UFC debut on FOX Sports 1 is a ratings smash
FOX Sports 1 launched yesterday in approximately 90-million homes. Powered by 11.5 hours of live NASCAR and UFC programming, plus three hours of the inaugural editions of FOX SPORTS LIVE, FOX Sports 1 posted strong audience figures on its first day of operation, according to fast national information released by Nielsen Media Research.
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. All ratings are coverage area nationals, live plus same day stream.
“We must congratulate the UFC for putting together a terrific event for the launch of FOX Sports 1 that fans were obviously very excited to watch,” said Bill Wanger, Executive Vice President, Programming and Research, FOX Sports. “The prelims and main events were action-packed, and the production quality and new camera angles gave fans a totally new perspective – hats off to the UFC and its incredibly loyal fan base for making our first night such a complete success.”
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.
FOX Sports 1’s first ever primetime event, UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SHOGUN VS. SONNEN, averaged a 1.38 and beat the average of the eight UFC on FX Fight Nights by +49% in rating (1.38 vs. 0.93) and +38% in viewership (1.78 million vs. 1.29 million). FOX Sports 1’s first UFC FIGHT NIGHT also beat seven of those eight FX Fight Nights individually. Among younger demographics, last night’s FOX Sports 1 card easily beat the average of FX’s primetime UFC cards by +50% in viewership among Men 18-49 (994K vs. 663K) and +44% higher among Men 18-34 (492K vs. 342K).
The inaugural airing of FOX SPORTS LIVE improved greatly over SPEED’s performance in the time period. Compared to SPEED’s third quarter of 2012 time period average FOX SPORTS LIVE improved by +137% among Total Viewers (476K vs. 201K), and an immense +1384% over SPEED’s Men 18-34 time period performance (163K vs. 11K).
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).