UFC Fight Night 59 ripped the roof off FOX Sports 1’s TV ratings records on Sunday night with an average of 2,751,000 viewers tuning in to the live event from Boston.
That blows away the UFC’s own record on the channel which stood at 1.7 million for UFC Fight Night 26 which aired live on the FOX Sports 1 launch night back in August of 2013.
It also stands as the most viewed programming ever on FS1 for men 18-34 and men 18-49 and won the night in all key demographics on ad-supported cable. If you cast aside the Football programming on Sunday then the UFC event was the 2nd most watched show in all of television.
In addition the prelims were watched by an average of 908,000 viewers, while the show peaked with 3.1 million viewers during the main event between Conor McGregor and Dennis Siver.
So how did this event manage to pull such impressive numbers? In truth it was something of a perfect storm.
Of course the UFC has a lot to thank Irish sensation Conor McGregor for. His charismatic, outspoken style commands peoples attention and is easy to promote.
And promote they did, with McGregor getting access to the full hype machine in a way that we’ve rarely, if ever, seen before with ‘The Notorious’ appearing everywhere in the days leading up to the event, to the extent that he even took over FX’s afternoon programming with a triple bill of his favorite fight films!
The real piece de resistance however was the decision to air the event on a Sunday night following on from the gigantic Football games which aired on FOX to a staggering average of 49.6 million viewers.
Promos were dropped for McGregor’s big fight on FOX Sports 1 during the football and that ended up paying off very nicely indeed for all concerned.