UFC Fight Night 26 helped Fox Sports 1 make a strong first impression on Saturday night.
According to a release from Fox, the newly-launched network averaged 1.71 million viewers for a 1.33 rating during the primetime (8 p.m.-11 p.m. ET) airing of the event. That figure surpassed of the average of the previous eight UFC on FX cards in viewership (1.29 million) as well as rating (0.93). Ratings for UFC Fight Night 26 beat seven of those eight FX-aired cards individually, as well.
“We must congratulate the UFC for putting together a terrific event for the launch of Fox Sports 1 that fans were obviously very excited to watch,” Bill Wanger, Fox Sports executive vice president of programming and research, stated in the release. “The prelims and main events were action-packed, and the production quality and new camera angles gave fans a totally new perspective - hats off to the UFC and its incredibly loyal fan base for making our first night such a complete success.”
UFC Fight Night 26 took place at TD Garden in Boston and saw Chael Sonnen submit Mauricio Rua via first-round guillotine choke in the evening’s light-heavyweight headliner. In the co-main event, Travis Browne knocked out Alistair Overeem with a front-kick and follow-up punches in the opening frame of their heavyweight tilt. Overall, 10 of the card’s 13 bouts were televised by Fox Sports 1, with the first three preliminary fights airing on Facebook and UFC.com.