UFC on Fox’s official debut last Saturday scored lower than its November special premiere, but when you look inside the numbers, Fox is happy with the ratings in the 18-34 and 18-49 categories. For advertisers, that’s what they want to hear.
The final rating for the mixed martial arts tripleheader was a 2.6 with a 5 share. The broadcast garnered 4.7 million viewers for the night.
In addition, Fox beat the other broadcast networks in the 18-34 and 18-49 demographics. Fox stresses that the audience grew with each passing fight which again is encouraging for the network.
Let’s take a look at the Fox press release and the numbers for the entire card.
Saturday night’s UFC on FOX event from the United Center in Chicago posted a 2.6/5 national rating/share, according to figures released by Nielsen Media Research today. As expected, FOX dominated the night on the important younger demographics. FOX’s 2.4 among Adults 18-49 nearly beat the combined ratings of ABC, CBS, and NBC (2.5 combined) and FOX’s 2.5 among Adults 18-34 easily beat those three network competitors combined (1.4). The three-bout broadcast on FOX averaged 4.7 million viewers from 8:00 PM – 10:19 PM ET.
The two-hour event, the first official network broadcast of FOX’s partnership with UFC, is off slightly (-16%) from the UFC on FOX premiere in November (3.1/5), which was only one hour and featured a highly-anticipated heavyweight championship fight. When comparing similar time periods for the two events, FOX posted a 3.0/5 from 9:00 – 10:15 PM ET, off only a tenth from the November UFC fight.
In several meaningful demographics, the last hour of Saturday’s broadcast rated higher than November’s UFC premiere on FOX with Men 25-49 up +3%, Men 25-54 up +3%, Men 35-54 up +4%.
As anticipation to the night’s main event grew so did the ratings and viewership. The night’s first match between Demian Maia and Chris Weidman scored a 2.2/4 rating/share. The next fight between Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping grew to a 2.7/5. Fans tuned in to see former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans take on undefeated former national champion wrestler Phil Davis with that bout posting a 3.4/6. More than 6 million viewers watched the five-round bout where Evans defeated Davis by unanimous decision.
The top five metered markets for Saturday’s UFC on FOX event are: Las Vegas – 4.1/8; Louisville – 4.1/7; Indianapolis – 3.9/7; Greenville – 3.9/6; Tulsa – 3.9/6; and Knoxville – 3.9/6.
And there will be another press release coming up.