UFC on Fox 2 overnight ratings 2: 4.3 million viewers (UPDATED)

January 29, 2012

TV By the Numbers reports the overnight ratings for UFC on Fox 2 as it clearly won its timeslot among the networks with a 2.2 rating and a 7 share with an estimated 4.373 million viewer average. The numbers may be adjusted (and likely upward) due to the nature of live programming according to TV By the Numbers.

The timeslot victory may be tempered considering it was the only live original network programming during the timeslot and US Figure Skating Championships – a sport with more of a niche audience (outside of the Olympics) than MMA – was the only other live programming on any of the networks.

UPDATE: FOX releases Ratings

Saturday night’s UFC ON FOX event from the United Center in Chicago, posted a 2.7/5 household overnight rating/share, +42% better than FOX’s Saturday primetime average for the previous four weeks (1.9/4), according to Nielsen Media Research.

FOX Sports Research projects that the network is expected to win the night among Adults 18-49 by a wide margin, and may beat ABC, CBS and NBC combined in the Adults 18-34 demographic when national figures are issued tomorrow.

The three-bout, two-hour event, the first official network broadcast of FOX’s partnership with UFC, is off from the UFC on FOX premiere in November (3.5/6), which was only one hour and featured a highly anticipated heavyweight championship fight. When comparing similar time periods for the two events, FOX posted a 3.1/5 from 9:00-10:15 PM ET, compared to the 3.5/6 that the premiere event recorded from 9:00-10:00 PM.

As anticipation to the night’s main event grew so did the ratings. The night’s first match, Jitsu master Demian Maia taking on unbeaten Chris Weidman did a 2.3/4. The next fight between middleweight contender Chael Sonnen battling British star Michael Bisping grew to a 2.9/5. Fans tuned in to see former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans take on undefeated former national champion wrestler Phil Davis with that bout posting a 3.4/6. The fight went all five rounds and Evans defeated Davis by unanimous decision.

The top five metered markets for Saturday’s UFC on FOX event are: Las Vegas – 4.1/8; Louisville – 4.1/7; Indianapolis – 3.9/7; Greenville – 3.9/6; Tulsa – 3.9/6; and Knoxville – 3.9/6.  Other markets of interest: New York – 2.2/4; Los Angeles – 2.3/5; and host city Chicago – 2.8/5.


Payout Perspective:

The numbers are off from the first Fox event in November when those numbers totaled a 3.1 rating with 5.7 million viewers with a peak of 8.8 million viewers. Its unlikely that we’ll see that high of a peak here. The West Coast tape delay and overrun may help with the final tally for the ratings. UFC on Fox 1 was only 1 hour and was more of a novelty for the casual viewer. We shall see what the final results are for the UFC’s second time on the network. Unfortunately, not a lot of action to cheer for on the network show as the three fights wouldn’t appeal to someone watching MMA for the first time. It will be interesting how the UFC will work to ensure exciting fights next time out.

5 Responses to “UFC on Fox 2 overnight ratings 2: 4.3 million viewers (UPDATED)”

  1. Sampson Simpson on January 29th, 2012 3:38 PM

    Not looking good… not looking really bad.

    Only time will tell how it all plays out.

    In reality, I really typed nothing.

  2. BrainSmasher on January 29th, 2012 4:09 PM

    Prob best people didnt watch this. The main event had two guys scared to death to get hit and did their best not to. Chael Bisping was evenly matched between 2 cardio machines. Like i was saying before the fight it had lack luster written all over it. Chael was going to spend the entire time keeping Bisoing down and Bisoing was going to spend the time trying to stop takedowns and get up. No time to strike. That said there was a lot of great fights on the undercard. I think Fix needs to step up their game here and use some common sense.

    Why not air the 2-3 live fights then cherry pick some great exciting fights from the undercard to spice up the broadcast? Im sure the 5 million viewers would loved to have had the Cub swanson KO as part of the event. Fox has the entore card to pick great fights ending and highlight KOs from and they just lazily let the show run without covering their ass.

  3. The Rage on January 29th, 2012 5:50 PM

    To put things in perspective, the overnight rating for UFC on Fox 1 was 4.6 million. Essentially, the ratings dropped very little from the first show, despite the lack of a big time title fight. If Dos Santos/Velasquez was a PPV, I have no doubt it would have done at least 600 to 700K PPV buys. Evans/Davis would have likely have done 300K or so. Also keep in mind that Elite XC dropped by 42% in ratings for their second network show. The novelty of the first show is a big deal. When the numbers are compared like to like (overnights to overnights) and the surrounding context taken into account, the UFC actually did very well here. Sonnen/Silva and Rashad/Jones will be the two biggest PPVs, and they have been set up nicely.

  4. Assassin on January 30th, 2012 10:37 AM

    I think Fox is happy with the numbers.
    2.0 in key demo in 1st hour and 2.5 in key demo 2nd hour pretty much beat everything else on the other networks combined. This will help them drive higher advertising revenues. Remember, there are only 4 events per year of Fox, but with numbers like these they might “reset” the deal and put on more Fox cards, if not in year 1 then in year 2 (and therefore give more money to UFC). You can only compete with what else is on, so I think they did well enough.

    If Rage is correct on potential PPV numbers and assume $20/net to UFC you are talking $6MM for the card as break-even. If you assume the $90 million er year deal included $50 million for the Fx/Fuel stuff, then UFC is getting $10MM/card from Fox (if you assume Fx/Fuel content would have sold for $60MM then it is $7.5MMMM per card on the Fox vs. the $6 million they could have earned with a PPV. The goal is to get more eyballs for potential PPV the next few years, but the long term goal would be to make it a “real sport” in th eyes of the casual fans that they would tune in for every week on Fox.

  5. Diego on January 30th, 2012 11:03 AM


    You bring up a good point. We have always taken it as gospel that MMA is a PPV driven business. The Fox deal could change that and make network TV a significant portion of the industry’s revenue. That would be great for fans with more high-quality MMA available on network TV and basic cable.

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