SBD/April 24, 2013/Media

"UFC On Fox 7" Rating Up From Last Spring, Flat With Net's Seven-Fight Average

Fox finished with a 2.2 rating and 3.7 million viewers for the seventh UFC broadcast on the network, which featured Benson Henderson successfully defending his lightweight title against Gilbert Melendez on Saturday night. Compared to “UFC on Fox 3,” which aired in the spring of ’12 and featured Nate Diaz-Jim Miller, “UFC on Fox 7” was up 47% in rating and 55% in viewership. Compared to “UFC on Fox 6” in January, the telecast was down 8% in rating and 11% in viewership. Saturday’s telecast ranked Fox No. 1 in primetime among all key adult male demos, as well as adults 18-49. The UFC event went head-to-head with Game 1 of the Bulls-Nets playoff series on ESPN, and the NBA game finished with a 2.1 U.S. rating and 3.3 million viewers. The main event portion of the Fox telecast on Saturday (Henderson-Melendez) averaged a 2.7 rating and 4.7 million viewers. K.C. topped all markets with a 4.6 local rating, followed by Portland (3.8) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (3.6). After seven UFC telecasts, Fox is averaging a 2.2 rating and 3.8 million viewers (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

"UFC ON FOX" AUDIENCE TO DATE
DATE
MAIN EVENT
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
11/12/11
Junior Dos Santos-Cain Velasquez*
3.1
5,675
1/28/12
Rashad Evans-Phil Davis
2.6
4,661
5/5/12
Nate Diaz-Jim Miller
1.5
2,418
8/4/12
Shogun Rua-Brandon Vera
1.4
2,436
12/8/12
Benson Henderson-Nate Diaz
2.5
4,392
1/26/13
Demetrious Johnson-John Dodson
2.4
4,219
4/20/13
Benson Henderson-Gilbert Melendez
2.2
3,742
       

CHART NOTE: * = Telecast was only one hour. Subsequent telecasts were at least two hours.

MISSING FOOTBALL: MMAFIGHTING.com's Dave Meltzer wrote the ratings "seemed to, more than anything, show that having the UFC promoted during NFL broadcasts makes a significant difference." The positives were "in the demographics, as in the Male 18-34 age group," but the show did "far stronger numbers with males 35-49 than those who were 18-34, the latter of which is UFC's usual prime demographic." Henderson's previous main event on "UFC on Fox 5," which featured a win over Nate Diaz, ranks as the "ninth most watched MMA fight in U.S. television history." Including audiences "watching in Spanish on Fox Deportes," it rises to No. 7. Henderson-Melendez "failed to crack the top 15." The "surprise was in local market ratings." Despite the event's "heavy emphasis" on fighters based in the Bay Area (the event was held in San Jose), the S.F.-Oakland-San Jose market was "not one of the highest rated nationally, nor were usual strong markets when it comes to UFC ratings" like Las Vegas, L.A. and Seattle-Tacoma (MMAFIGHTING.com, 4/23).

COME ONE, COME ALL: SI.com's Jeff Wagenheim wrote the Jon Jones-Chael Sonnen fight at UFC 159 this Saturday "represents everything that's wrong" with MMA matchmaking. Sonnen is "a quality fighter," but he "lost for a second time" to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva in his most recent fight. Also, his fights against Silva being "in the middleweight division, not light heavyweight ... further discredits his claim on a title shot." So this is "what it's come to in the UFC: pitting an elite champion against a guy who's coming off a knockout loss and hasn't fought in the weight class in more than half a dozen years." Sonnen "does know how to draw a crowd, though." And it is "prizefighting, after all, with the prize being the cash generated from the paying customers that carnival barker Chael can entice into the circus tent to buy up all the popcorn" (SI.com, 4/23).
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