Fuel TV Boasts Ratings for New Year’s Day UFC Marathon & “UFC Tonight” Debut

January 6, 2012

Fuel TV officially kicked off the new year by airing a 24-hour UFC marathon on New Years Day, followed by airing the debut of “UFC Tonight” on January 3rd.

The rating’s boost received by UFC programming was a much needed one for Fuel TV, as it embarks on a mission to increase it’s household reach, mostly through the demand generated from the UFC’s fanbase.

From Multichannel:

Fuel TV’s New Year’s Day 24-hour marathon of UFC programming helped the network generate its highest watched primetime block ever, said network officials.

The UFC programming — part of a seven-year deal between the mixed martial arts outfit and Fuel TV owner Fox Sports– also generated the second most watched day in network history, with the network’s total day average up +378% vs. the January 2011 Sunday average, according to Fuel Tv officials.

Fuel TV had its highest-watched Primetime night ever, up +493% vs. the 2011 Sunday average. The top show of the day was UFC Bad Blood at 7:00 p.m. ET. It was the fourth most-watched show on Fuel TV among Households since the network became nationally rated.

MMAJunkie has the ratings for the “UFC Tonight” debut on Fuel TV:

This week’s series debut of “UFC Tonight” earned 39,000 viewers on FUEL TV, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed with industry sources.

That’s nearly three times FUEL TV’s usual audience size, which averaged approximately 15,000 viewers in 2011.

Still, FUEL TV remains a premium-subscription option on many cable platforms, and officials face an uphill battle in expanding the channel’s reach. A well-produced “Countdown to UFC 141″ special, for example, garnered just 15,000 viewers for its debut and 1,000 viewers for a subsequent replay – despite the Dec. 30 event being one of the UFC’s biggest shows of 2011.

 

Payout Perspective:

It’s a step in the right direction for both the UFC and Fuel TV, but it’s apparent that this partnership will need to blossom within the next few years in order to benefit the UFC. The end game for Fuel TV is to get the UFC and MMA fanbase to pressure cable/satellite providers to carry Fuel TV in order to continue increasing the reach of the lowest rated cable network in 2011.

The next key date for Fuel TV will be February 15, when UFC on Fuel TV makes it’s debut from the 10,000-seat capacity Omaha Civic Auditorium in Nebraska. Diego Sanchez and Jake Ellenberger are set as the main event while Dave Herman and Stefan Struve will meet in the night’s co-main event .

Notes from the press releases:

– NYE UFC Marathon: Generated the second most watched day in network history, with the network’s total day average up +378% vs. the January 2011 Sunday average.

– NYE UFC Marathon: Fuel TV had its highest-watched Primetime night ever, up +493% vs. the 2011 Sunday average.

– NYE UFC Marathon: The top show of the day was UFC Bad Blood at 7:00 p.m. ET. It was the fourth most-watched show on Fuel TV among Households since the network became nationally rated.

– “UFC Tonight” Debut: The debut of “UFC Tonight” garnered 39,000 viewers on FUEL TV, nearly three times FUEL TV’s usual audience size, which averaged approximately 15,000 viewers in 2011.

– “Countdown to UFC 141″ special: Garnered just 15,000 viewers for its debut and 1,000 viewers for a subsequent replay – despite UFC 141 being one of the UFC’s biggest shows of 2011.

4 Responses to “Fuel TV Boasts Ratings for New Year’s Day UFC Marathon & “UFC Tonight” Debut”

  1. Diego on January 6th, 2012 6:58 AM

    It’s impressive growth but from such a small base that I’m not convinced it will lead anywhere. When 39k views is cause for a celebration and a press release then you may not be on the right channel.

  2. SmaryJerry on January 6th, 2012 3:55 PM

    I know I would have spent all day watching if I had the channel. I can bet you thousands of people are requesting their cable provider to add Fuel TV.

  3. Jose Mendoza on January 7th, 2012 3:47 PM

    Diego:

    That is the obvious case here, since Fuel TV averages about 15K viewers. This past Thursday, they did 11K viewers in primetime, worst out of any other ad-supported cable network. This is a few days after UFC programming has already aired on the channel.

  4. Machiel Van on January 9th, 2012 8:24 AM

    It really seems like FUEL TV was the “quid pro quo” part of the FOX deal for Zuffa.

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