SBD/August 6, 2012/Media

"UFC On Fox 4" Overnight Matches Third Iteration Despite Olympic Competition

"UFC on Fox 4" tie with third iteration for lowest overnight yet

Fox earned a 1.7 overnight Nielsen rating for “UFC on Fox 4” on Saturday night from 8:00-10:15pm ET, which featured Mauricio Rua’s defeat of Brandon Vera. Despite competition from Olympic coverage, that figure is flat compared to the outfit’s third telecast in May, which featured Nate Diaz’ win over Jim Miller. Saturday night’s telecast peaked at a 2.4 rating in the 10:00pm window. Las Vegas led all U.S. markets with a 4.6 local rating. The 1.7 is down 37% from the second iteration in January, which featured Rashad Evans' defeat of Nate Davis. Fox’ first UFC broadcast on Nov. 12, which was a one-hour telecast featuring Junior Dos Santos’ defeat of Cain Velasquez for the heavyweight title, earned a 3.5 overnight (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

A WORK IN PROGRESS: In Las Vegas, Adam Hill wrote, “Year one of a seven-year deal with Fox has been a learning process for the organization and the network as they try to figure out what will work best for attracting viewers.” The UFC is “still a pay-per-view business first, and the elite draws are not going to be shown on free television.” It appears as if the organization is “trying to go in the direction of having name fighters with fan-friendly styles compete for top contender spots.” UFC President Dana White said, “You're always going up against something. If it's not on television, it's a movie or it's this or it's that” (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 8/4). MMAJUNKIE.com wrote Ref Cam, the innovation which the UFC and Fox announced last week would be used during Saturday’s telecast, “never made it to the live telecast.” UFC Senior VP/Operations & Production Craig Borsari said that Ref Cam is a “work in progress that will be used again.” Borsari said, “There were some good looks, but not good enough to put in the live telecast. We're going to keep making tweaks” (MMAJUNKIE.com, 8/5).

SOCIAL BUTTERFLY:
FOXSPORTS.com’s Peter Schrager wrote, “There has been no shortage of growing pains and lessons along the way, but the UFC and its fighters are truly on the front line when it comes to maximization of Twitter.” UFC is, “at last, flying smoothly with the blue bird.” White said, “Social media has been huge for us. Twitter is the greatest marketing tool in the history of the world, and it is free. You can talk directly to your fans instantly. There's no filter or delay; it is all real time. It’s incredible” (FOXSPORTS.com, 8/3).

UFC HELPS FUEL TO RECORD MONTH: Thanks to UFC programming and the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Fuel TV posted its most-watched month in July. Fuel averaged 29,000 viewers in total day and 46,000 viewers during primetime, according to Nielsen. The July 11 "UFC Fight Night" was the net's most-watched program with 211,000 viewers -- making it the channel's third most-viewed program in its history (John Ourand, THE DAILY).
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