UFC on Fox Sports Ratings (12/23 – 12/29)

January 9, 2014

MMAPayout will be covering in detail the FOX – UFC  TV deal, quarterly and weekly, in order to analyze the performance of both properties throughout the lifespan of the TV deal.  In this week’s edition, we will be looking at the UFC on FOX sports network ratings for the week of 12/23 – 12/29.



UFC on Fox Sports 1 Tuesday Night Block (12/24):
– UFC Fighting for a Generation: 119,000 viewers (7:00-9:00 PM)
– UFC Ultimate Insider: 133,000 viewers (9:00-9:30 PM)
– UFC Fight Flashback: 168,000 viewers (9:30-10:00 PM)
 UFC Countdown: 193,000 viewers (10:00-11:00 PM)
– Fox Sports Live: 144,000 viewers (11:00-12:00 PM)

UFC on Fox Sports 1 Friday Night Block (12/27):
– UFC 168 Weigh-ins: 275,000 viewers (7:00-8:00 PM).
 Big East College Basketball: 42,000 viewers (8:00-10:00 PM).
– Fox Sports Live: 29,000 viewers (10:00 – 11:00 PM)
– Fox Sports Live: 36,000 viewers (11:00 PM – 12:00 AM)

UFC on Fox Sports 1 Saturday Night Block (12/28):
– Big East College Basketball: 96,000 viewers (5:00 – 7:00 PM).
– UFC Ultimate Insider: 225,000 viewers (7:00 – 7:30 PM).
– UFC Flashback: 412,000 viewers (7:30-8:00 PM).  **
– UFC 168 Prelims: 1,554,000 viewers (8:00-10:00 PM).  *
– Fox Sports Live: 198,000 viewers (10:00-11:00 PM).
– Fox Sports Live: 112,000 viewers (11:00 PM – 12:00 AM).
– Fox Sports Live: 136,000 viewers (12:00-1:00 AM).
– UFC 168 Post Fight: 313,000 viewers (1:00-2:00 AM).
– UFC 168 Post Fight: 220,000 viewers (2:00-3:00 AM).

* FS1 viewership high for the week.
** FS1 2nd highest viewership of the week.

Other Key Programming Notes :
– UFC Reloaded (12/26) on FS1 drew 324,000 viewers.
– UFC Fight Night (12/24)  on FS2 drew 101,000 viewers. *
– UFC on FOX (12/24) on FS2 drew 84,000 viewers. **
– Best of PRIDE FC (12/29) on FS2 drew 32,000 viewers.
– Golden Boy Boxing  (12/23) on FS1 drew 140,000 viewers.

* FS2 viewership high for the week.
** FS2 2nd highest viewership of the week.

 Fox Sports 1 & 2 Weekly Totals:
– Fox Sports 1 Primetime Viewership: 279,000 (last week: 144,000)
– Fox Sports 2 Primetime Viewership: 19,000 (last week: 22,000)

Ratings provided by Nielsen TV Ratings & Fox Sports.


Payout Perspective:

This week finally saw an increase from the previous week, all thanks to UFC 168. This week, the primetime viewership averaged 279,000 viewers, an increase from the 144,000 average viewers the previous week.  In the previous five weeks, primetime viewership on FS1 had declined from 514,000 to 144,000, a 72% drop, until this week. Fox Sports 2 primetime viewership this week dipped from 22,000 the previous week to 19,000, which is typical due to the small viewership numbers for the network. What’s noticeable about this week is that FS1 did not show any UFC programming on Wednesday, effectively killing the UFC Wednesday programming block.  Tuesday night, Friday nights (UFC 168 weigh-ins) and Saturday night( UFC 168 prelims & post-fight) did remarkable numbers for the network.

UFC programming once again claimed the highest viewership on FOX Sports 1  and an astonishing 9 out of the top 10 most watched programs for the week.  Half of those shows were live and the other half were taped shows.

Highest viewership for the entire week was 1.554M (168 prelims) and 414,000 (UFC Fight Flashback). The most watched non-UFC program on FS1 for the week was Fox Sports Live on Saturday (following 168 prelims), which drew 198,000 viewers.

8 Responses to “UFC on Fox Sports Ratings (12/23 – 12/29)”

  1. BrainSmasher on January 9th, 2014 11:57 PM

    It amazing how much of a commodity UFC prelims have become. Who would have ever though back in the day they would be 1 million viewer shows? I remember when TUF started. 1 million was considered a success.

    I wonder if down the road. If the UFC doesn’t use Prelims as a separate asset and look to sell its rights separate? The WWE does this putting different shows on different network. The UFC could break up its shows rather than selling someone like Fox the entire UFC package. They could get separate deals for Live Big events like UFC on FOX, Fight Night events, Prelims, and TUF.

    Doing 12-18 PPV prelims that do over 1 million viewers for 2 hours is better than what most Sitcoms and drama’s are doing. There is a lot of value in that alone and it seems to be over looked when the UFC signs a TV deal. Fox got a great deal with the UFC imo.

  2. LeonThePro on January 10th, 2014 8:51 AM

    No coverage on the UFC 170 ticket prices? Would be interested to know what’s going on there? A firesale? They say tickets are 50% less than the usual for Vegas prices and the venue is what they use for TUF finales???? Payout Perspective?!

  3. Jose Mendoza on January 10th, 2014 12:46 PM


    The only problem is that only the big shows do this, which is like once or twice a year… and who knows if it will even hit those numbers this year without GSP or Silva.


    Prices are cut in half for UFC 170 compared to UFC 168. One reason is that there is no GSP or Silva on the cad, so people are not flying in to watch. Also, it’s downtime for Vegas at that time, not many visitors. It’s also Rousey’s first time headlining without much star power to back her up and without it being the women’s debut. I would say that UFC is playing it safe here, no doubt.

  4. BrainSmasher on January 10th, 2014 3:37 PM


    I agree. But that is due to FS1 being new. On Spike and FX. Many events hit 1 million viewers or that ball park.

  5. BrainSmasher on January 10th, 2014 3:48 PM

    After looking it up. Very few Prelim failed to hit 1 million viewers. UFC 164,165, 166. The rest going back to UFC 156 have average about 1.3 million viewers. FS1 isn’t getting what Spike and FX was but the value is still there. Also another network would look more at Spike and FX to judge its value rather than an upstart network. Prelims on the big 4 networks or any of the major cable networks would easily beat 1 millions viewers every time out.

  6. JKT on January 10th, 2014 5:13 PM

    Supercross was the #1 show on Fox Sports 1 for the first week in January – 404k.
    And that’s why Fox Sports extended the Supercross contract for 5 years.
    Nice niche winter sport. Decent audience, great demo.

  7. Jose Mendoza on January 10th, 2014 9:42 PM


    Sure, I mean everything did over 1M viewers on Spike TV. Problem is that it’s been declining since. I mean the Kimbo TUF season did 3M+, UFN’s used to do 2M. We are now looking at 600K-700K as big wins for the UFC as their TV platforms get worse and worse. On top of that, UFC signed an exclusive deal with FOX, so no point in discussing monetizing until deal is over in 4-5 years. Fox got a great deal here and UFC is stuck in a niche sports channel for quite some time, which I did mention as a big concern before they ever aired on FS1/FS2.


    Definitely a good property for them. The problem is that niche sports have low ceilings. 404K-500K is about as good as it gets for them on the network for the time being. NASCAR was topping out at 600K-800K. Is it going to be enough until CFB seaon starts again or maybe MLB?

  8. assassin on January 16th, 2014 11:12 AM

    I agree Fox got a good deal as UFC is the lynchpin programming until new assets come online. Given the success of the taped shoulder programming, I wonder if FOX would pay a little extra in the short term for more access to 1 hour “Unleashed” type content or 2-3 hour “reloaded” type content (forget what FOX calls these) than is in the current contract, especially since UFC will be opening that content via its FightPath.

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