The UFC’s TV ratings on the new Fox Sports 1 were strong out of the gate, but, as expected, the Wednesday-night time slot for UFC Fight Night 27 and being on a new network was a challenge.
UFC Fight Night 27: Condit vs. Kampmannpulled in an average audience of 824,000 viewers, which is significantly less that the 1.78 million that watched UFC Fight Night 26 during the Aug. 17 network launch.
It may sound counterintuitive, but that is exactly why Fox wanted the UFC to anchor its Wednesday night programming on Fox Sports 1.
“They put us on Wednesday nights because they were looking for something strong that they thought could deliver on a Wednesday night,” remarked UFC president Dana White following Wednesday night’s event in Indianapolis.
“It's a challenge selling tickets. It's the live gate is the one thing that's gonna be the challenge.”
UFC Fight Night 27’s return of 824,000 viewers fell well below the top shows on the night. Shows like Duck Dynasty, Modern Dads, Family Guy, and others are drawing well into the millions of viewers, but Fox Sports 1 is a new network that is still working to establish itself.
The strength of the UFC’s following is what Fox is banking on for it’s Wednesday night block on FS1, and is something that will probably take some time to establish a true measuring stick of its success or failure.