UFC on Fuel TV 1 Draws Modest TV Ratings

February 17, 2012
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The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Wednesday night held the first live event of its new deal with Fox on the Fuel TV network.

UFC on Fuel TV 1: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger pulled in an average audience of 217,000 viewers over the course of its three-hour telecast.

That may seem rather low when the UFC was pulling in nearly one and a half million viewers just for its prelims shows on Spike TV and often times pulling two-million-plus viewers for a UFC Fight Night or Ultimate Fighter Finale.

The fact of the matter is that Fuel TV still has a rather small reach compared to Spike TV, although UFC on Fuel TV 1 was part of the network’s freeview week on cable and satellite systems that carry it.

The number is a marked increase over the two UFC preliminary bout telecasts on Fuel TV, which each drew just under 150,000 viewers on average.

UFC and Fuel TV officials don’t expect to break the bank initially anyway. The strategy is for the UFC’s presence on Fuel to help make the network a more attractive property, getting viewers to demand it from their television providers, building audience as they go.

For its part, Spike TV continues to counter the UFC programming on Fox networks with its own library of UFC programming. Spike is still drawing good numbers in doing so. A replay of the TUF 13 Finale on Wednesday night drew an average of 694,000 viewers, while UFC Unleashed hit 661,000.

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  • charlesirwin

    I have no say no matter what channel the fights are on i will watch. But all my freinds who have cable cant watch em because comcast doesnt carry fuel (at least thats what they say) but the thing that pisses me off is there is no Fuel HD channel. Having fights in standard signal sucks balls

  • As viewership increases so will Fuel’s standing as a channel and I expect that will eventually lead to them being picked up by other cable / satellite providers. That’s the whole point behind the heavy UFC presence and occasional live event on that channel, to build it up.

  • There is a FuelHD on DirecTV, I’m sure other carriers will get it once Fuel is more demanded. I just wish they showed more prelims on it rather than having some fights stream on Facebook or not at all

  • Planterz

    Putting these shows (UFC Today, prelims, events, etc) is all a scam, or at least a ploy by Fox. Fox is aware that hardly anybody gets this channel. I have Cox, and although I can get it, it’s in the Sports package for another $7 a month. And not in HD.

    #$@K that!

    Fox is hoping that enough people who watch UFC subscribe for the extra channel (channels, actually, as there’s several other Fox channels in that package) to help their otherwise worthless channel stay afloat.

    Not a bad business deal on their part, but it’s not worth adding another $7/mo to my already too-high cable bill, especially if it’s not even available in HD. I purchase every PPV (my friends pitch in), but I have no moral issues watching a FuelTV broadcast on a pirate site or waiting until the next day to download it. I’d rather send the UFC a check for $7 each time an event is on Fuel, rather than give it to the cable company and Fox.