UFC on Fox 3: "Diaz vs. Miller" took place last night (Sat., May 5, 2012) from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and featured a main event of Nate Diaz earning a lightweight title shot with a slick submission victory over Jim Miller.
The bad news? Not nearly enough people saw it happen.
Indeed, the overnight ratings are in and according to TV By The Numbers, the show garnered 2.25 million viewers for the FOX network, good for a 1.0 rating. If that sounds terrible, that's because it is, all things considered. The silver lining here is the numbers were good enough to win the timeslot in the important demographics.
But there's no denying the decline in viewership for each UFC event on FOX is alarming.
Here's how the first three events looked when the overnight ratings came in:
UFC on FOX 1: "Velasquez vs. Dos Santos" -- 4.64 million
UFC on FOX 2: "Evans vs. Davis" -- 4.57 million
UFC on FOX 3: "Diaz vs. Miller" -- 2.25 million
There are a million differing reasons that could be given regarding how exactly viewership has seen that steep of a decline. Perhaps it's been the decline in importance of the headlining fight. The first show featured a heavyweight championship showdown while the second saw a proven pay-per-view (PPV) star.
Diaz and Miller, talented as they are, aren't exactly box office behemoths with big name recognition.
There was also a problem with marketing and promotion. The first FOX event was heavily hyped, with promos airing during Sunday NFL football games. The second show was given a similar treatment. This latest show, obviously much smaller in scope, was dominated in the headlines by a far more important boxing match in Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto, which took place later in the night in Las Vegas.
After running two FOX shows with big stars, the world's largest fight promotion decided to rely on the power of its brand name. As it turns out, maybe its brand name isn't so powerful after all.