UFC on FOX 3 “Diaz vs. Miller” was a great night of action packed entertaining fights on network TV. But that action didn’t translate to high ratings on FOX. UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta talks with Yahoo Sports about putting on a show on Cinco de Mayo and going head-to-head with boxing and the first summer blockbuster.
“If The Avengers did [a box office of] 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. Hats off to HBO and Bernard Hopkins. That’s a great job and a great number they pulled. 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. 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. Before I was involved in the pay-per-view business and understood the ins and outs, I was always scared to death to change the channel. We will work on this and look at it, but we’re not unhappy. We got a tremendous amount of exposure for a kid like Nate Diaz. We’re going to build him the way we built Jon Jones. Two years ago, nobody knew who Jon Jones was, and now, a couple of weeks ago, we did a very good [PPV] number for his fight that I think really crossed over and where the non hard-core fans were talking about it.” [Yahoo]
Call it bad timing, call it bad planning, whatever you call it. The UFC succeeded in putting on a fan friendly card, something the first two fights on FOX failed at.