While the number of pay-per-view buys that the main card for UFC 118: "Edgar vs. Penn 2" did is still unknown at this time, the rating for the prelims special that aired live on Spike TV and featured bouts between Andre Winner and Nik Lentz as well as Joe Lauzon and Gabe Ruediger are in, and they ain't pretty.
A series-low 1.1 million viewers tuned in to the UFC 118 prelims special according to MMA Payout.
As MMA Payout asserts, trying to determine the reasons for a successful "Prelims Live" broadcast really does seem to be a bit of a fool's mission.
UFC 109's prelims broadcast garnered a series-high 1.7 million viewers back in February, but the buyrate for the PPV telecast was right around 300,000. UFC 116 on the other hand, featured prelims that aired on Spike TV and drew 1.3 million viewers. Reports of the Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin headlined event PPV buryrate also came in right around 1.3 million.
So the strength or weakness of the actual PPV card seems to have nothing to do with the prelims success, or lack thereof.
As for the strength of the prelims broadcast when it comes to the actual match ups on the card, well, it's tough to come to a conclusion where that has any relevancy as well.
The aforementioned UFC 109 prelims show featured bouts between Melvin Guillard and Ronnys Torres along with Mac Danzig and Justin Buchholz. Not exactly the strongest prelims lineup there has been.
UFC 111's prelims broadcast meanwhile saw Ricardo Almeida battle Matt Brown as well as Nate Diaz take on Rory Markham. An equal to, or greater than pair of fights in terms of interest in my opinion, though the show only drew 1.2 million viewers.
Your guess is as good as mine, Maniacs. Anybody have a theory, with facts to back it up, as to why the ratings for the "UFC Prelims Live" broadcasts on Spike TV appear to be so unpredictably up and down?