(UFC on FOX Main Event Fighters Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (L) and Brandon Vera | Photo Credit MMA Junkie)
So, we all know that Saturday’s UFC on FOX card was spectacular, with every main card bout (and many under card ones) being competitive and thrilling, but how did it fare in the ratings? Preliminary ratings from TV by the Numbers, show that the UFC ratings were relatively strong. The UFC on FOX peaked with a preliminary rating of 2.36 during the Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Brandon Vera main event.
The bad news for MMA partisans is that the UFC on FOX, like everything else on television Saturday night, got blown out of the water by the Summer Olympics. These are the highest-rated Olympics in history, so it is what it is.
The good news is that, in overall ratings and in the 18-49 year old demographic, the UFC on FOX telecast placed second to the Olympics in ratings every half hour they went head to head. That’s higher ratings than ABC’s airing of the critically and commercially successful feature film, Norbit, as well as whatever NYC 22 is on CBS. The 18-49 rating is coveted by networks and advertisers because I guess we are easily persuaded to buy stuff we don’t really need.
In any case, the UFC on Fox ratings did just what the fight promotion and network could have hoped they would do as the telecast went on. Ratings improved each half hour as, perhaps, word started getting around that the fights were exciting as all heck and a small portion of viewers decided that trained killers might be more interesting to watch than people swiping at plastic birdies, throwing hammers or whatever Olympic sports were on NBC Saturday night.
At 8:00pm, the UFC on FOX pulled a 1.91 rating against NBC’s Olympic coverage which garnered a 19.77 rating. Each half hour after that as they went head-to-head, the Olympics ratings increased but so did the UFC’s. The first two UFC on FOX events got 5.7 million and 4.7 million viewers, respectively. The previous one, featuring Nate Diaz beating Jim Miller, peaked at 2.4 million viewers.
Did you do your part, nation, and support the UFC on FOX Saturday night? If so, you’re no doubt the cool-guy or gal at the water cooler this morning. If you decided to watch teenagers in leotards jumping around instead, we understand where you’re coming from but that’s what DVRs are for. Live and learn.