The UFC's Fight Night on Wednesday on Fox Sports 1 drew 824,000 viewers and a 0.69 rating, lower than any live fight card on FX and less than half of what the UFC's debut show on Fox Sports 1's launch night did. Yet, the event can be considered a success when you look deeper than just the base numbers.
With a card featuring no title fights and no recognizable talent aside from Carlos Condit, a Wednesday night show drawing 800,000 viewers is a solid success. Only that debut show two Saturday ago and the preliminary card from that show have drawn more viewers among all programs on Fox Sports 1.
The 824,000 viewers is also more than five times what Speed averaged in primetime last year (158,000). It's simply not rational to get hot and bothered over ratings this early, especially when A&E aired a three hour block of Duck Dynasty, siphoning off oodles of viewers from the UFC's key demographic.
824,000 is a good number, all things considered. If you told UFC competitor Bellator, airing on Spike, that they'd draw 824,000 viewers for one of their shows, they'd be tickled. Yet, it's a failure for the UFC on a brand new network? Nah, it doesn't work like that.