not the one from a wealthy family" line. Frickin lame. Trust me, if you are a rich boy in Hilo everyone wants to and tries to kick your ass. He didn't have the Richie Rich lifestyle that everyone thinks he had.
matt- January 15, 2009 at 6:46 pm
just wondering what is ariel helwani's with the ufc?
auzzy- January 15, 2009 at 6:30 pm
BJ`s left ear looks like it could make a fart. Meaning, it looks like an ass, he has ass ear.
MC Obscene- January 15, 2009 at 5:56 pm
It airs again tonight and sunday morning. I thought it was a great show. Very intriging and I can't wait for the next one. I hope GSP kicks the crap out of Penn. Penn is such a stuck up asshole! A lot of talent, but major d-bag
Bill C.- January 15, 2009 at 5:37 pm
The extra cost definitely showed last night. The 'Primetime' show had an amazing production quality. I hope the UFC keeps this up for future superfights.
Jay- January 15, 2009 at 5:22 pm
I think the ratings were simply due to who's fighting rather than OMG that might be a good show thing. I think they could have done the run of the mill Countdown and drawn the same.

I did enjoy the show though and liked what the extra money bought.
Canadian Hoser- January 15, 2009 at 4:39 pm
maybe hype up your next event first
brandon- January 15, 2009 at 4:38 pm
Damn, I missed this show! Anybody know if they will re-air this first one? For spending so much money on it I would hope they would re-air it.
Sodak- January 15, 2009 at 4:38 pm
you didn't miss much.