Overnight ratings are in for UFC on Fox 9: "Johnson vs. Benavidez 2" and they show a slight improvement from UFC on Fox 8. That's the positive spin. According to TV by the Numbers, the event which featured a rematch for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight title pulled a 1.0 overnight rating.
While the upward movement means that the promotion reached a lot of potential fans, it also needs to be said that this event marks the lowest ratings for a UFC event that had Fox's NFL promotional machine working overtime.
MMA Fighting's Luke Thomas provided some insight on Twitter.
Overnight (read: not final) ratings for UFC on FOX 9 are in: 1.0 rating, 3 share and 2.41 million average viewership.— Luke Thomas (@SBNLukeThomas) December 15, 2013
That's up 11% from last UFC on FOX, which was the record low. But for shows during football season, that's not a great overnight pull.— Luke Thomas (@SBNLukeThomas) December 15, 2013
W/ that overnight #, UFC on FOX 9 will beat UFC on FOX 3, 4 & 8, the 3 lowest rated events to so far. 9th event to be middle of the pack.— Luke Thomas (@SBNLukeThomas) December 15, 2013
It should be noted that overnight ratings tend to skew heavily towards the East coast and aren't finalized until Nielsen is able to tabulate the West coast. With popular California-based fighters from Team Alpha Male fighting on the main card, there should be improvement once final numbers come in.
The biggest negative is that the UFC tends to dominate with the 18-49 demographic but last night lost out to kid-friendly Christmas Specials that aired on CBS such as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. They did beat out the other networks in the prized demo, but were the only ones with first-run programming.
Below are the overnight ratings for the first eight UFC on Fox events just for comparison.
- UFC on FOX 1: 5.7 million average viewership, 3.1 rating in adults 18-49.
Date: November 12, 2011, headlined by Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos
- UFC on FOX 2: 4.57 million average viewership, 2.2 rating in adults 18-49.
Date: January 28, 2012, headlined by Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis
- UFC on FOX 3: 2.25 million average viewership, 1.0 rating in adults 18-49
Date: May 5, 2012, headlined by Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller
- UFC on FOX 4: 2.36 million average viewership, 0.9 rating in adults 18-49
Date: August 4, 2012, headlined by Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua vs. Brandon Vera
- UFC on FOX 5: 3.41 million average viewership, 1.6 rating in adults 18-49
Date: December 8, 2012, headlined by Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz
- UFC on FOX 6: 3.77 million average viewership, 1.7 rating in adults 18-49
Date: January 26, 2013, headlined by Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson
- UFC on FOX 7: 3.3 million average viewership, 1.6 rating in adults 18-49
Date: April 20, 2013, headlined by Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez
- UFC on Fox 8: 2.08 million average viewership, .9 rating in adults 18-49
Date: July 27th, headlined by Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga
Numbers provided by MMAFighting.com.