January kicked off the new television partnership between the UFC and the Fox family of networks, drawing the MMA behemoth away from Spike TV and Versus (now NBC Sports). Fox executives have been more than pleased with the UFC’s success across Fuel TV, FX, and Fox, but particularly on the action sports focused network.
“Fuel is an even bigger story obviously,” Fox Sports co-president Eric Shanks commented recently. “Ratings every week, every month, the UFC content sets ratings records; we’ve doubled the ratings on Fuel since UFC’s been on it.
“What you’ll see on Fuel and a big reason for the partnership is the UFC will be the reason Fuel is available to more people. That’s the goal.”
Fuel TV executives report that ratings are up substantially, across the board, thanks in no small part to UFC programming, the volume of which is increasing along with the network’s ratings success.
Fuel TV saw its prime and late night viewership growth powered by 340 hours of UFC programming in April, including a live bout on April 14 that delivered Fuel TV the most-watched day and most-watched show in its target demo ever.
Fuel TV’s 340 hours of UFC programming in April is up from 213 hours in March, and sets a single month mark, passing the previous record of 233 set in February.
Fuel TV April 2012 Audience Highlights:
• April 2012 was up +260% in Total Viewers and +450% in M18-49 vs. April 2011
• Prime time viewership grew +275% on Total Viewers and +250% among M18-49 compared to April 2011
• Late night finished up +767% on Total Viewers and +1,000% among M18-49 from April 2011
• UFC on Fuel TV Fight Night on April 14 delivered the most-watched day in network history (on both Total Viewers and M18-49) with an average of 71,000 Total Viewers and 44,000 M18-49, +1,320% and +2,100%, respectively, vs. April 2011
• UFC on Fuel TV Fight Night on April 14 (UFC on Fuel TV 2: Gustafsson vs. Silva) was the second most-watched program in network history, with 197,000 Total Viewers and the most-watched telecast in network history among the target demo of M18-49 with 142,000
• The program peaked at 298,000 Total Viewers from 5:30pm ET – 5:45pm ET
• April 2012 was the network’s second most-watched month ever, behind February 2012
• For the first four months of 2012, prime time viewership is averaging an increase of +209% over 2011, and total day is up +125% compared to 2011
“We’re elated that Fuel TV continues to see incredible ratings gains as a direct result of our UFC partnership, especially the live event audiences,” said George Greenberg, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Fuel TV.
“I look forward to more live fights, as well as all-new UFC shoulder programming that continue to help our Fuel TV brand grow in ratings.”