This weekends UFC 158 FX Prelim show’s ratings are in and they bounced back from UFC 157’s arguably lackluster rating.
According to multiple sources, the UFC 158 preliminary card landed at 1.579 million viewers. UFC 156 still remains as the top getter with 1.897 million total.
It should also be noted that the UFC did end up breaking records on FUEL TV. The live weigh-ins show on FUEL TV drew over 132k viewers, and the actual weigh-ins themselves pulled a huge 215k viewers. Both of those numbers were huge as neither were in the normal weigh-ins time slot.
The UFC also announced that the post fight press conference was streamed by more people than UFC148 (Sonnen vs Silva II), which at the time was the most watched in history. The UFC did not release specific numbers for those looking for that statistical difference.
Now, when it came to direct cable competition for the preliminary card on FX, the UFC went up against College Basketball on ESPN, Wendell and Vinny on Nickelodeon and Auction Hunters on Spike TV. The UFC beat both Auction Hunters and Wendell and Vinny handily in the key 18-49 adult demographic pulling a 0.9 compared to the others at 0.4. However, the UFC lost out in overall viewership to both College Basketball on ESPN and Wendell and Vinny. ESPN totalled over 3.419 million viewers and Wendell and Vinnie scored a 2.104. Obviously, a Nickelodeon show is not real demographic competition for the UFC, but you cannot ignore College Basketball on ESPN beating the UFC in both viewership and key demographics.
Speaking of College Basketball on ESPN, Bellator should take notice as they are going head-to-head on Thursday night with the first round of the NCAA tourney on multiple CBS affiliates. If the UFC cannot beat College Basketball, there is going to be little chance Bellator will be able to do any better.