Michelle Clancy | 20-08-2013
FOX Sports 1, which News Corp launched to compete head to head with ESPN, went live in 90 million homes in the US over the weekend. Powered by 11.5 hours of live NASCAR and UFC programming, plus three hours of the inaugural editions of FOX SPORTS LIVE, FOX Sports 1 posted strong audience figures on its first day of operation, according to Nielsen Media Research.
FOX Sports 1, driven by UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen, posted an average audience of 1.71 million viewers in prime time, which is a more than ten-fold increase compared to what Speed, FOX Soccer and Fuel TV combined (FOX Sports 1 replaced all three) to deliver on the comparable night one year ago (141,000). Among younger demographics the comparisons are even more significant. FOX Sports 1 viewership was more than 25 times greater than Speed/FOX Soccer/Fuel TV among both adults 18-49 and men 18-49, and 40 times greater among adults 18-34 and men 18-34. All ratings are coverage area nationals, live plus same day stream.
"We must congratulate the UFC for putting together a terrific event for the launch of FOX Sports 1 that fans were obviously very excited to watch," said Bill Wanger, executive vice president of programming and research at FOX Sports. "The prelims and main events were action-packed, and the production quality and new camera angles gave fans a totally new perspective – hats off to the UFC and its incredibly loyal fan base for making our first night such a complete success."