FOX Sports 1, cable television’s highly-touted newest entry into the sports network field, experienced solid numbers for its debut night.
Launching on Saturday, August 17th in approximately 90 million homes, the network aired 11.5 hours of live NASCAR and UFC event programming as well as three hours of the premiere edition of its nightly sports news program, “Fox Sports Live.”
According to fast national information from Nielsen, UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen on FOX Sports 1, posted an average audience of 1.78 million viewers and a 1.38 U.S. household rating in primetime (8-10:45 p.m.). The network reports that for the particular evening, it out-rated the Big 4 broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) among adults 18-49, adults 18-34, men 18-49, and men 18-34. It also marked more than a tenfold increase over SPEED, FOX Soccer and FUEL TV combined on the comparable night in 2012 (141,000 total viewers). FOX Sports 1’s viewership was over 25 times greater than SPEED/FOX Soccer/FUEL TV among both adults 18-49 and men 18-49, and 40 times greater among adults 18-34 and men 18-34.
“UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen” defeated the average of the eight UFC on FX Fight Nights by 49 percent in household rating (1.38 vs. 0.93) and 38 percent in viewership (1.78 million vs. 1.29 million). FOX Sports 1’s first UFC FIGHT NIGHT defeated seven of those eight FX Fight Nights individually. Among younger demographics, August 17th’s FOX Sports 1 card defeated the average of FX’s primetime UFC cards by 50 percent in viewership among Men 18-49 (994,000 vs. 663,000) and 44 percent higher among Men 18-34 (492,000 vs. 342,000).
Based on the number of commenters, “UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen” was the most socially-active English-language show in all of television yesterday, with 46,520 commenters, producing 124,635 Tweets.
“We must congratulate the UFC for putting together a terrific event for the launch of FOX Sports 1 that fans were obviously very excited to watch,” said Bill Wanger, Executive Vice President, Programming and Research, FOX Sports. “The prelims and main events were action-packed, and the production quality and new camera angles gave fans a totally new perspective – hats off to the UFC and its incredibly loyal fan base for making our first night such a complete success.”
Airing immediately after “UFC Fight Night”, the inaugural edition of “Fox Sports Live” drew 476,000 total viewers. While “SportsCenter” from its sports network rival ESPN delivered 710,000 viewers on the comparable night and time one week earlier (August 10th), “Fox Sports Live” outdelivered its predecessor network, Speed, in the time period from the third quarter in 2012 by 137 percent in Total Viewers (476,000 vs. 201,000) and a whopping 1,384 percent in Men 18-34 (163,000 vs. 11,000).
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Douglas Pucci (a.k.a. “Son of the Bronx”) is a frequent contributor to TV Media Insights, hosting the site forum’s many companion games about TV and writing reviews of various shows. A Bronx native, NYU graduate and once-intern for VH1’s “Pop Up Video,” Pucci also went on to design, build and maintain websites for various non-profit organizations in his hometown of New York City.
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