As the days have passed there have been more details and information on the rating information for the UFC's debut on Fox. The latest development sees that the event peaked with 8.8 million viewers for the debut effort. That is a massive number and speaks to the debut being an undeniable success in terms of peak viewership.
There have been some indications that Fox still has minor concerns about being able to sell ads given the rather random nature of fight duration but that is something that should be able to be corrected as the promotion and the network figure out ways to keep viewers around for the duration of broadcasts. The fact that about 3 million viewers changed the station after the fight ended meant that a big chunk of them didn't see the commercials that advertisers were paying to get in front of eyeballs.
The obvious solution is more fights, less talking as there is only so much that can be said about men fighting that will keep viewer interest versus actually watching action.
But again, that is likely to change in 2012 when the deal actually kicks into full swing and the FX and Fuel shows provide chances to tinker with the broadcast structure and find the sweet spot for balancing pro sports production with delivering the violence that is at the base appeal of the sport.
Changes will come, but for now the UFC can celebrate a true success in the first test effort on their new network partner.