The ratings are in for UFC Fight Night 24. The Spike TV special aired last Saturday and the results are actually pretty good. Notably, though, the peak ratings were for what would generally be considered the co-main event. Here's the Spike TV press release:
Spike TV's live UFC® Fight Night LiveTM on Saturday, March 26 at 10p.m.-12:13a.m. ET was the most watched program on cable for the entire day in Men 18-34 and Men 18-49. Peaking with 2.4 million viewers at 11:15 p.m. for the Dan Hardy-Anthony Johnson bout, the event was the most watched UFC Fight Night since September 2009.
Overall, UFC® Fight Night 24TM delivered a 2.2 rating in Men 18-49, a 2.30 in Men 18-34, a 1.5 household rating, and attracted an average audience of 2.2 million viewers. Compared to last year, the fight improved the timeslot ratings by triple digits including 315% in M18-49, +318% in M18-34, and +128% in viewership.
Contrast that with UFC Fight Night 23 numbers:
This past weekend's "UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fights for the Troops 2" event scored a 1.3 household rating and an average of 1.85 million viewers. The event also peaked with 2.5 million viewers.
And now with UFC Fight Night 22 numbers:
Wednesday's broadcast of "UFC Fight Night 22: Marquardt vs. Palhares" on Spike TV earned an average audience of 1.2 million viewers, station executives today announced.
The Sept. 15 broadcast peaked with 1.6 million viewers, who tuned in for Nate Marquardt's odd first-round stoppage of submission ace Rousimar Palhares.
The broadcast earned 1.2 rating among men ages 18-49, as well as a 1.1 rating among men ages 18-34.
Lastly, UFC Fight Night 21 ratings:
Wednesday's broadcast of UFC Fight Night 21 on Spike TV earned an avergae audience of 1.6 million viewers, station executives today announced.
The March 31 broadcast peaked with 2 million viewers, who tuned in for Kenny Florian's third-round submission win over Japanese import Takanori Gomi.
The broadcast was the No. 1 rated program in its timeslot among men 18-34 and men 18-49.
So, in the chain of UFC Fight Nights, this most-recent event did generally better. And compared to the abysmal ratings for the last live event, UFC on Verus 3, this did infinitely better.
I have to confess I wrongly pegged this event to do poorly. I don't know how poorly, exactly, but I did believe that trying to do this in close proximity to another UFC pay-per-view was going to spell trouble as getting media to follow along with that kind of turnaround was too difficult. But the Jones fight was as big as some had anticipated, so there wasn't a as much difficulty as I had expected among media and promotional outlets to spread the message.
And despite losing whatever's left of Tito Ortiz's star power, the event did well on it's own terms. Hardy is much more of a known commodity to fans than Phil Davis, so the ratings spike there isn't altogether unsurprising. I doubt Davis did much to up his stock to casual fans, but all things considered, this was a successful event.