Many industry experts were wondering if the UFC could go head to head with the NFL and Star Wars and live to tell about it. The answer is yes. UFC on Fox 17 headlined by Rafael Dos Anjos vs Donald Cerrone drew 2.28 million viewers to Fox. UFC on Fox 16 headlined by Dillashaw vs. Barão 2 drew 2.29 viewers earlier this year.
The NFL had the Jets vs Cowboys on the NFL Network. Two big market teams going at it always brings in a lot of viewers. The Jets are trying to get in the playoffs and Dallas, is well, Dallas.
Another thing the show had going against it was Star Wars. Episode 7 opened on Friday and fans were camping out to see it. But there were a lot of fans who didn’t like The Force Awakens who probably didn’t go back for a second showing on Saturday.
There have been rumblings that Fox isn’t happy with the UFC’s numbers on the network but still has to put on show due to their contract that runs through 2018. It will be interesting to see what happens when it’s time to renegotiate. Dana White could take his ball and go to another network or ask for more money at Fox.