The UFC on FOX 5 event that’s set for Saturday night in Seattle is one of the most anticipated cards of the year. It’s also one of the most important events in regards to the UFC and FOX deal as the first year(of seven) comes to a close.
There are whispers that MMA has reached a plateau and the last two UFC on FOX events would support that ratings wise. Those two events averaged roughly 2.5 million viewers, but there seemed to be ‘built-in’ excuses as to why the card didn’t deliver ratings wise:
-”There was a huge boxing match on Cinco de Mayo”
-”There are no marquee fighters on the card”
-”There are no title fights”
-’The event has to compete with college football games on at the same time”
-”The event is too early for fans on the west coast to tune in”
Truth be told, none of those factors apply to the UFC on FOX 5 event that’s ready to go on Saturday night. True, there’s a Manny Pacquiao fight the same night, but it’s not a direct competitor since that fight will not take place until after the UFC on FOX event is finished. BJ Penn and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua both bring name recognition to causal fans, there’s a title on the line, and there are no college football games to compete against.The event is actually taking place on the west coast, so there’s no excuse for those fans not to tune in, plus this event has been heavily advertised during NFL football games for the past couple of weeks.
The UFC on FOX 2 event in January averaged 4.7 million viewers, which is the largest viewership number for a full scale UFC on FOX event and peaked at over six million viewers. The UFC on FOX 6 event is probably the best MMA card (on paper anyway) to be broadcast network television. Will it deliver big network ratings closer to UFC on FOX 2, or will it fall in line with the past two UFC on FOX events?