Photo Props: UFC.com
Even though FUEL TV is still unavailable to most Americans, the UFC been a consistent draw for the channel. When FUEL TV aired the preliminary fights from UFC on FX 1, it set a company ratings record with an average of 148,000 viewers. This number was almost matched by the prelims for UFC on FOX 2, which averaged 144,000.
With the ratings now in for the UFC’s first live card, Wednesday’s UFC on FUEL: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger, FUEL TV executives have to be impressed. The three hour broadcast averaged 217,000 viewers, with ratings peaking at 315,000 viewers during the evening’s main event. Also of note, the event landed FUEL TV’s ratings in the Top 10 for ad-supported cable networks among the 18-49 year old men demographic.
Not bad for a channel that most of the people reading this don’t get.
Of course, the 217,000 viewers that UFC on FUEL brought in still amounts to roughly 1/3 of what the Diego Sanchez-themed episode of UFC Unleashed brought Spike TV (661,000 viewers). However, Spike TV is currently available in roughly sixty five million more homes in the United States than FUEL TV.
It can be said that FUEL TV’s viewers have been consistently supporting the UFC- fans with access to the channel have been showing up in record numbers, after all. However, the reality is still that while FUEL TV is expanding, most Americans still don’t have access to the channel, meaning most Americans simply can’t watch the UFC’s events on FUEL. It will be interesting to track the UFC’s ratings as the network expands.