MMA News

Sunday, 11/13/2011, 05:30 pm

UPDATE:5.7 million viewers tuned in to watch Velasquez vs. Dos Santos on FOX

The UFC’s first night on network television has reportedly drawn in about 4.6 million viewers according to early estimates.

UFC on Fox 1 took place last night from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. In the main event of the evening Junior Dos Santos upset Cain Velasquez to become the new UFC heavyweight champion of the world.

The fight lasted just 64 seconds and ended with a knockout of Cain Velasquez live on FOX TV.

In preliminary action Benson Henderson was able to outpoint Clay Guida in an exciting, fast paced three round affair to earn the number one contender seat in the UFC’s lightweight division. He will now face Frankie Edgar for the UFC’s lightweight title in a yet to be announced UFC event in 2012 expected to go down in Japan.

While the 4.6 million number is just an early estimate, it still has to be a sore spot for UFC and FOX executives who fell short of gaining the largest MMA audience in history. The 2008 EliteXC bout featuring backyard brawler Kimbo Slice still holds that accolade having drawn in approximately 8 million viewers on CBS.

The only ray of hope is that early estimates for live television broadcasts on Network TV are known to be off the mark. These numbers are expected to change and be dialed in by the end of day today or early tomorrow, which means once totaled up the UFC’s debut on FOX TV may have brought in substantially more viewers. explains in more detail as to why and how these numbers can change:

Due to the nature of live coast-to-coast programming the ratings for ABC (College Football), CBS (Republican Debate) and Fox (UFC) are approximate and subject to more than the typical adjustments in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.

All the broadcast networks had at least one hour of programming that aired live coast-to-coast last night, so the fast national ratings are much more prone to adjustment than usual. The fast national ratings are set up to measure the primetime time periods. When there is live primetime programming that is broadcast coast-to-coast the eastern and central time zones get measured properly, but the mountain and Pacific Time zones do not. That’s about 20% of the country (population wise) that doesn’t get measured correctly. So basically, live events get under-counted in the fast national ratings and are adjusted (up) in the finals.

UPDATE: Fox Sports has now confirmed what this report initially stated, the final tally for the UFC’s first trip to Network Television is higher than early estimates. The figure Fox executive have confirmed are in the ballpark of 5.7 million viewers. This still falls short of the numbers Kimbo Slice pulled in on CBS, however it makes the event the most watched UFC broadcast in the companies history.

*Click here for the latest UFC on FOX coverage provided by BJPENN.COM


21 Responses to “UPDATE:5.7 million viewers tuned in to watch Velasquez vs. Dos Santos on FOX”

  1. Ninja Oreo Dollop says:

    I don’t understand their explanation for wonky viewer counts. Either way 4.6 mil is better than the usual 1.2 from Spike network. This isn’t “Two and Half Men” numbers or the numbers at the peak of Elite XC but they should be patting themselves on the back for a job well done. What about the 60 mil watching from Brazil?

  2. Nick says:

    I for one didnt like them putting it on fox. it was basicly 59mins of commercials, w/ 64 seconds of fighting. fox is way to concerned abt money. so they show 1 fight, and everything else is commercials. i think it would have been much better if they put 1-2 more fights on fox, just in case somthing like that happens. arent big companys suposed to b prepaird for such events? i realy hope dana reads this. at least when spike showed ufc fight night, they had more then just one fight.

  3. The Mantis says:

    Here in new zealand we got the henderson fight aswell and a prelim

  4. DyNoMiTe says:

    DW explained this at the post fight conference. Since this was only an introduction for the UFC to FOX, they only wanted the one fight. But when the contract starts in January, they’re adding more fights for longer time

  5. get real says:

    The numbers show how ignorant the public is to real talent. Really, Kimbo Slice put up bigger numbers than Velasquez/Dos Santos?? The average American will always go toward the hype instead of actual quality. This should have been expected when the average person can only name a handful of UFC fighters, and probably only 1 or 2 current fighters. Putting that Guida/Henderson fight on FOX would have been great to show non-mma fans the different styles of fights. Also Cigano hits hard, real hard.

    • Eric says:

      yea i agree, thats retarded, its because most ppl arent really die hard fans or even follow the UFC, but they will watch you tube to see kimbo slice even tho when put up aganist a real fighter, he suck

  6. The natural says:

    What about 60 mill viewers in brazil

  7. james says:

    good start, not where UFC wants to be, or where fox wants it to be for sure. i figure december of 2012 the UFC on fox shows will be getting their most views. it takes time to show the public a new sport, to MMA fans like us its a no brainer, this is the future and we understand it, but the interviews ariel helwani did on the streets of cali asking if people knew what the UFC was was an eye opener for me. even without FOX the UFC and MMA is going to be the future of sports, and it will be the biggest sport in the world.

  8. Eric El Bestia says:

    I can only speak for me but, sometimes im afraid that UFC ends up like today’s WWE and some people might too. Honestly overall, I don’t see how a college game got more viewers, maybe its me the I like MMA more than Football/NFL but, I agree with Ninja Oreo, its better than a 1.2 in a UFC Fight Night on spikeTV

  9. bdizz says:

    Poor Cain 5.7+ million viewers saw him get KO’d in 64 seconds.

    Hope he learns what he needs and comes back strong – I’d like to see these two fight again.

  10. D says:

    I am happy to see the fight did well last night. I feel the ufc has the best chance to show non educated fans what mma is all about, and I think those numbers show more people are learning. Reem vs JDS is going to be a bad ass fight!

  11. JB Spencer says:

    I was kinda pissed off, i would hv been more than happy to pay my $55 to watch this ufc (the whole thing), but instead i get stuck watchn it online, all chopy n freezd up every other second n missd most of it. I mean wer those two reruns of cops on fox that important to wer they cdnt even show the co mainevent, that was the main fight i wanted to see. And then to see dana all pissed off about ‘cains stragidy’, i dont see how somone in his position and fox execs could make that big of a mistake n put all ther eggs in one basket. And then get mad about what happend, one hr broadcast for 64 sec of fighting. I knew this would hapen, just tht it b over even faster, and on thr big fox debu.

    Dana was bitchn over cains ‘stragidy’ , well what about his stragidy, wtf wer they thinkin?

    Also pissd off bt now i gota pay an extra $10 a month for this fuel chanel that im only gona watch once a month

    • Musa Muhammad says:

      dude. learn how to spell.

      and keep the 55 dollars and get a better internet connection. facebook feed shouldn’t chop at all.

      • JB Spencer says:

        Well, ‘dude’ if it was really that important for all my words to be spelled correctly, they would have been.

        And also ‘dude’ if you would learn how to read you would know that my internet conection nor my spelling were the issue. Its about the mistake they made only broadcasting one fight and that internet or no internet, i should be able to sit on my couch and watch the fights on my flatscreen if im willing to pay for it.

        And i dont think anyone would argue that paying 30 some dollars a month for internet that id rarely use, and $10 for fuel tv on top of $55 for every ppv is a little much.

  12. Musa Muhammad says:

    The 5.7 million is an average number… not peak number. Peak for kimbo fight was 8 million but the average was only 4.something million. the peak numbers for all 1 minute or so of JDS vs Cain could be more than 8 million still–they don’t know that just yet. Story on USA today about it. I can’t post the link because links are getting blocked as spam here on

  13. Lei says:

    What I don’t get is why they only showed 3 fights. That’s what’s really really sucky about it.

  14. Pete says:

    5.7 million TVs tuned in doesnt translate to 5.7 million people watching the fight either. we had a party of 20+ that were together to watch the pacquiao ppv and we all tuned in to watch the ufc fight before hand. had the pacquiao fight not been on right after, im sure most of us would have been at home tuned into fox on our own.

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