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UFC on FOX 12 averages 2.5 million viewers, peaks at 3.4 million

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Saturday night’s UFC on FOX 12 did almost identical numbers to almost every spring or summer show the promotion has done the past two years. The show was the most-watched show on either broadcast or cable in the U.S. in the key male adult demographics, as well as overall among those 18-49. Saturday’s twelfth FOX network prime time airing of UFC did normal patterned numbers, with a 1.5 rating and 2.5 million viewers, based on the final numbers that came in on Tuesday.The number is virtually identical with every FOX event that has taken place outside of football season the past few years, with the exception of the Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez lightweight title fight. That show, on April 20, 2013, did a 2.2 rating and 3.74 million viewers, with the main event doing 4.97 million viewers.Saturday night’s show was the most-watched show on U.S.television in prime time among males 18-34, doing a 1.29 in males 18-49, 1.52 in males 25-54 and in the key demo of adults 18-49, 1.05.The highest rated half hour was, as expected, for the main event of Matt Brown vs. Robbie Lawler, battling for a welterweight title shot. Lawler won and will be getting a shot at champion Johny Hendricks.  The 10 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Eastern time slot, which would be rounds two through five, as well as post-fight announcements and interviews, averaged a 2.14 rating and 3,427,000 viewers. For a comparison, the previous FOX show, on April 19, featuring Fabricio Werdum vs. Travis Browne with a heavyweight title shot at stake, did a 2.0 rating and 3.3 million viewers for the main event. That previous show did an overall 1.6 rating and 2.5 million viewers.FOX has run eight Major League Baseball games on Saturday night this season, which average a 1.4 rating and 2.2 million viewers. However, the UFC attracts a younger audience than baseball and is well ahead in the key adult demographics, particularly males 18-34 and 18-49.Last year’s July show, with Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga for the flyweight title as the main event, did a 1.5 rating and 2.38 million viewers, but fared better in the key demos, doing a 1.5 in males 18-34 and 1.6 in males 18-49.   The numbers being similar for all three shows, as well as most of the recent spring and summer offerings, indicate there is a base audience that will watch UFC on FOX outside of football season that hovers around 2.5 million viewers. A really big fight, like Henderson vs. Melendez, can do significantly more. But something like Lawler vs. Brown, a top contenders match that insiders were looking forward to because it matched two fighters who stylistically could have put on a fight-of-the-year candidate, did not attract a measurable amount of new viewers.The show also marked the first time the prelims aired on FOX.  The two hours from 6-8 p.m. did a 0.8 rating and 1.3 million viewers. For a comparison, on the April 19 show, the prelims on FS 1 did a 0.49 rating and 521,000 viewers.Ratings are courtesy of A.C. Neilsen.

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