Still can’t touch those clowns on the networks, though…
The ratings reports are in, and it’s interesting (if you’re into numbers, equations, audience measurement, and assorted MMA nerditry). We’re not particularly mathletic, so bear with us here…
But those ratings are down significantly from the UFC debut on Versus (1.24 million), and even the second card on the network (991,000), which you’ll need to look up before you can remember anything other than Jon Jones was on it and he steamrolled somebody.
To recap: UFC broadcasts on the Versus network draw inconsistent ratings, and there’s no clear relationship between the fighters on the card and the level of interest from viewers.
But wait, the plot thickens: remember when we told you that Spike was planning a little UFC action of their own? Well, they went through with it, airing Nate the Great all effing day (man, we bet Dana White is really tired of hearing about this Nate Marquardt guy) and finishing it off with a rebroadcast of UFC Fight Night 22, which was headlined by Marquardt’s bizarre bout with Rousimar Palhares.
You ready for this? The Spike rebroadcast pulled 793,000 viewers, which (according to some quick math on this Taco Bell wrapper) is greater than (>) the 744,000 reported for a live event that hadn’t already happened. Even figuring in that Spike is in more homes (about 99 million) than Versus (75 million), that’s just wacky.
Lesson learned: when you have an established audience, identity, and timeslot, you’re halfway home. A network can air a year-old fight card and still get eyeballs and advertisers as long as people expect that network to have the programming. Meanwhile, out in the cable hinterlands, you can put on a live event with a fair amount of drama and still only draw even with your new BFF’s ex.
Ok, sorry for all the words and numbers. As a consolation, here’s a picture of the human soul. It’s the luminous body you see flying out of Pat Barry‘s head when Kongo decked him into a short time traveling session. Props to Ms Tracy Lee for catching this rarely-seen phenomenon.