Countdown to UFC 141: 15,000 viewers

December 27, 2011

MMA Junkie reports that UFC 141 Countdown garnered just 15,000 viewers on FUEL TV. A replay of the show the same night at 1am ET/10pm PT garnered a dismal 1,000 viewers.

The 15,000 viewers received a 0.03 household rating rating among men 18-49 and a 0.0 among men 18-34.

UFC 141 aired the week of Christmas and one week before the event. It primarily focused on Alistair Overeem, Brock Lesnar, Nate Diaz and Donald Cerrone.

The disparity in the number of homes that receives Fuel may be an ongoing issue as Spike, Countdown’s old home, is in 100 million homes while Fuel is in only 36 million.

Payout Perspective:

Dismal ratings for a pretty good Countdown show which did a good job in introducing the casual viewer to Alistair Overeem. However, the holidays, the early showing of the show and its new spot on Fuel Television may have contributed to such low ratings. We’ll see in 2012 how the UFC and Fox deal with this issue if the low ratings persist.

14 Responses to “Countdown to UFC 141: 15,000 viewers”

  1. JamesG on December 27th, 2011 5:11 PM

    It’s also running on FSN which is in many more homes, and it will be on Spike and Versus on Thursday.

  2. jasvll on December 27th, 2011 5:31 PM

    ‘Doug Cerrone’

  3. Diego on December 27th, 2011 7:22 PM

    The # of homes argument doesn’t work for me. Showtime and HBO are in fewer homes than Fuel and their FightCamp 360 and 24/7 shows do multiple times better in terms of total viewers, never mind ratings. The problem isn’t the # of homes, it’s that nobody watches Fuel. They need to get that shit on FX. 15k viewers is a joke.

  4. Jason Cruz on December 27th, 2011 8:00 PM


    I realized I’d probably get scolded for that. I’m sure if Nate called him Doug, that would be more incentive. That said. I’m correcting it. Thanks

  5. Jose Mendoza on December 27th, 2011 9:21 PM


    FSN doesn’t put in great ratings due to the fact that their programming is preempted by regional sports. It’s one reason why Bellator and other MMA promotions have historically struggled to gain any traction there. Spike is the most reliable and that will no longer be the case after UFC 141.

  6. bert on December 28th, 2011 6:51 AM

    It was just a Brock whoring exercise anyway. You cant polish a turd but in ufc’s usual way they are trying really hard.

  7. Jack of all Tirades on December 28th, 2011 8:51 AM

    Maybe advertise it a little more on the bigger channels. Fox just went balls deep on the UFC, you would think that some sort of multi channel cross promotion would be in order.

    Other ideas: Make it a reacurring show so I can just set it on my DVR to record, have it at a consitent time, advertise it….etc. I consider myself a “hardcore” fan even though I hate the word “hardcore”, but I never seem to know when this type of programming is unless I see it on a website like CagePotato.

  8. Chris on December 28th, 2011 11:07 AM

    LOL Diego comparing HBO/showtime to Fuel.

    You do realize people pay for HBo/Showtime, so you pay for it you are more likely to watch it, plus HBO compared to Fuel? Really?

    anyway just saw Fuel was the lowest rated network this year, of any network.

    This is why Fox/UFC are using UFC to build Fuel up cause Fox knows nobody watches Fuel, adding the UFC will hopefully get them into more homes over the next few years and build Fuel into a bigger network.

  9. BrainSmasher on December 29th, 2011 12:20 AM

    The ratings are not really that big a deal. Everyone knew the strength of the channel when the deals were made. What is important is those numbers increase over the next year or so. Right now nothing on the network has value. But their hope is to build the viewer base so the Unleashed, weigh ins, countdowns, etc have value later. It isnt killing them to take a hit on those. But they can be gravy later on. especially considering it will be almost a Zuffa network if it is built with their content.

    Another important issue they get the countdowns seen be the viewers. It doesnt matter if it is on 10 different medians. Showing on FSN is better than just showing it on Fuel. Although that still isnt enough to compare to what they are used to getting on spike. They have made a bigger push to get the Countdown on the net to the fans this time which is also good. If it is true that Spike and verses will show it. That is good for now. But later events might not have those options. The UFC will need to work out a deal to get it on FX to push their PPVs. Hell even a midnight time slot in front of infomercials would get some ratings.

  10. BrainSmasher on December 29th, 2011 12:28 AM

    Here is an idea i had that would go a long way to try and boost Fuel subscription numbers. Without letting anyone know so it doesnt hurt PPV buys. At the post fight press conference of Brock/Overeem. Announce that a replay of the fight and the unseen undercard fights will air on Fuel in a couple days. The mainstream appeal of the fighters would draw in many subscribers who didnt buy the PPV. PPV buys who wants to see it again or the untelevised fights.

    The UFC can beat the downloaders to the punch and capitalize on their PPV events like HBO and Showtime do boxing events. They use PPV fights to draw subscriptions and ratings a few days after the PPV. This would give the UFC something meaningful to advertise. You cant really run adds on other channels telling people to watch the countdowns. But you can a super fight that has tons of interest.

  11. Assassin on December 29th, 2011 11:18 AM

    I think this all changes January 1. Count me as one of the 15 thousand, however, I only found out about it being on from a MMA forum. I will be watching on 1/1/2012 and everyone who is a fan will find Fuel, request fuel, and learn where it is on there channel lineup. Looking forward to the new UFC Unleashed episodes, older PPV (starting with UFC 79 on 1/1/2012).

  12. Jason Cruz on December 30th, 2011 12:40 AM


    Well, we’ve got 2 of the 15,000 that watched it. What would have been more impressive if you were 1 of 1,000 that saw the rerun. I agree that the UFC needs to do more with the marketing push. Remember when networks told you what channels they were on? That would help too.

  13. Marty michaels on December 30th, 2011 10:08 AM

    You can’t just announce that a ppv is going to replay on a cable channel “a few days later”….the ufc’s cable and satellite partners have exclusive windows for 90 days. Occasionally the ufc when they were trying to kill their competition would ask for those windows to be reduced to 30 days but there’s a cost associated with that.

    Their What everybody seems to be missing is that after tomorrow the ufc has almost no place that MMA fans consistently watch to promote their ppvs. Fuel is the lowest rated cable channel with an average prime time viewership of 8000 viewers. Phone calls from viewers don’t change distribution deals overnite. In fact, most cable affiliate deals are locked in for years and when each deal comes up Fox will have to decide whether to use their leverage for Fuel..or for F/X or FSN or FOX NEWS or one of their 30 other priorities. In any case, it will take years to establish FUEL and in the meantime the UFC has very little cable real estate to promote their ppv’s. A few spots on FOX and F/X are not going to make up for all day every day on Spike.

    By the way, the second replay of Countdown 141 on Fuel did a 0.00 in m18-34, a 0.00 in m18-49 and 0 viewers.

  14. Random Dude on January 1st, 2012 7:16 AM

    It’s really funny to see people trying to spin 15,000 viewers as anything other than horrible. Housing prices never go down either…

    I said it before and I’ll say it again. Both Spike TV and the UFC are going to miss each other. Spike was the best thing for the UFC and the UFC was the best thing for Spike. This FOX deal stinks. It looks good on paper, but it just makes everything more confusing and less accessible.

    Is the UFC brand bigger than Oprah’s brand? Because Oprah already has one failed cable channel under her belt (OXYGEN) and currently OWN looks like it is also on the path to cable tv failure. What basis does everyone have that the UFC is going to make FUEL TV reach even a mediocre level let alone it’s current bottom-of-the-barrel level? Especially with the stuff “Marty Michaels” mentioned. MMA is a niche sport that has a lot less fans than Oprah and all her other business entities.

    Is FOX going to deal hard with the cable companies for UFC interests the way Discovery did for Oprah? Is FOX going to give the UFC all the programming time they want on FX which is comparable to Spike? Probably not since FX already has it’s own lineup of shows that get good/decent ratings unlike Spike TV. FUEL TV is and always will be a non-factor. FUEL TV is a step back and UFC on FX gets a lot less exposure for the UFC than Spike TV.

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