Spike TV’s UFC on FOX Counter-Program Nets 719,000 Viewers

November 16, 2011

MMAPayout.com has learned that Spike TV’s Saturday night telecast of “Dos Santos vs. Velasquez: Unleashed for the Heavyweight Title” between 9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT drew 719,000 viewers and a 0.6 rating with Men 18-34. List of ratings for “Unleashed” episodes pre and post UFC on FOX are listed below:

– At 8:00 pm: Before UFC on FOX went live, “Unleashed” drew 923,000 viewers .
– At 10:00 pm:  After the UFC on FOX had gone off air, “Unleashed” drew 787,000.

Spike TV’s Saturday night counter-programming efforts included the following “Unleashed” lineup:

8PM Unleashed
Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader
Junior Dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin
Cain Velasquez vs. Brock Lesnar

9PM Unleashed
Junior Dos Santos  vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic
Tyson Griffin  vs. Hermes France
Thiago Silva vs. Keith Jardine

10PM Unleashed
Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira
Matt Serra vs. Frank Trigg
Pat Barry vs Antoni Hardonk
Mark Munoz vs Kendall Grove


Spike TV must be very happy with those numbers, as they put their UFC library rights to good use airing UFC content around the UFC on FOX network debut.  Amazing to think that the 8PM airing of “Unleashed” which featured Brock Lesnar vs Cain Valasquez drew 923K viewers.  Last seasons TUF typically drew around 1 Million viewers and featured Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos as head coaches, which makes these rating numbers for taped fights that much more impressive.

13 Responses to “Spike TV’s UFC on FOX Counter-Program Nets 719,000 Viewers”

  1. Light23 on November 16th, 2011 4:09 PM

    “Dos Santos vs. Velasquez: Unleashed for the Heavyweight Title”

    That’s not trying to be misleading at all… 😀

  2. Jack Frost on November 16th, 2011 4:46 PM

    Damn, could’ve been 9.5 million on Fox.

  3. BrainSmasher on November 16th, 2011 5:59 PM

    MMA fans should take offense to the way Spike TV went about their battle with the UFC. They have every right to counter the UFC if they choose. Even though i think it is stupid when the UFC is trying to expand the market they are trying to capitalize on. But what they did is lie to the MMA fans they are trying to build a relationship with. They promoted their counter program as a build up for the title fight. They were not trying to build up the title fight but take away from it. To lie to the fans in that way is very irresponsible IMO.

    I will LMAO when the UFC uses all their power and new money from the FOX deal and increased PPV to raid Bellator’s fighters. Not that Bellator is building star fighters anyway.

    With a longer fight card on FOX i think the UFC would have peaked at 10 million and averaged 8 million viewers. I think this was a great success for the UFC and the sport. It is a shame Spike tried to hinder the sport to force the UFC to buy them out of a contract that they agreed to.

  4. BrainSmasher on November 16th, 2011 6:20 PM

    On the bright side counting the UFC on Fox, UFC on Spike, and Bellator there was almost 10 million people watching MMA from 9pm to 10pm. 9.5 million on the UFC Brand alone.

  5. Rich on November 17th, 2011 7:01 AM

    You are giving Bellator way too much credit.

  6. Diego on November 17th, 2011 8:34 AM

    I think it’s hilarious that the king of counter-programming himself is getting countered with his own product. I don’t think this hurts the sport. More MMA on any channel is good.

    I agree that if the UFC had shown the Henderson-Guida fight it would have built up viewership for the main event, I don’t know that it would have hit 10 million though.

    I’m also not sure about the math that leads people to estimate that 10 million people were watching MMA on Saturday night in the US – 5.7 M watched Fox, 700k watched Spike, and 100k wached Bellator. The Fox Deportes numbers have to be included but I’m still not sure that pushes the total to 10 M.

  7. Diego on November 17th, 2011 8:48 AM

    I just read that UFC on Fox peaked at 8.8M. I hadn’t realized that, that’s damn good. In that case I think adding the Bendo-Guida fight could have easily broken 10M. Lesson learned for the UFC.

  8. mmaguru on November 17th, 2011 12:11 PM

    This is all purely business. Spike simply capitalized on an opportunity to draw some ratings on a night where it would not have been able to. 923K viewers is a far cry from the 5.7 million average viewers UFC got on FOX (8.8 peak) but you have to agree it would be a pretty good number assuming there was no additional cost associated with the airing.

  9. Jose Mendoza on November 17th, 2011 1:01 PM


    It’s just Spike capitalizing on the library that they already own. Can’t blame them for that and it’s well within their contract agreement.

  10. CAINtheBULL on November 18th, 2011 12:56 AM

    Brazil numbers… 22 million viewers. 52% of televisions on. wow.

    story: http://globoesporte.globo.com/platb/primeiramao/2011/11/17/os-numeros-do-ufc/

  11. Jose Mendoza on November 18th, 2011 4:58 AM

    Thanks CaintheBULL,

    I have added it to the Payout Perspective. Appreciate it.

  12. Light23 on November 18th, 2011 2:47 PM

    If you include Fox Deportes there were 10 million people watching some form of UFC during that hour in the US.

  13. Light23 on November 18th, 2011 2:49 PM

    Just to clarify: 8.8 million watched during JDS vs Velasquez fight, 500k on Fox Deportes, and 700k on Spike.

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