UFC Fight Night 27: 824,000 viewers

August 29, 2013

The Wrestling Observer (subscription required) reports the ratings for Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 27 did a 0.69 rating for an average of 824,000 viewers. While the number is good for the network, its less than stellar for UFC viewership.

The good news for FS1 is that the ratings for Wednesday’s UFC live event beat out ESPN in all the key demos.  It also is the third-most watched show in the short lifetime of the network.  The first Fight Night on the network and the prelims scored higher than Wednesday’s event.  However, it did less than half of the UFC’s debut on FS1.  Of course, that event was on the initial launch date of the network and apparently fans were willing to find the event more than Wednesday’s Condit-Kampmann main event.

The UFC Prelims on FS2 did only 109,000 viewers for a 0.25 rating.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings show that the UFC is the key content for the new network so far as its posted the biggest ratings on FS1.  While the 824K viewers is low compared to other UFC live events, it is good compared to other programming on FS1.  The bad news is that UFC FN 27 was much lower than the least watched UFC live event on FX.  As pointed out by MMA Fighting, the 972K viewers (UFC on FX 6) for an overseas live event on a Friday on FX with another live event the following night (TUF Finale) paints a bleak picture for the prospects of the UFC live cards on FS1.  While the initial show on FS1 did great in the ratings, it will be a task to ensure that viewers return to watch UFC live events.  This week will be a good test in fanship as there will be 2 live events, a PPV and a 2 hour TUF premiere in just a week’s time.  Is this too much UFC in such a short period of time?  The ratings may tell us.

37 Responses to “UFC Fight Night 27: 824,000 viewers”

  1. Chang on August 29th, 2013 11:40 PM

    All Access for Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez did 225,000 viewers.
    The debut episode of HBO’s “De La Hoya/Mayweather 24/7″ on April 15, 2007 drew 1.4 million viewers.
    http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/5249/bradley-matthysse-sparring-session

  2. Chang on August 29th, 2013 11:40 PM

    Leo Santa Cruz-Victor Terrazas did 364k viewers.
    Abner Mares-Jhonny Gonzalez did 481k viewers.
    https://twitter.com/KevinI/status/372462053803298816

  3. BrainSmasher on August 30th, 2013 12:33 AM

    Lets be honest here. This card was way over shadowed by the FS1 debut. There was no promotion before the last card took place and that left them a week to promote this card which honestly was not a strong card. Add to that it being the second (also weakest) of 3 events inside 2 week span. I didn’t expect this event to do well at all. This is a new network that doesn’t have anything bringing people in yet but the UFC. So given the new network, weak card, no promotion, a busy 2 weeks. These are not bad. Not good, it would have been nice to pull in good numbers despite everything going against it. But when you are between a stacked and hyped Chael/Shogun card and a Bendo/Pettis Mir/Barnett card and all you have is Condit coming off 2 straight loses and Kampman is isn’t a name coming off a loss himself in Indiana of all places. You cant really expect much.

  4. Jake on August 30th, 2013 1:17 AM

    “As of August 2012, Showtime’s programming reaches approximately 22 million pay television subscribers in the United States”

    http://www.sfgate.com/tv/article/Showtime-retooling-for-the-future-3751547.php#page-1

    “@SHOsports Championship #Boxing main events are averaging 754k viewers this year”

    https://twitter.com/danrafaelespn/status/372893715808788480

    This was before the Time Warner blackout of course

    http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/207794/3-million-homes-have-no-cbs-service-via-twc.html#axzz2dRR1NQXO

    FS1 90 million homes
    http://thebiglead.com/2013/08/15/fox-sports-1-will-be-in-90-million-homes-but-it-lost-the-battle-of-price-per-subscriber/

    SHO less than 22 million (because of the blackout)

    The big problem for FS1 is they are banking on UFC and Nascar, those are 2 sports that don’t attract the general sports fan. They have their own cult like fanbase who aren’t really sports fans, this was outlined by Sports Business Journal a couple years back. It was evident last Saturday when it was close to 2 million that watched the inaugural UFC on FS1 and less than 1/4 stuck around for the FS1 studio sports show.

    The UFC was better off on FX where the UFC fans are more likely to get some of the great shows on FX instead of sticking around for college football or that lame wannabe foxnews/sportscenter.

    2 cents.

  5. Tops of on August 30th, 2013 3:41 AM

    FOX SPORTS 1’S RATINGS ARE FALLING BACK TO EARTH

    After a promising opening weekend, the ratings for Fox Sports 1 are crashing back to reality.  The network that is only 11 days old is realizing building a 24/7 cable sports empire is much more difficult than it seems.

    Viewership totals for the channel are making their way into the public eye and the clouds are being lifted in seeing just how high the mountain is that Fox Sports 1 is hoping to climb to compete with ESPN.

    In fact, thus far Fox Sports 1 is behind Speed in total day average viewership.  (Maybe all those angry Speed fans have a point after all.)  According to Nielsen (via Variety), Fox Sports 1 is averaging 81,000 total day viewers.  Speed averaged 100,000.  In primetime, FS1 is ahead thanks mainly to their opening night UFC bump, but just barely – 161,000 to 158,000.

    Last week Fox Sports 1 wasn’t just behind ESPN in primetime viewership totals, they also lagged behind ESPN2, NFL Network, and MLB Network…

  6. Tops of on August 30th, 2013 3:43 AM

    Fastest growing network…..fastest growing sport

  7. Jason Cruz on August 30th, 2013 5:34 AM

    @Chang and others:

    Do you think the low ratings for Canelo/Mayweather has to do with the fact they 1) roll out the ep free online later or 2) know one knows Canelo or 3) people are tired of the 360/24/7 gimmick?

  8. Tops of on August 30th, 2013 6:10 AM

    Well mayweather has been in so many 24/7 …there’s nothing new to watch…people know who he is…his family.etc……but same thing people would still watch him fight….they should focus on canelo…thou he dosent speak English…also they should split tHe show with mathyse vs Garcia …2 good fighters…good matchup….and father of danny garcia –angel Garcia is an unpredictable person….good for the show

  9. aintitthetruth on August 30th, 2013 6:40 AM

    Even if it was overshadowed; its free. its not like fans had to choose between this and the fs1 ufc.

    All i can say is they shoulda begged lytle to fight on this card. this card was garbage on paper no wonder it bombed.

  10. aintitthetruth on August 30th, 2013 6:46 AM

    Furthermore; heavyweights sell. Fs1 had a top tier heavyweigjt fight. mir barnett is top tier as well. Ufn27 didn’t have a top tier heavyweight tilt to anchor it.that’s a big time fail for the ufc. What’s bs’ lame excuse for that goofup? casual people do not want to see smaller people fight.

  11. Chris on August 30th, 2013 7:10 AM

    its decent but not great. Its great for FS1 since nobody is watching the network, atleast until they start to roll out other sports.

    For the UFC even on a Wed with a card that isnt stacked its ok and you can build on it but that card on Sat or even Friday on FX does over a million.

    Now FS1 is in 10 million less homes than FX, Spike and ESPN so you have to take that into account but the UFC needs to be doing atleast a million for these Wed cards.

    It was the first Wed card so its possible with TUF next week they build a base on Wed and get the number over a million. If they stick around 800k thats good for FS1 but they UFC wont be happy with that. So they need to grow that number in over the course of the next few months.

    the FS2 prelim ratings arent good, yes its Wed afternoon but there is a reason all fights are now on FS1, they moved all prelims to FS1 and the Munoz/Bisping card that was gonna air on FS2 is now on FS1.

  12. Sampson Simpson on August 30th, 2013 7:56 AM

    Showtime just isnt in enough invested households. Id be willing to bet that a high number of the 22 million subs are churns from free promos for signing up to new cable/sat agreements.

  13. Jason Cruz on August 30th, 2013 8:13 AM

    Just wondering for those readers with Time Warner and Showtime subscribers. Are you getting the network right now or is it blacked out?

  14. Sampson Simpson on August 30th, 2013 8:44 AM

    It’s blacked out for Los Angeles, New York, and I think Dallas.

    Only 3 major markets.

  15. Sampson Simpson on August 30th, 2013 9:00 AM

    Not great ratings for the UFC but not exactly horrible.

    The bouncing around from channel to channel makes it tough for the long-time fans to follow. It should level out a year from now but it is a big risk putting all your eggs in the FOX Sports basket IMO.

    FOX will be spending a ton on programming over the next 3 years on other sports and there is no guarantee that cable/satellite distributors will pay a premium on the carrier fees to help cover those costs especially with ESPN’s overall viewership dipping hard. So much free content on the web makes these properties less valuable over time. Good thing for the UFC is that it seems like FOX might be interested in outright owning the company.

  16. aintitthetruth on August 30th, 2013 9:09 AM

    Channel changing is a constant excuse for mma orgs.most mma fans must be half retarded to get tripped p by such a trivial matter. oh its on mtv2, wait its on spike, now its on fs1. Is it fs1 or fx!? These retards need someone to wipe their own ass.

  17. Sampson Simpson on August 30th, 2013 9:42 AM

    They probably simply aren’t that hardcore of fans to bother seeking it out.

    Little by little that core fan base is getting culled with the high amount of PPVs and channel jumping.

    The marketing dollars spent to advertise is expected to offset these factors I guess.

  18. Machiel Van on August 30th, 2013 11:08 AM

    I wonder what the West Coast ratings were. A lot of people I know blew off the event because they didn’t want to go straight from work at 5pm to committing to a 3 hour sports telecast. I can’t say I care for the early start time here.

  19. Jeremy on August 30th, 2013 12:26 PM

    The first 6 months of FS1 is going to be a lot of work. Fox has gone out and signed a lot of deals, but many don’t take effect for a while. In the coming months, college football and basketball will start up. Those should help familiarize more of the public with FS1.

    Right now, there simply is not much on the channel to drive folks to seek out FS1.

  20. Tops of on August 30th, 2013 1:18 PM

    http://www.mmamania.com/2013/8/30/4672834/ufc-russia-mexico-philippines-2014-mma

    Theyve been saying this for years…..global domination? Doing an event once in one country In a year is called a tour…..lol

  21. Logical on August 30th, 2013 2:25 PM

    The only positive thing about this is that at least it wasn’t FuelTV numbers. It is very low compared to FX events and abysmal to the numbers that UFN’s pulled on Spike where they were always consistent.

    Has the UFC really benefited from this whole FOX deal?

    The FOX numbers never materialized into the supposedly amazing numbers that the UFC was going to pull once it was showcased on Network TV, it had a great debut but ratings gradually got worse and worse. The FX numbers were never great or consistent compared to Spike and now they seem to be inconsistent on FS1. You have to keep in mind that the debut on FS1 was a card that was PPV or FOX worthy with all the big names and excellent match ups, the hype that it had and just looking at the match-ups you could tell it was made to deliver big in action and frankly while the event was awesome the numbers were really not good if you take all of that into account.

    Maybe the UFC is getting a good return profit wise with this FOX deal, but they certainly are not getting the exposure they were expecting which was the whole point to begin with.

  22. duck on August 30th, 2013 4:07 PM

    The Spike deal only ever had at most 7 free cards a year on Spike, that included 2 TUF Finales, 2-3 European numbered cards (on tape delay) 2-3 Fight Nights, most of the cards were also time delayed in the west as well.

    This year there will be 20 free fights, those will have been on 4 separate channels but now it will only be 2 channels broadcasting the UFC in Fox and Fox Sports 1.

    The UFC is now showing the majority of prelims for these card, while Spike only ever aired 1 hour prelims and that was just the PPVs.

    Fox are treating the UFC like any other Sport by showing it live, Spike because it was an entertainment channel didn’t mind showing tape delayed fights and was all about getting prime time ratings.

  23. BrainSmasher on August 30th, 2013 5:48 PM

    Changing netoworks is a real excuse. There have been huge hit sitcoms for example that have been killed by changing networks or changing their night of the week or time slot. Problem is there is so much that goes into whether someone tunes in or not. You never know the real reason ratings decline.

    Because the first event was 5 hours and FS1 showed the prelims. I forgot that the prelims were on FS2. So I just left it on FS1.

    As for why the UFC didn’t have a HW fight on UFN 27. Couple possible reasons. They have always tried to build the smaller divisions. That isn’t going to change no matter how much you cry about it. If it takes poor ratings to establish its credibility long term so be it. Another possible reason is UFC 164. Dana said 164 is in Milwaukee because it is Harley Davidsons anniversary and there is a big rally. So that is the reason the event is in that city and one has to assume that is also the reason the event is on that date as well. Which could mean some of those fights wouldn’t have been on UFN 27. So that would beat 164 not only killed attendance for UFN 27 but it also weakened the card. For those reason I don’t think the UFC cared to much about the ratings for the event. Im sure they want as many eyes as possible on Condit to build him going forward. But anything the event did was just a bonus as 164 is more important and even 100K viewers is better than anything else FS1 would have on the network.

    MMA fans want ratings now. But the TUF will tell us whether we get the good ratings now or have to take a wait and see attitude and let the long term deal play out. This has always been a long term plan by the UFC and Fox even though fans were hoping for over night success. Until Fox gets their other programs and sports on the air. The UFC is operating on a dead network. So these number imo are very good.

  24. Dr ozzie on August 30th, 2013 9:46 PM

    100 million dollars a year for 824,000 viewers.

  25. Tops of on August 30th, 2013 9:54 PM

    Good point….bad roi

  26. Tops of on August 30th, 2013 9:59 PM
  27. BrainSmasher on August 30th, 2013 11:04 PM

    That isn’t what they paid 100 million for Ding Bat. They primarily paid for TUF. But FOX is getting a killer deal. They is going to be like 20 events shown on their networks this year. That’s about 60 hours of programs that will average about 1 million viewers or more. Then there is another 24 hours of 2 TUF seasons each year that average another million viewers. That’s 84 hours of over 1 million viewers. Also the UFC is only paid 90 million per year. So Fox is paying them about 1 million per hour for 1 million plus fans. That alone is a very good deal. But on top of that they are getting UFC unleashed, UFC Tonight, Countless prelims that do very good ratings themselves, Countdown’s, Event replays, and to many other programs to name them all. When it is all said and done. Fox got this event for maybe $500K. Which is a bargain for those ratings for 3 hours.

  28. BrainSmasher on August 30th, 2013 11:17 PM

    How many millions this year do you think Fox is going to make off advertisements just from UFC programs that most people don’t even factor into the deal? We like to think TUF and Live events are what they paid for. That beign the case Fox is still getting the UFC at a bargain. BUt stuff like the prelims that is bonus programs. UFC 162 prelims had 1.3 million viewers. UFC 161 prelims did about 1 million. How much was made off those ads through out the year by themselves? $10-20 million? Then they are getting a couple hundred thousand viewers for all their other bonus programs like Weigh-ins, pre and Post fight shows, UFC tonight, Round Table, etc. Over the year that is a few million more from Ads on FS2. Then you have Countdowns that bring in ad revenue that is pretty significant. All that before you get into the 2-5 million viewers the UFC bring in on FOX 4 times per year. Then the 14-16 Events with 1-2 million viewers on FS1. Some of these viewers trickle over into other FOX programs and continue to make them money. Fox is making that 90 million per year back many times over at current ratings.

  29. aintitthetruth on August 31st, 2013 1:03 AM

    Ufc is in Milwaukee because of a biker convention. right… see what i mean about retarded?

  30. duck on August 31st, 2013 5:20 AM

    When the UFC is on, Fox Sports Live ratings goes way up, that’s what happens and that’s why Fox sees it as a great deal, they help the channels overall ratings.

    The MLB deal doesn’t kick in until 2014 and the full NASCAR deal (with more FS1 races) doesn’t kick in until 2015, so the UFC is one of their marquee sports and the only one that runs all year long.

  31. Chris on August 31st, 2013 9:07 AM

    UFC is in Milwaukee because Harley is a major sponsor for them and this is their anniversary so they planned an event.

    How is that retarded? SMH

  32. aintitthetruth on August 31st, 2013 12:00 PM

    So the ufc wants to attract bikers to its show? What could possibly go wrong there?…

  33. aintitthetruth on August 31st, 2013 12:48 PM
  34. Tops of on August 31st, 2013 12:52 PM

    Niche sport…..the UFC is the one adjusting they’re schedule to a particular group…..going to where they are gathering……instead of the other way around…hard selling…..Lol…..

  35. duck on August 31st, 2013 3:46 PM

    Yeah because anyone that has a Harley is in a Motorcycle gang.

    There are shady people that attend Boxing, MMA & Kick Boxing all over the World, they will continue to attend these shows because they like violence and don’t mind paying big money for tickets.

  36. Dr ozzie on August 31st, 2013 9:20 PM

    It’s only a good deal if Fox can drive affiliate revenue…and so far none of their affiliates have moved even one penny per subscriber. As many have pointed out, the UFC is niche….and it’s value is limited and affiliates don’t consider it a must have…
    on the ad sales side, it looks as if they are having a very hard time selling it…I, like most people, didn’t watch the second fight, but the first fight barely had commercials. Good for viewers, bad for business.

    At a million dollars an hour…or even 500,000 you better sell out…not give away the spots to run-of schedule advertisers you owe make goods..

  37. Sampson Simpson on September 1st, 2013 10:40 AM

    Good point Dr Ozzie.

    UFC cant count on any extra money in the future from FOX if FOX cant find a way to increase their own revenue streams. Doesnt bode well

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