Top 2011 MMA Television Ratings (So Far)

October 4, 2011

On November 12th, the UFC’s debut on FOX will no doubt break the television ratings record for 2011, and quite possibly the all-time record of 4.3 million viewers held by Elite XC on CBS, which is to-date the most watched MMA event in history.

So far in 2011 (as of October 4th), the UFC’s March 26th Fight Night 24 broadcast on Spike TV featuring Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Phil Davis is the ratings leader with 2.2 million viewers. It was the highest rated event since the September 2009 broadcast of UFC Fight Night 19: Diaz vs. Guillard, which had 2.5 million viewers.

The February 5th UFC 126 Prelims, also broadcast on Spike TV comes in second with 2 million viewers. The televised fights included Donald Cerrone vs. Paul Kelly and Chad Mendes vs. Michihiro Omigawa. The event coincided with the UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort Pay-Per-View.

The third ranked televised event was UFC Fight for the Troops 2, that took place January 22nd on Spike TV and was headlined by Melvin Guillard vs. Evan Dunham and co-headlined by Matt Mitrione vs. Tim Hague. The event garnered an audience of 1.85 million viewers.

I also gave Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva an honorable mention. The event, which was broadcast February 12th on Showtime only chalked up 741,000 viewers, however, Showtime is only available to 1/4 of the households Spike TV is in. This event was watched by 2.98% of Showtimes total available viewership as opposed to UFC’s number 1 event seen by 2.20% of Spike TV’s total viewership.

It’s no surprise that the top rated MMA television shows all were broadcast on Spike TV, a network that’s in close to 100 million (99,947,000) households, which has 86% market coverage in the United States. The UFC’s other broadcast partner, Versus, is in approximately 76 million households (66% coverage). MMA programming on Versus only broke the 1 million viewer mark three times since 2008, UFC on Versus 1: Vera vs Jones, WEC 34 and WEC 41. It will be very interesting to see what happens in terms of ratings, when the UFC moves to FOX in just over a month.


UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis
March 26, 2011
Viewers: 2,200,000
2.20% of total Spike TV Households (99,947,000)

UFC 126 Prelims
February 5th, 2011
Viewers: 2,000,000
2.00% of Spike TV Households (99,947,000)

UFC Fight For the Troops 2
January 22nd, 2011
Viewers: 1,850,000
1.85% of Spike TV Households (99,947,000)

Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva
February 12th, 2011
Viewers: 741,000
2.98% of Showtime Households (24,833,000)

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