While FOX and FX ratings haven't particularly been impressive under the UFC's gigantic new television deal, FOX execs will certainly be pleased that FUEL TV is still consistently improving their ratings from "nothing" to "something". For the month of August they obtained their best ever peak viewership of 328k for UFC on FOX 4 prelims, and UFC content has significantly helped their primetime ratings. From their official press release:
August 2012 was up +50% in Total Viewers and +150% in M18-49 vs. August 2011;
Prime time finished up +157% in Total Viewers and +189% in M18-49 vs. August 2011;
Live UFC Prelims on FUEL TV on Saturday, August 4 was the network’s most-watched prelims ever with 194,000 Total Viewers;
On August 4, the UFC Prelims on FUEL TV viewership peaked from 7:45 PM ET – 8:00 PM ET with 328,000 Total Viewers, the network’s largest peak ever;
It was the network’s second most-watched show among M18-49 and fifth most-watched program of all time;
On August 4, the UFC Prelims on FUEL TV contributed to the network’s most-watched Saturday prime on both Total Viewers and M18-49;
August 4 was the network’s second most-watched Saturday among M18-49 and third most-watched Saturday on Total Viewers;
For the first eight months of 2012, prime time viewership is +164% vs. 2011;
Since January 1, the network’s total day viewership is up +91% compared to 2011;
Granted, this isn't a completely stunning achievement because FUEL never really previously aired anything worth decent viewership before the UFC deal. It is however encouraging to see consistent growth for what is essentically a niche channel. Currently, the UFC airs recent PPVs, Unleashed, UFC Tonight, weigh-ins, and several other shows to make up roughly 400+ hours of programming per month.
As for future live fights, the UFC has two FUEL cards left including one on the 29th to be headlined by Stefan Struve and Stipe Miocic. Their final show in November is far and away their biggest one, with former UFC Middleweight champ Rich Franklin in the main event against Cung Le in Macau.