New Year’s Day was just the first day of a seven-year deal that blasts UFC coverage across the network, but the early indications are that the partnership will do everything that Fox and Fuel TV executives anticipated and more.
Fuel TV ran 24-hour UFC marathon on New Year’s Day; covering a wide variety of UFC programming from “best of” shows to fight replays to documentaries and more.
The ratings for the marathon are in and the results were extremely positive.
The Jan. 1 UFC programming produced the second most-watched day in the network’s history with the average viewership for the day up 378 percent over Sunday’s average for 2011. Fuel TV also had its most-watched Primetime night ever, which was 493 percent higher than Sunday’s average for 2011.
The top show of the 24-hour marathon was UFC: Bad Blood, a documentary covering the feud between Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell. It clocked in as the fourth most-watched show on Fuel TV since the network became nationally rated.
“Fuel TV’s New Year’s Day Marathon of UFC programming was essentially Day 1 of FOX’s seven-year relationship with the UFC,” said George Greenberg, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Fuel TV.
“We are confident that this exceptional and powerful programming, our cross-network promotional strategy, along with a great working relationship with UFC management, will continue to drive growth for UFC and Fuel TV over the long term.”
In 2012, Fuel TV telecasts more than 2,000 hours of UFC programming, with more than 100 hours of live fights, weigh-ins, preliminary bouts, and pre- and post-fight shows.