Scratch everything we said about the UFC on FOX ratings from the initial reports. Those numbers weren’t terrible, but as more information came in, the ratings grew enough to set new records for the most-watched MMA television event in US history and the most-watched UFC event ever.
Yahoo! Sports’ Dave Meltzer has the new ratings and a few comments from a very relieved Dana White.
UFC on Fox did a 3.1 rating and 5.7 million viewers for the one-hour broadcast, based on the fast national Nielsen numbers. It was the largest audience ever to watch an MMA television show in the United States, breaking the record of 5.3 million set on Sept. 30, 2009, for an episode of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show on Spike TV featuring a taped match of Kimbo Slice vs. Roy Nelson.
“I’m pumped,” said UFC president Dana White when he got the numbers Sunday. “I wouldn’t change a thing. We had to introduce the sport to a bunch of people who had never been it before. It would have been great to have had a three-round war, but we can’t control how the fight is going to go.”
The show was an even bigger success in the target demographics, doing a 4.3 among males aged 18-34 and 4.0 in males 18-49. Both numbers are 3- percent and 33-percent higher than Slice vs. Thompson on CBS.
Perhaps most impressive, the show drew 1.7 million women over the age of 18.
Regarding that highly-coveted 18-34M demo we’re always hearing about, check this out. It might be the most exciting takeaway from all these numbers.
Among men 18-34, UFC on Fox out-rated every college football game this season other than LSU-Alabama.
The peak numbers still aren’t available for the fight, but hopefully it will top the 6.5 million that watched Kimbo Slice pop James Thompson’s ear on CBS.
The ratings would have been even better if the fight had lasted a few rounds or they aired the Ben Henderson vs. Clay Guida fight, but word is everyone’s happy with the numbers considering the fight only lasted 64 seconds.
I’m just happy it beat all of Kimbo Slice’s fights, including the taped one with Roy Nelson at TUF 10. Makes me feel a little better about humankind and life in general.