Sunday, January 29, 2012

ROUNDTABLE: Will UFC on Fox 2 score better or worse ratings than November's network debut?

With three fights instead of one, will the UFC's second UFC on Fox event score better or worse ratings than November's debut event?


There's no way in hell this show touches the ratings of their debut fight. Quality sells over quantity every time. Casual fans respond a lot stronger to the phrase 'Heavyweight Championship of the World' than they do to the phrase 'Light Heavyweight Eliminator Fight.' There could be 42 fights on this card instead of three, but without a hook, there's no way it sniffs the 8-10 million range.


They should absolutely score better ratings. For one, the first show had a great fight on it. Also, people know who Rashad Evans and Michael Bisping are, that will help. Promoting the show during the NFL playoffs should also secure a big rating. I also think more action will help in the ratings. There was way too much talking in the first show, that's never a good thing.


It will be better, as the three top guys on the card, Rashad Evans, Chael Sonnen, and Michael Bisping are draws for the UFC. They all have a certain quality that puts them as top guys in the UFC. They are self promoters, and this fight is an easy sell for Dana White and company. The ratings should definitely be bigger, and besides, most fans are going to be interested in who to hate more, Chael Sonnen or Michael Bisping.


If there is a dip in ratings I don't believe it will be because of the number of fights, I believe it will be because of the lack of a title fight being given away on free television. UFC's first venture onto Fox was historic in that they let us all, without spending a dollar, watch Junior Dos Santos take home the heavyweight strap from Cain Velasquez. UFC on Fox 2 however has two number one contender fights and a longer card for those not attending to watch from home. I have no doubt that the bouts included will definitely help the ratings, with Rashad and Davis both having good fan bases, as well as the amount of attention Chael Sonnen manages to get himself at will. Those are the two fights I see the most people being interested in seeing, while Weidman vs. Maia will be a great fight as well, their names certainly aren't as well-known as our four headliners. I will be in attendance (as will much of the Torch staff) but will also be DVR'ing it on two different TV's at home to re-watch at a later date. (and look for myself in the crowd, won't even lie) It has the potential due to the length of the card to bring in more viewers; we just have to see what kind of drawing power these guys have when the ratings come out.


It's been getting the same hard sell on all platforms Fox just like the first show did, but there hasn't been a primetime special devoted to the main event, and there's no title fight. While I'm certainly excited to have something closer to a full card to watch on network TV this time around, I don't know that the casual viewing public feels the same way. The first show had over ten million viewers at its peak, and I don't think Saturday's event reaches that number. It'll be close, and it'll be seen as another positive number for the UFC and Fox, but I think it comes up short.


I think there are a few factors that could play into this event bringing more viewers, but I don't think it will hit quite the peak the Heavyweight Title fight did in November. For starters, they won't be opposed by college football games on other networks, and with three full fights instead of just one there will be a lot more actual fighting action taking place on the card. I think the average is going to be higher than the slightly less than six million that tuned in for the November debut broadcast, and I think the broadcast may stay steady around the seven million range for average viewership.


Nino Schembri Fabiano Scherner Semmy Schilt Alex Schoenauer Ryan Schultz Pete Sell Andrei Semenov

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