Spike TV has released the ratings for Ultimate Fight Night 14 ‘Silva vs Irvin,’ and they are impressive.
“The Ultimate Fighting Championship proved yet again to be the ratings champion with the hard-to-reach demographic of young men. Spike TV’s telecast of a live ‘UFC Fight Night’ on Saturday, July 19 (9:00pm-12:00am ET) featuring the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Anderson Silva, out-delivered every other channel (broadcast and cable) with Men 18-34 (903,000), Men 18-49 (1,550,000), Men 25-34 (622,000), and Persons 18-34 (1,326,000).* The telecast peaked at 11:30pm for the Silva vs. James Irvin bout drawing 3.8 million viewers and a staggering 4.9 rating for Men 25-34 and a 4.1 rating in Men 18-34.
The UFC fight card also drew more viewers than FOX’s coverage of MLB (3,072,000) earlier in the day and nearly tripled its reach of Men 18-34 (369,000) and doubled the Men 18-49 (879,000).
Overall, the three-hour live UFC event averaged a 2.1 household rating, a 2.8 with Men 18-49, a 3.2 with Men 18-34, a 2.0 with P18-49 and 3.1 million total viewers. Comparing to other marquee weekend events, Spike’s UFC telecast also drew more Men 18-49 than ESPN’s coverage of “The ESPY Awards” (1,127,000) and Men 18-34 (689,000).
Compared to the time period a year ago, the ‘UFC Fight Night’ was up +229% in household rating, +451% in M18-49, +463% in M18-34, +470% in M25-34 and +266% in average audience.”
While we’ll never truly know how many potential pay-per-view customers the UFC pulled away from Affliction, the UFC is likely very happy with their counter-programming efforts.
For comparison, here are the highest rated MMA events in North American history.
- EliteXC: Primetime – 6.5 million viewers (peak)
- UFC 75: Champion vs Champion – 5.9 million viewers (peak)
- UFC Final Chapter: Ortiz vs Shamrock III – 5.9 million viewers (peak)
[UPDATE 7/22/08 – 9:47PM ET] – Updated ratings from Spike TV have the event peaking at 4.46 million viewers.