The finalized ratings for ‘UFC On FOX 5’ on Saturday night are now in and they make reading for all concerned.

An average of 4.4 million viewers watched the live broadcast on FOX – up a further million from the initial reading given on Sunday, and two million in total when compared to the previous two ‘UFC On FOX’ shows earlier in the year.

The show peaked with 5.7 million viewers during the main event title fight between Ben Henderson and Nate Diaz which took place after 10pm.

Here’s a breakdown of the ratings from fight-to-fight throughout the evening, showing a steady rise and then a big jump for the main event:

  • Mike Swick Vs Matt Brown:  3.6 million viewers
  • BJ Penn Vs Rory MacDonald: 4.3 million
  • Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua Vs Alexander Gustafsson: 4.6 million
  • Ben Henderson Vs Nate Diaz: 5.7 million

That makes for interesting reading.  Personally I had thought that the much talked about Penn Vs MacDonald fight might have been in the running for most watched fight, but it seems that the lure of a title on a line and the cache that comes with ‘main event’ status is still an important factor for viewers.

Demographics wise the event also performed well, producing a 3.5 rating amongst Men aged 18-34 – the third best performance in that segment for the entire week, and a 4.0 rating amongst 18-49 year-olds (No.1 in that demo for the night), while the event had an overall 6.3 rating.

Despite the fact that the first two ‘UFC On FOX’ shows did better than Saturday’s show I still think this is pretty much a home run for the UFC.

Neither Henderson or Diaz are big draws at this stage in the PPV market and the lightweight title doesn’t have the same impact amongst casual fans as the heavyweight title, so it was never under consideration that this one could compete with the average of 5.7 million viewers that Velasquez Vs Dos Santos pulled.

The important thing here was to reverse the slide in the ratings the shows have done over the course of the year and they’ve managed to do that in some style.

With ‘The Ultimate Fighter 17’ also now set for a prime-time slot on Tuesday nights at 9pm with bona fide stars Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen installed as coaches the future’s starting to look brighter for the UFC on the network and gives us reason to be optimistic about what 2013 might bring.

UFC Ratings On FOX So Far:

UFC on FOX 1 (Velasquez vs. Dos Santos): 5.7 million
UFC on FOX 2 (Evans vs. Davis): 4.7 million
UFC on FOX 3 (Diaz vs. Miller): 2.4 million
UFC on FOX 4 (Rua vs. Vera): 2.4 million
UFC On FOX 5 (Henderson Vs Diaz): 4.4 million


  1. Question: I am trying to find where you got your numbers from for a research project. I can’t verify these with Nielsen. Could you let me know your source for the ratings? Thanks!