It lasted only a minute, but it was a sweet one for MMA.
According to Nielsen ratings obtained by SI.com, Saturday’s UFC on Fox telecast peaked with 8.802 million viewers during the 64-second UFC heavyweight championship bout between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos.
This sets the new industry record for the most watched fight ever (live or taped), previously held by EliteXC’s Kimbo Slice-James Thompson heavyweight tilt on CBS in May 2008. Slice-Thompson, which lasted 10 minutes and 38 seconds, peaked with 6.51 million viewers.
In minute-by-minute ratings, the 9 p.m. primetime telecast dipped to 8.741 million viewers at the 41-minute mark (the fight’s conclusion), then dipped to 6 million viewers by 9:45 p.m. The telecast began with approximately 5.2 million viewers and dipped to approximately 4.4 million before starting its main climb around 9:36 p.m.
The telecast saw its strongest ratings across the board in the Adult and Male 18-34 demographics, peaking with a 7.19 share in the latter group. The telecast also topped NBC’s Maryland-Notre Dame and ESPN’s Alabama-Mississippi State college football broadcasts, and wasn’t far behind ABC’s Oregon-Stanford offering (6.0/11 overall share).
The UFC on Fox telecast garnered 5.675 million viewers overall for a 3.1 Household rating with a median age of 34.9 among viewers.
– Loretta Hunt