Today Spike TV announced that UFC 75 was the most watched UFC event in history:
The first ever UFC title fight on Spike TV drew a staggering 4.7 million viewers on Saturday, September 8 (9:00pm-12:11am) making it the most watched UFC event ever and the most watched mixed martial arts event ever in North America. The â€œUFC 75â€? telecast emanating from the O2 Arena in London, England peaked at 5.6 million for the bout between UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton â€œRampageâ€? Jackson and PRIDE champ Dan Henderson. The fight card drew more Men 18-34 and Men 18-49 than anything else on television, broadcast or cable on September 8, including heavy sports competition from college football on ABC and ESPN, NASCAR on ABC, and the U.S. Open Womenâ€™s Final on CBS.
â€œThe ratings are further proof that the tide in American sports is changing,â€? said Kevin Kay, General Manager, Spike TV. â€œYoung men, who constitute the Spike TV core audience, prefer the incredible action and athleticism of the UFC to more traditional sports.â€?
â€œWe’re very proud to have added to the rich history of sports in London with this watershed mixed martial arts event,â€? said Dana White, UFC President. â€œNot only did UFC 75 showcase the bout that unified the 205 lb Pride and UFC titles, it did so in front of a record breaking crowd at the O2 Arena in London, and in front of the largest U.S. audience to ever tune in to an MMA card during its Spike TV telecast.â€?
â€œUFC 75â€? on Spike TV scored 2,503,000 Men 18-49 compared to 2.3 million for Oregon vs. Michigan on ABC; 2.1 million for NASCAR on ABC; 1.3 million for Virginia Tech vs. LSU on ESPN; 1.3 million for Notre Dame vs. Penn St on ESPN, and 546,000 for the U.S. Open Womenâ€™s Final on CBS.
â€œUFC 75â€? on Spike TV scored 1,622,000 Men 18-34 compared to 1.2 million for Oregon vs. Michigan on ABC; 717,000 for NASCAR on ABC; 656,000 million for Virginia Tech vs. LSU on ESPN; 687,000 for Notre Dame vs. Penn St on ESPN and 190,000 for the U.S. Open Womenâ€™s Final on CBS.
Overall, the Spike TV telecast drew a 3.1 rating (3.0 million homes), 5.7 Men 18-34 (1.6 million), 4.5 in M18-49 (2.5 million), and 6.2 rating in M25-34 (1.0 million).
The Ultimate Fighter 6, which will debut next Wednesday following UFC Fight Night 11, has a chance to be a standout season for the reality series. Its debut will come on the heels of a massive event and Spike will be looking to capture a sizeable group of the people who tuned in for UFC 75 and convert them into regular viewers. The show has seen declining viewers in the past several seasons and the large audience could help boost that number this year. The show has also made minor rule adjustments to enhance the competition.
Stay tuned to MMAFrenzy.com over the coming months as we go in-depth on The Ultimate Fighter will show previews, recaps, and more.