UFC Fight Night 27 TV Ratings Fall Off from Fox Sports 1 Launch’s Early Success

August 29, 2013
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03-Carlos Condit vs Martin Kampmann UFC FN27_5888The UFC’s TV ratings on the new Fox Sports 1 were strong out of the gate, but, as expected, the Wednesday-night time slot for UFC Fight Night 27 and being on a new network was a challenge.

UFC Fight Night 27: Condit vs. Kampmann pulled in an average audience of 824,000 viewers, which is significantly less that the 1.78 million that watched UFC Fight Night 26 during the Aug. 17 network launch.

It may sound counterintuitive, but that is exactly why Fox wanted the UFC to anchor its Wednesday night programming on Fox Sports 1.

“They put us on Wednesday nights because they were looking for something strong that they thought could deliver on a Wednesday night,” remarked UFC president Dana White following Wednesday night’s event in Indianapolis.

“It’s a challenge selling tickets. It’s the live gate is the one thing that’s gonna be the challenge.”

UFC Fight Night 27’s return of 824,000 viewers fell well below the top shows on the night. Shows like Duck Dynasty, Modern Dads, Family Guy, and others are drawing well into the millions of viewers, but Fox Sports 1 is a new network that is still working to establish itself.

The strength of the UFC’s following is what Fox is banking on for it’s Wednesday night block on FS1, and is something that will probably take some time to establish a true measuring stick of its success or failure.

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  • Jay Mcgarrity

    The validity of this article is a little off and misleading. You can’t even compare those two cards to begin with because one card is arguably the card of the year while the other is a typical free fight night card. To say that wednesday night was not a factor in the ratings would be false but to make it seem like this is the main factor is not accurate. To more hardcore fans Condit vs Kampmann is a super exciting fight but Chael has always been a bigger draw and with his coaching on TUF he definitely has a wider fan base. Overeem vs Browne and Faber vs Alcantara were close to headline status for a free card. Conor Mcgregor made his highly anticipated return back into the octagon on the FS1 1 card. Almost the entire prelim block on the FS1 1 card could’ve been on the main card and on top of that a good portion of the card was full of the most popular TUF stars. To sum it up, the FS1 1 card was stacked more than most UFC cards with not only big names but popular names and that was probably the main factor in the rating difference.

  • Jon Barker

    Beat all ESPN shows for the day. As the channel grows people will tune in more. The card wasn’t the greatest they really spread themselves out these 3 1/2 weeks (4 events) but it is a solid number for FS1 considering everything else on the channel isn’t doing much. Not a good number for the UFC but for FS1 it is a really Strong number to help grow the channel.

    More importantly how does Duck dynasty pull 9 million viewers?

    http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2013/08/29/wednesday-cable-ratings-duck-dynasty-dominates-again-modern-dads-here-comes-honey-boo-boo-futurama-the-challenge-rivals-ii-more/199915/

  • MMAMA

    I wonder what their global market for this card was. I know it was shown in a lot of countries on sports channels… despite it not being a huge hit in the US, I’d be interested to see those numbers also.

  • Aaron Matteson

    It was a Wednesday night, I had class. still watched the last few fights.

  • Mike McKinney

    Slight problem. There are many more people watching TV on a Wednesday night than are watching TV on a Saturday night. It is a more uncommon night for the UFC, but getting butts in front of a TV is not a problem. However, going to the live event in person takes some work. Gate numbers can be down because of Wednesday, not TV ratings.

    On a side not, I had a few friends here in SoCal, including myself, that lost the fs1 signal. I pretty much was unable to watch any of the main card live. Like I said, some other friends had the same issue, but I’m not sure how widespread the issue was. I was however able to record, and watch the rerun on fs2. Not too much of a problem for me, sucks for those that don’t receive fx2 though.