MMAPayout.com has learned that the third episode of UFC Primtime: GSP vs. Hardy drew an average audience of 613,000 viewers on Wednesday night.
Episode 1: 1,000,000
Episode 2: 506,000 (-50%)
Episode 3: 613,000 (+22%)
There are many theories as to why there was a 50% drop in viewership between 1 and 2. Some panicked because they thought it was a sign of disinterest in the fight, others were more reserved in thinking it was likely just a result of tough competition due to March Madness and St. Paddy’s Day.
Why did the ratings increase? It’s possible that some of those lost to MM or St. Paddy’s during episode two, returned for episode three. However, I’m also inclined to think that the third episode benefited from a host of media coverage during fight week. Jon Jones and UFC on Versus, GSP and his endorsements, Dana White with Q&As, ESPN and MMA Live, THQ’s video game parties, etc.