Wednesday night’s ‘UFC ON Fuel TV 1’ event was watched by an average of 217,000 viewers according to figures released today.

That number is enough to break the channel’s previous record for a live event, beating out the previous high of 148,000 for the UFC on FX 1 live prelims, though it is drastically down on the 1-2 million figures they would expect to have received on the likes of Spike TV or FX.

Nobody expected any different however as it’s well established at this stage that Fuel TV only reaches 36 million homes (though an extra 8 million were added for this week only due to a special free preview offer), while the other channels mentioned reach almost 100 million homes.

A fairer comparison would be to Bellator who’s last season aired on MTV2, and the figures are roughly in line with what they have seen, and are also similar to those seen for the Strikeforce Challengers series on Showtime.

According to figures later released by Fuel TV themselves the show also peaked with 315,000 viewers during the main event, and as a whole was ranked 9th amongst cable channels amongst the 18-49 age-group.

Those who did tune in were treated to a thoroughly enjoyable night of fights spread over three hours on the station, with the main event in particular which featured Diego Sanchez Vs Jake Ellenberger being a spectacle worthy of ‘Fight Of The Night’ honors.

Fuel TV is still a work in progress for the UFC, but they are blowing the previous ratings for the channel in years gone by out of the water and as the word continues to spread and more network providers add it to their packages then the ratings should continue to grow steadily.

It’s going to be a long term project though, and while Fuel TV themselves are delighted with how things have gone thus far it’s unfortunate that more people aren’t going to get to see the quality programming and events that they are providing.