The UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos event is the first time that the UFC heavyweight championship will air on network television. There has been a ton of advertising and promotion put behind this event with commercials airing since September, and a one hour UFC Primetime show that aired after a NFL football game last Sunday which garnered around 2 million viewers.
However, this event is a one hour special with ONLY the UFC heavyweight title fight being shown although there are nine other fights on the card. UFC president Dana White said the featured fight will be the only fight shown on the broadcast, even if it “only goes 10 seconds.”
The fight is scheduled for 25 minutes, but it is highly unlikely that this fight will last that long considering that out of a combined 23 fights both fighters have only gone this distance three times.
So what will fans be watching should the fight end early?
UFC president Dana White said that the UFC plans on doing pre-fight interviews with both fighters. So that feature combined with some pre-fight analysis and predictions from announcers coupled with commercials will likely fill the first 15-20 minutes of the broadcast. They will have to allot nearly 30-35 minutes for the actual fight should it actually go the distance. If the fight ends early I’m sure they will use that time to promote the upcoming UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson PPV which will take place exactly one week later also in California. You can probably expect more commercials as well as it was reported that UFC on Fox Ad Inventory has been sold out for quite some time.
So looking at all of that information it is likely to be a mixed bag in regards to how many viewers the show will garner. The show has been heavily promoted but will folk tune in for only one fight featuring two fighters that many casual fans have never heard of? If this show is do to well ratings wise, it will probably have to lean heavily on the power of the UFC brand which is certainly possible.
However, I wouldn’t expect the ratings for this show to be indicative of what to expect in the future with events featuring 4-6 fights over a 2-3 hour time frame since this show is only an hour long.
I think the show will do close to 6 million viewers, give or take a little. How many viewers are you expecting to tune in on Saturday night?