It’s official, the UFC’s primetime television debut was a smashing success. On Wednesday, Nielsen Media Research announced this past Saturday’s show peaked with 8.802 million viewers during the 64-second scrap between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos.
UFC president Dana White couldn’t be more pleased about the results of their premiere on FOX.
“Thank you all very much for your support and helping us CRUSH our 1st fight on FOX!!” White tweeted.
According to SI.com, the 9PM ET/6PM PT telecast dipped to 8.741 million viewers at the 41-minute mark, which was immediately after the heavyweight championship affair ended. The number then dropped to 6 million viewers by 9:45PM ET.
The hour-long show started with approximately 5.2 million viewers and went as low as 4.4 million before beginning its ascent at 9:36PM.
“UFC on FOX” attracted an average of 5.675 million viewers overall.
The extravaganza officially becomes the most watched mixed martial arts event in television history. CBS’s May 2008 broadcast of “EliteXC: Primetime,” which saw Kimbo Slice beat James Thompson, was the previous leader. That show averaged 6.12 million viewers and peaked at 6.5 million.
Kimbo also pulled big numbers for the UFC when he fought Roy Nelson on “The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights.” The September 2009 episode drew 5.3 million viewers for SpikeTV and peaked at 6.1 million.