UFC owner Lorenza Fertitta is aware of the sharp ratings decline for the most recent UFC on Fox, but it is not eating him up inside. Compared to intital viewership of 5.7 for the first UFC on Fox, UFC on Fox 3’s audience of merely 2.4 million viewers could be viewed as a cause for concern. He has recognized several reasons for the decline, and believes that scheduling could have been carried out more effectively, stating the following via Yahoo.com:
“Would we like to see the numbers be trending differently? Yes, of course. But we’re not concerned and we don’t think it’s an overall reflection of our business. There are reasons for it. If you think about it, for the first [Fox] fight we had a massive amount of promotion within the NFL on Fox. And we led with our big show, the heavyweight championship, so of course, we were going to draw a much broader range of viewers. Really, what we’re looking at is, ‘How did we rank within the competition compared to what was going on that night?’
With that said, Fertitta recognized the myriad of entertainment options available to consumers the weekend of May 5, and sees them as an obvious detractor to UFC viewership:
“And in hindsight, going on Cinco de Mayo may not have been the best thing to do. If The Avengers did over $200 million for the weekend, unfortunately for us, there were a great number of our potential viewers sitting in a movie theater somewhere. Or, they were out that night celebrating Cinco de Mayo. Listen, I’m not trying to make excuses. But when you say, ‘Are we concerned,’ I’d say no. We’re excited. We had a situation where 2.5 million people, which I would say is still a substantial number, got to see what I would say was a tremendous product.”
It appears that rather than being concerned, Fertitta is indeed excited about the future and what it may hold for a fighter like Nate Diaz, expressing the following about his main-event victor last Saturday:
“All four fights were great fights and in the main event, Nate Diaz showed he’s potentially a breakout star who down the road could move the needle for us on pay-per-view. The playbook is playing out for us exactly the way we wanted it to. It’s a learning process for all of us, but we’re not at all concerned. We feel things are progressing according to plan and whatever issues we have are things that aren’t insurmountable and which we can fix.”
So, if some are panicking about UFC on Fox ratings, the owner of the company is not among them. Lorenzo Fertitta believes in looking at the bigger picture, and he plans on only making the UFC more and more successful as time goes on, whether it be on Fox, pay-per-view, or elsewhere.