Combate Americas delivers tremendous ratings for Telemundo
The UFC was founded in 1993 by Campbell McLaren, Rorion Gracie, Art Davie, Bob Meyrowitz, and David Isaacs. The league was sold to ZUFFA in 2001, and sold again to WEM-IMG in 2016 for 4 billion dollars, the largest sale in sports history. Now McLaren has done Jiu-Jitsu on the UFC, not going head to head directly, but instead focusing with leverage on an area of weakness. His Combate Americas builds Latino fighting champions and serves Hispanic fans, one of the world’s most avid groups of combat sports enthusiasts.
For the first time, the massive American Spanish-language television network Telemundo has broadcast mixed martial arts live. The first was Copa Americas on November 11, for McLaren’s epic, one-night, eight-man bantamweight tournament that awarded its winner a grand prize of $100,000. It takes place on the 24th anniversary of UFC 1, which was also headlined by a one-night, eight-man tournament. The next event, Combate 19: Queen Warriors on 12/1 in San Antonio also broadcast live.
The numbers are in, and they’re a knockout.
The events delivered the two largest audiences for MMA shows in the summer and fall of 2017, on Spanish-language television in the U.S.
COPA COMBATE delivered an average of 280,000 total viewers, 137,000 adults 18-49 and 70,000 adults 18-34. The show increased the network’s 18-34 audience in that time slot by 30 percent, and by 10 percent among adults 18-49, compared to the four prior Saturdays.
Meanwhile, “Combate 19: Queen Warriors,” which aired live on Telemundo at 12:00 a.m. ET/11:00 p.m. CT on December 1, delivered an average of 293,000 total viewers, 156,000 adults 18-49 and 73,000 adults 18-34.
“We are encouraged by the strong viewership the two broadcasts of Combate Americas delivered and look forward to working with the franchise again in the near future, and continue growing Telemundo’s MMA offering,” said Ray Warren, president of Telemundo Deportes.
His remarks were echoed by McLaren.
“We are delighted with the incredible ratings and viewership that the first two live MMA events in Telemundo history generated,” he said.
Calling the live action for both events were multiple-time WWE heavyweight champion Alberto Del Rio alongside Telemundo’s famed NFL and Olympics announcer Edgar Lopez, and blow-by-blow man Andres Bermudez.