Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fox Sports 1 Makes Solid Debut With Help of UFC...

Fox Sports 1 Makes Solid Debut With Help of UFC

Fox Sports 1 came out of the gate strong this weekend. The new cable challenger to ESPN averaged 1.71 million viewers in prime time Saturday night, thanks to its UFC Fight Night telecast, according to Nielsen ratings provided by Fox. That was a 10-fold increase compared to the 141,000 viewers Speed, Fox Soccer and Fuel TV combined previously delivered in the same slot a year ago, according to Fox.

While this is a much better showing than the launch of other cable sports networks — with NBC Sports Network averaging just 62,00 viewers on a total-day basis when it launched in January 2012 — FS1 has a ways to go to catch up with ESPN.

Driven by viewers tuning in to watch Chael Sonnen defeat Shogun Rua in the main event of the UFC card, Fox Sports 1 topped the Big Four broadcasters among adults 18-49, adults 18-34, men 18-49 and men 18-34, Fox said. Fox Sports 1’s UFC telecast averaged 1.78 million viewers and a 1.3 rating and Fox said that beat the average of eight UFC Fight Nights on FX by 38%. One night later, ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball telecast of the New York Yankees beating the Boston Red Sox 9-6 averaged a 2.5 overnight rating, the highest Sunday Night Baseball telecast of the 2013 season.

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