Spike TV, who remain the UFC’s television home until the end of the year, cheekily counter-programmed the promotion’s debut on FOX on Saturday with a night of UFC fight re-runs.
Titling the show UFC Unleashed: Velasquez Vs Dos Santos, but airing only prior fights by the two men, this was clearly a move to dupe some viewers who weren’t aware that the UFC were holding a special event on FOX and it appears to have been somewhat successful.
According to ratings released today Spike TV pulled in an average of 719,000 viewers between 9-10pm – the same time as the UFC event was airing on FOX. They also brought in 923,000 viewers in the hour prior to that.
Having said that, those numbers seem paltry compared to the average of 5.7 million who watch ‘UFC On FOX 1’ live, peaking at an impressive 8.8 million during the Velasquez Vs Dos Santos title fight.
The UFC leaves Spike TV for FOX in January and while Spike will continue to have access to the promotion’s library of past fights and show for a further year they also have plans to welcome Bellator onto the network in 2013.