Prelims and other UFC 168 FS1 programming score big

January 1, 2014

Fox Sports sent out a press release Tuesday announcing record viewership for the UFC 168 Prelims on Saturday which aired on FS1.  The 1.5 million viewer average exceeded any other prelims that aired on the network so far.  It also revealed record numbers for programming related to the event.

Via Fox Sports Press Release:

The UFC 168 PRELIMS on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday night (8:00-10:00 PM ET) averaged 1,554,000 viewers, making it the most-watched UFC PRELIMS to date on the channel. The event was up 56% over the previous mark set on Nov. 16 (998,000), and ranks as the fifth most-watched show on the network since launch.

In addition, the exciting two-hour show that featured Uriah Hall’s TKO victory over Chris Leben in the final bout, was the second most-watched UFC show to date on FOX Sports 1, only trailing UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SHOGUN VS. SONNEN on August 17.

Following the conclusion of UFC 168, the UFC 168 POSTFIGHT SHOW on FOX Sports 1 delivered the most-watched POSTFIGHT show to date with 313,000 viewers, up 26% over FOX Sports 1’s first Pay-Per-View postfight show following UFC 167 that had 249,000 viewers. The one-hour show featured interviews with middleweight champion Chris Weidman and women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey after both their title defenses.

Preceding the prelims was a record-setting hour of UFC programming on FOX Sports 1, as the UFC ULTIMATE INSIDER encore at 7:00 PM ET drew 225,000 viewers, making it the most watched UFC ULTIMATE INSIDER in FOX Sports 1 history.  At 7:30 PM ET, the second encore of UFC FIGHT FLASHBACK, focusing on Chris Weidman’s upset of Anderson Silva at UFC162, pulled in 412,000 viewers and is the most-watched encore of any UFC program on FOX Sports 1. The show was up 164% over its premiere run on Sunday at 9:30 PM ET (156,000 viewers) and up 145% over the first encore on Tuesday at 9:30 PM ET (168,000).

Payout Perspective:

In addition to the record viewership announced above, over 14,600 viewers tuned into the first Prelim fight on YouTube prior to the Prelims on FS1.   The record viewership spells good signs for the PPV numbers which apparently exceeded expectations.  It’s no surprise that the Post-Fight coverage was the most-watched to date as many people either wanted to know the status of Anderson Silva or see the replay (which FS1 did not show).

13 Responses to “Prelims and other UFC 168 FS1 programming score big”

  1. mma on January 2nd, 2014 3:01 PM

    where is all the guys saying ufc is dying and fading and yawn?????????

  2. BrainSmasher on January 2nd, 2014 4:26 PM

    Agree 100% even if this was just due to the hype of a huge events. Not an every event thing. It still was significant. It showed a few things. 1. The UFC was able to market the event well and its promotion on ESPN really helped yet again it seems. 2. It got a lot of viewers to FS1 which is making more and more aware of the network and getting them used to the personalities and shows of UFC programs and FS1 programs like Fox Sports Live. This will grow the network and help the UFC by having better lead ins and more viewers always checking the network. 3. Even if Silva is the draw and is gone. A lot of people saw Weidman become champ. Even if Weidman isn’t going to be a huge draw. This will boost him higher than he would be without so many people seeing him. So it give him a boost. 4. Most importantly it shows The womans division is a draw or at least Rousey is. Now the UFC has a legit headliner who brings PPV buys and at the same time I wouldn’t be surprised to see Misha Tate turn into a draw. She won a lot of fans here and this fight and their part on TUF could make them the Chuck and Randy of WMMA. Where those 2 are the only names new fans of WMMA know. So they become followed by all those fans.

    The buzz going into this event and the media attention it was getting added to these ratings suggest the event easily hit the 1 million PPV Buy mark. I haven’t seen this much hype going into an event since UFC 100.

  3. Carrion on January 2nd, 2014 4:50 PM

    The article doesn’t mention that a good chunk of those viewers came from the repeat not the live show. Most of the interest came from Silva breaking his leg. Before that happened this event was trending very low. People are confusing the reaction to Silva’s injury with genuine interest in the event.

  4. Tops of on January 2nd, 2014 5:28 PM

    Wow world domination hahaha…..who’s 2014 ppv star?

  5. Mixalot on January 2nd, 2014 9:25 PM

    Carrion: The prelims were record setting. That means there was interest in the event well before the unfortunate injury. Surely the injury helped boost post-event search.

    Tops: It looks like 1M+ people were willing to pay for this card. Not sure whom you’re laughing at? Of course, that doesn’t even include Brazil. Seems legit.

  6. Sampson Simpson on January 3rd, 2014 9:36 AM

    2.2 million bought Mayweather-Alvarez at 74.99 a pop.

    Just a friendly reminder

  7. Mixalot on January 3rd, 2014 11:14 AM

    No doubt that Mayweather moves the needle. I gives props to boxing for the way they promote him also – there will always be an audience for him, and others.

    Some events are incredible, like UFC 168 and Mayweather/Alvarez, and some are merely average – I still think 200k-500k PPV buys are nothing to sneeze at for either sport.

    Both sports are healthy.

  8. Random Dude on January 3rd, 2014 2:39 PM

    Still can’t beat their ratings on Spike. But I guess the good news is they finally got a rating higher than achieved on FX. Of course, given that it was the biggest card of the year that was to be expected.

  9. JKT on January 3rd, 2014 3:37 PM

    Setting records on FS1 isn’t that big of a deal. If this didn’t set a record that would be a huge problem.

  10. AK on January 3rd, 2014 4:22 PM

    Hey Random Dude, I’d still love a response on the following:

    “How is the HBO/Goldenboy-Showtime split an example of cooperation? How in any way, shape or form is that good for the fighters OR fans???

    ANY sources to back up the mob assertions?

    Your statements on regulated markets is completely asinine and folly. You obviously have little to none real-world or business experience — by and large, owners and businessmen HATE regulations, as they often require excess time and costs devoted to abiding them. Hence the REQUIRE part. I don’t know if your wires are getting scattered between “sanctioning” and “regulations,” but it makes absolutely no sense.

    You did not answer my question at ALL as to why everyone doesn’t do it that way. For the life of me I don’t understand your talk about monopolies being bad for business. Yes, they’re generally bad for the workers and consumers, but the entire reason people STRIVE toward unofficial monopoly status is in order to, well, have a monopoly and control the entire market. It’s not worth going into the nitty gritty and nuances of why the following are or are not technically “monopolies” and thus allowed to exist in current form, but it’s seemed to work out pretty damn well for the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, WWE. Why wouldn’t it be good for UFC and MMA???”

  11. carrion on January 4th, 2014 9:41 AM

    No the prelim ratings on FS1 include the day after repeat, a good chunk of those ratings were pushed up by the repeat of people checking out what happened the next day.

  12. BrainSmasher on January 4th, 2014 5:06 PM

    Agree 100% AK! I believe monopolies are bad if it is a product or service that is not limited. If Coke has a monopoly or they compete with Pepsi. The quality and taste of Coke doesn’t change. Because the ingredients are unlimited. Yes competition can effect prices in theory in some examples. Also in some cases it can effect employee salary. But from a consumer stand point, which we all are, a monopoly in sports is a great thing. Because athletic talent is not unlimited. When the UFC has a competitor. The quality of the product we get from the UFC declines. When they lose a fighter. We get a weaker product.

    Anyone who has followed MMA as long as I have has seen “competition” effect the product many times in the sports history. In the late 90’s the UFC started losing fighters to Pride. What did MMA fans get? UFC cards half as good as before for the same price. Pride got stronger but was still 3-4 years from even been shown in the US. When it was shown it was only those who had Direct TV and the events were delayed 1-2 weeks and sometimes over a month. This went on for years until they got it down to 24 hour delay. Even without these problems. Pride was never going to put out a product as strong as it should be able to as long as the UFC still competed with them. The same for the UFC. As long as someone had fighters they wanted/needed. The product was never going to be as strong as it should be.

    Then you look at the resources that has went into the sport fighting amongst itself. Rather than spending time and money going after new fans and growing the sport. The UFC has spent over 100 Million Dollars just buying promotions that have tried to compete with them. That money has left the sport. Money that could have been better spent and could have grown the sport. Instead it was wasted while the sport spun its wheels.

    When there is no comp. We get the best fights earthly possible and the UFC expands globally and signs huge tv deals and sponsorships. Then a competitor arrives and it all takes a back seat. Now BFC has tried to compete. Lots of the UFC attention this year when to the Eddie Alvarez situation and the head games around Askren’s situation. They lost Rampage as well. This is not even taking into account the effects on TV contracts due to networks having other options and the damage those options have done in the past like Elite XC. They took a cheap deal keeping the network from making a commitment to the sport and the UFC. Then went on to give the sport a black eye.

    competition has never done anything for the sport of MMA. Or any sport for that matter. In fact the best thing about competition in MMA is when it fails. Then the UFC can make big fights with its champs.

  13. BrainSmasher on January 4th, 2014 5:15 PM


    Where do you get that? There is nothing in the report that says what you are claiming. In fact it specifically mentions a time. Between 8-10pm.

    “The UFC 168 PRELIMS on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday night (8:00-10:00 PM ET) averaged 1,554,000 viewers”

    This was not the live show and replay added together. It was just for the live broadcast. So stop making stuff up!

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