UFC Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen Helps Drive FOX Sports 1 to Strong TV Ratings

August 18, 2013
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Shogun vs SonnenThe Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday helped launch the new FOX Sports 1 network with UFC Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen occupying the first prime time programming on the 24/7 sports network. It was a strong move in the TV ratings game.

UFC Fight Night 26 posted an average audience of 1.78 million for a 1.38 household rating, according to fast national information released by Nielsen Media Research on Sunday.

UFC Fight Night 26 beat out the eight UFC on FX Fight Night events by 49 percent in rating (1.38 vs. 0.93) and 38 percent in viewership (1.78 million vs. 1.29 million). Among the key advertising demographics, UFC Fight Night 26 against trumped FX’s prime time UFC events by 50 percent in viewership among Men 18-49 (994,000 vs. 663,000) and 44 percent among Men 18-34 (492,000 vs. 342,000).

On the strength of the UFC programming, FOX Sports 1 averaged 1.71 million viewers in the strict 8 to 11 p.m. ET prime time slot, which FOX says was a 10-fold increase compared to the number Speed, FOX Soccer and Fuel TV combined delivered on the comparable night a year ago, which was 141,000 viewers.

“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.”

UFC Fight Night 26 featured Chael Sonnen submitting former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the first round of their main event match-up.

FOX Sports 1 on Saturday night 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 demographic.

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  • Gyhk

    Chael draws the ratings!

  • fightfan

    Great event, but the new camera angles were god awful, you can’t see all of the action

    • Jay Mcgarrity

      i didn’t like that one where the camera was like on top of the octagon floor. it almost seemed laggy and was shaking with the movement on the floor. I guess they are trying new things and updating stuff but maybe not time for it yet. Within the next 10-20 years there will probably be hundreds of tiny cameras all around and we will be able to control what view we see with our remotes.

    • ElbowSlice

      I thought the new camera angles were fantastic! Although the picture quality was a little weird (I guess because they are filming through the fence?), the close-up view and angle of view were excellent. It felt almost like being ring side.

  • Kbroesq

    This is good news. Of course, It’s hard to tell when things are really going well in ‘T.V. speak.’ No matter what happens, they will put a positive spin on it.

    If this were on Big Fox (which it would have been had FS1 not existed) how many viewers would it have gotten?

    Anyway, I’m glad to hear that the ratings were good because I thought there would be a lot of people who would not be able to find the show, or would have thought it was on Big Fox. I actually thought they shouldn’t have wasted such a good card on a new station a lot of people wouldn’t know about.