UFC on Fuel 1 Nets 217,000 Viewers; Spike TV Counters with 678,000

By: Mike Whitman
Feb 17, 2012
UFC on Fuel TV 1 earned an average of 217,000 viewers for its three-hour Wednesday night broadcast on the Fox-owned cable station.

Sherdog.com confirmed the viewership figure Friday morning with an industry source, who also revealed that Spike TV earned 694,000 and 661,000 average viewers during repeat broadcasts of “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 13 finale and “UFC Unleashed,” resulting in an overall average of approximately 678,000 observers.

Headlined by an exciting three-round welterweight clash between Jake Ellenberger and Diego Sanchez, UFC on Fuel 1 took place at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Neb. “The Juggernaut” emerged victorious in the main event, holding off a late charge from Sanchez to earn a unanimous decision.

Broadcast during a free preview weekend for Fuel TV, the event also saw heavyweight Stefan Struve overcome a slow start to knock out Dave Herman in the second round of their co-headlining attraction. Additionally, prospect Stipe Miocic and veteran Ivan Menjivar both earned bonus-worthy finishes at the event, stopping Philip De Fries and John Albert, respectively.

“TUF 14” finalist T.J. Dillashaw also impressed at the Feb. 15 event, pounding on a game but overmatched Walel Watson en route to a unanimous nod. Rounding out the main draw was a hard-fought middleweight contest that saw Ronny Markes edge Aaron Simpson in a split decision.

Fuel TV’s 217,000 average viewers marks a new high for a live fight broadcast on the channel. Currently available in roughly 36 million homes, Fuel TV previously attracted 148,000 and 144,000 viewers during preliminary card broadcasts for UFC on FX 1 and UFC on Fox 2, respectively.

Longtime broadcast partners with Spike TV, the UFC parted ways with the cable station last year in favor of signing a seven-year broadcast deal with Fox Networks. Spike TV is expected to become the eventual home of Bellator Fighting Championships, which is currently broadcast on fellow Viacom properties MTV2 and Epix. Spike TV is available in approximately 100 million homes nationwide.

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