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Countdown to UFC 141 ratings were bad. Like REALLY bad.

Even the UFC’s number one draw Brock Lesnar wasn’t enough to overcome Christmas and the move to a new channel when it came to Countdown to UFC 141. Ratings sucked more dicks than Jenna Jameson:

This past week’s “Countdown to UFC 141” debut on FUEL TV scored just 15,000 viewers and a 0.03 household rating rating among men 18-49 and a 0.0 among men 18-34. ( today confirmed the Dec. 21 ratings with an industry source.

The show, which previews Friday’s UFC 141 event and the headlining heavyweight eliminator of Alistair Overeem vs. Brock Lesnar, scored just 1,000 viewers for 1 a.m. ET/PT replay that followed the 10 p.m. ET/PT debut.

To give you some perspective on how miserable those numbers are, more people visited Fightlinker that day than watched the UFC’s Countdown show. And that’s with holiday numbers being teh poopity poop on the internet too. This shouldn’t be all that surprising though. This deal was always about taking a shitty channel no one watches and trying to turn it into another Spike.

Do you remember back in the heady days of 2003 when the New Nashville Network became Spike? Spike Lee (who?) was suing them and all they ever showed was Star Trek reruns and James Bond marathons. I’m sure those ratings numbers sucked too, but with the help of the UFC the two organizations dragged themselves up the ratings rung one percentage of a rating point at a time. Now Spike is considered a legit cable contender and the UFC is on FOX. Not too shabby.

Whether that magic can be recreated is the big question now, and to a certain degree it doesn’t have a lot to do with how amazing the UFC is or how awesome the stuff they put on FUEL is. The network has a third the distribution of Spike and is tucked away on crappy tiers on many cable provider packages. Since many of these providers are owned by mega media conglomerates that compete with FOX, you’re going to see a lot of them blocking FUEL and trying to sabotage it if they can. FOX will be twisting arms too, using any renewal deals as an opportunity to force companies to switch the channel to a better tier.

Who will win? Who knows. But for all the hoopla on how amazing it is that the UFC is on FOX and FX, making FUEL the new Spike with all the Unleashed and Countdown content was always a risky proposition because it’s such a huge drop in visibility. In that way, I gotta say again it’s quite fortunate Viacom is dumb enough to keep running the UFC library on Spike like they are right now. At least someone is watching that channel.

  • iamphoenix says:

    the countdown was on an energy drink?

  • DJ ThunderElbows says:

    I’m sure those ratings numbers sucked too, but with the help of the WWE the two organizations dragged themselves up the ratings rung one percentage of a rating point at a time.

    Fixed that for you.  WWE Raw and Tough Enough (TUF for puro) were the lead-ins to TUF, and were the original Ratings leaders which made Spike a household name.  Then Vince thought he was better than them and held out for more money when his ratings started to decline and ended up back on wherever the fuck he is now.  Then Zuffa kept the ratings frate trane g[r]oing until now.

    I actually didn’t follow the UFC that much at that point.  Having been bored to death by wrestlers (Severn started it, but I will never forgive Hammer house and Randleman for that Bas fight) I was watching Pride where martial artists smashed the wrestlers on the reg.

  • DJ ThunderElbows says:

    PS – congratulations on outdrawing the UFC!!!

  • Letibleu says:

    Sexist. The numbers would be higher if they allowed girls to watch the countdown.

  • glassjawsh says:

    this numbers are pretty bogus. considering how easily available the show is online and through the xbox app

  • P W says:

    Only 15,000 people huh? So if I open my window and yell really loud that UFC 141 is on this Friday there is a good chance I will create more attention? That’s a pretty bad situation.


    (Joke of course. My mom’s basement doesn’t even have windows.)

  • Nachtfalter says:

    I wanted to comment on the nice little fairy tale that it was the UFC that helped Spike become a player, but ThunderElbows kind of already did that for me. WWE made Spike. WWE made TUF. Dana should crawl up Vince McMahon’s ass every night to thank him for allowing the UFC to profit off of RAW.


  • noiseless says:

    cowboy was..well sort of scary sitting there on the fence, seemingly preoccupied with imaginary cattle and poultry out in the distance. but i sooo know he was feeling shitty and awkward over having to twiddle his favorite rope infront of some pushy guy with a camera. worst countdown evar btw.