Ultimate Fighting Championship coverage continues to propel Fuel TV to record numbers.
With UFC events every weekend in April, Fuel TV had a plethora of UFC programming with and it drove the network to its most-watched month in history.
During the month the network telecast four live UFC weigh-in and post-fight shows, one live UFC Prelim show, and one UFC on Fuel TV main card, in addition to several hours of shoulder programming.
Fuel TV was up 75 percent in household rating (0.07 HH vs. 0.04 HH) over April of 2012, but a more tangible statistic is that April 2013 viewership was up 67 percent in total viewers (30,000 vs. 18,000) over 2012, according to figures released by Nielsen Media Research. What that means is that at any given time in April of 2012 there was an average of 18,000 people watching Fuel TV programming. In April of 2013, there were 30,000 viewers on average at any given time.
For the second straight year, driven by UFC programming, Fuel TV is pacing first overall on HH percentage growth among all ad-supported cable networks.
For 2013 year to date, Fuel TV is up 57 percent in HH (22,000 vs. 14,000), 50 percent in total viewers (27,000 vs. 18,000) and 44 percent among Men 18-49 (13,000 vs. 9,000) compared to the same period in 2012.
“UFC events and programming have shown significant growth since debuting on Fuel TV last year, and that improvement is typified by the network’s performance in April,” said Michael Mulvihill, Senior Vice President, Programming and Research, FOX Sports Media Group.
“It’s encouraging to see major growth in the hard-to-reach Men 18-49 demographic that provides so much value to sports advertisers, especially as much of this programming prepares to migrate to FOX Sports 1 this summer.”
FOX Sports 1 is the company’s new national sports network, which launches on Aug. 17, taking over what is currently the Speed Channel. Much of the UFC programming that is currently on FX and Fuel TV will then move to FOX Sports 1.
The UFC will help launch the new network with what is expected to be a pay-per-view quality event.