The live SpikeTV broadcast of Melvin Guillard vs. Ronnys Torres and Mac Danzig vs. Justin Buchholtz prior to UFC 109 set a new record in viewership for this type of broadcast at 1.7 million viewers. Among men it was the second highest rated cable program to air on Saturday, February 6th and it was the number one rated program among men in its timeslot (9:00 EST/6:00 PST).
These preliminary card broadcasts are clearly becoming increasingly popular with viewers, having set a new record-high in viewership each time out with the exception of a brief dip for the coolly received UFC 106: Griffin vs. Ortiz. The format of offering two live UFC undercard fights on SpikeTV as a lead in to the UFC main pay-per-view broadcast was first attempted at UFC 103: Franklin vs. Belfort last September, with the debut broadcast netting a surprisingly robust 1.3 million viewers.
Hopefully, the new record-high in viewership for the live preliminary fights set at UFC 109: Couture vs. Coleman will convince the UFC to continue offering these fights to their insatiable fans.
The full list of "UFC Prelims" broadcasts and ratings includes:
- UFC 109 (February 2010): 1.7 million viewers
- UFC 108 (January 2010): 1.5 million viewers
- UFC 104 (October 2009): 1.4 million viewers
- UFC 103 (September 2009): 1.4 million viewers
- UFC 106 (November 2009): 1.3 million viewers