Fuel TV continues to raise its personal viewership bar thanks to the influx of UFC programming in its 2012 lineup.
The cable network on Saturday had the most-watched day in its history, as well as its top program among males 18-49, with UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Silva. That three-hour live fight card, which was the UFC's debut in Sweden, was the second of Fuel's live UFC broadcasts to air in 2012.
UFC on Fuel TV 2 aired Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. Eastern due to the time difference between the United States and Sweden, and the card replayed later Saturday night. The card featured a main event light heavyweight fight between rising Swedish star Alexander Gustafsson and Thiago Silva, which Gustafsson won by unanimous decision.
"Our second live Fight Night delivered numbers right in line with our first," said George Greenberg, executive vice president and general manager of Fuel TV, in a statement. "We’re enthusiastic for the upcoming schedule through the spring, summer and fall, and we know audiences will keep coming to Fuel TV for live UFC action, as well as key shoulder programming."
Some ratings highlights, as reported by Nielsen Media Research:
* UFC on Fuel TV 2 had 326,000 total viewers and 203,000 M18-49 viewers combined over the two airings.
* It was the most-watched day in network history in both total viewers and M18-49 with an average of 71,000 total viewers and 44,000 M18-49. Those numbers are an increase of 1,320 percent and 2,100 percent, respectively, vs. numbers from April 2011.
* Compared to UFC on Fuel TV: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger, which aired live in prime time on Feb. 15, the April 14 card was up 9 percent in M18-49.
* UFC on Fuel TV 2 peaked at 298,000 total viewers in the time slot from 5:30-5:45 p.m. Eastern.
* The live broadcast of UFC on Fuel TV 2 was the second most-watched live program in Fuel's history with 197,000 total viewers. UFC on Fuel TV 1 in February had 217,000 total viewers. But it was the most-watched broadcast in network history among the target demo of M18-49 with 142,000.
Fuel's next live UFC broadcast is a weigh-ins special for UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans on Friday at 4 p.m. Eastern from the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. The next live full fight card on Fuel TV is UFC on Fuel TV: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier, which takes place May 15 in Fairfax, Va.
In 2012, FUEL TV telecasts more than 2,000 hours of UFC programming, with more than 100 hours of live fights, weigh-ins, preliminary bouts, and pre- and postfight shows. In the New Year, FUEL TV offers more UFC programming than any network has ever offered.
Fuel TV, a member of the Fox network, began UFC programming in 2012 after the UFC's seven-year broadcast deal with Fox. The cable network plans to air in the neighborhood of 2,400 hours of total UFC content in 2012.