I imagine that after receiving the ratings numbers for Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen this morning, Dana White calmly asked everyone to get the fuck out of his office, closed the door, threw on some Rage and did the following…
It would be hard to blame him if he did, because early figures for the UFC’s debut on the FOX Sports 1 network are nothing short of astounding. According to a press release sent out this morning, Saturday’s main card at the TD Garden averaged over 1.7 million viewers, shattering the UFC’s previous FUEL ratings like they were Corey Hill’s leg:
FOX Sports 1, driven by UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SHOGUN VS. SONNEN, posted an average audience of 1.71 million viewers in prime time (8:00-11:00 PM ET), a more than 10-fold increase compared to that which SPEED, FOX Soccer and FUEL TV combined to deliver on the comparable night a year ago (141,000). Among younger demographics the comparisons are even more significant. FOX Sports 1 viewership was over 25 times greater than SPEED/FOX Soccer/FUEL TV among both Adults 18-49 and Men 18-49, and 40 times greater among Adults 18-34 and M18-34.
40 TIMES GREATER?! On a network I still can’t find with a remote, a TV guide and a homeless guy I dragged off the streets to watch the fights with me?
But wait, MORE NUMBERS:
FOX Sports 1 averaged a 1.33 household rating last night in prime time, and ratings were particularly strong among younger demographics. Remarkably, FOX Sports 1 out-rated all four major broadcast networks among Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34, Men 18-49, and Men 18-34 based on impressions within each demo.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SHOGUN VS. SONNEN was the most socially-active English-language show in all of television yesterday, with 46,520 commenters, producing 124,635 Tweets, based on the number of commenters not Tweets. For the entire day, FOX Sports 1 was the third-most socially active English-language network (52,209), as ranked by number of unique commenters after NFL Network (116,253 unique commenters) and FOX Broadcast (104,365).
So you’re saying that if you actually put a decent fight card together, fans will tune into said card even if it’s on a previously unheard of channel? QUICK, SOMEONE ALERT LORENZO OF THIS DISCOVERY FORTHWITH.
It’s safe to say that the UFC knocked this one out of the park and is off to a great start on the FS1 network. Perhaps most telling of all was this email sent from White to Dave “The Doom and Gloom F*ckstick” Meltzer that we obtained (hacked in and stole) from his Blackberry:
1.71 MILLION. 1.33 RATING.
F*ck you, you no-longer-working-at-Yahoo piece of sh*t. - DW
Lets hope the UFC can boast similar numbers with their second event, Condit vs. Kampmann II, which goes down from Indianapolis, Indiana on the 28th. Based on the card alone, we’re going to make the wild prediction that they won’t.