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).
This is an incredible number considering that Saturday was the very first day that the FOX Sports network went LIVE. I think most people in know would have considered anything around 700,000 viewers a ‘good’ number and anything over a million a homerun. Well, it looks like we could call this a grandslam for the UFC and FOX Sports 1. The card has some solid names on the card and was heavily promoted the last couple of weeks across all mediums. I know there were people that wrote online that they had trouble finding the channel and/or couldn’t find the channel at all, so one has to wonder what the show could have done without those hiccups.
Now, we must remember that the inaugural show on FOX did crazy good numbers coming out of the gate, setting the bar almost too high for the shows that came afterwards. It’ll be interesting to see what the ratings will be for the upcoming UFC Fight Night 27 event that’s slated for FOX Sports 1 on August 28. That show will be headlined by welterweights Martin Kampmann and former interim champion Carlos Condit.
Stay tuned to ProMMAnow.com for more UFC on FOX Sports 1 news and analysis.