Spike TV/UFC 84 Press Release

Although it now qualifies as old news, Spike TV has announced the numbers for their telecast of UFC 84 – and the numbers trump the numbers that watched the EliteXC: Lawler vs. Smith II broadcast on CBS.  Below is the actual press release provided by the network:

Need proof the UFC is the preeminent mixed martial arts brand in the world? On Saturday, July 26, more men 18-34 watched a repeat…a repeat…of a UFC event on Spike TV than a LIVE telecast of a Pro EliteXC championship card on CBS. Despite being available in over 17 million more homes, Spike TV drew 27% more Men 18-34 for a re-broadcast of “UFC 84: Penn vs. Sherk” from (9:00-12:00am ET/PT) than CBS’s live show (9:00-11:00pm). Spike TV’s telecast tallied 433,000 Men 18-34 to CBS’s 341,000.Overall, “UFC 84: Penn vs. Sherk” drew higher ratings than Pro EliteXC in Men 18-49 (1.5 to 1.3) and Men 18-34 (1.5 and 1.0).

Reminiscent of the XFL’s rating collapse years ago, the CBS telecast was 69% lower in Men 18-34 and 57% lower with Men 18-49 than its initial broadcast on CBS in May featuring the “He Hate Me” of MMA, Kimbo Slice.

Compared to last week’s live Spike TV UFC telecast featuring arguably the best pound for pound fighter in the world, Anderson Silva, the UFC outdrew CBS by 165% with Men 18-34, 82% with Men 18-49, and 21% with total viewers.


Assuming this is correct information – and I have no reason to believe otherwise – then this would be twice that the UFC outdrew a MMA promotion on the airwaves.  And I am not about to come to any premature conclusions, but I think it is safe to say that both Affliction and EliteXC will need to go to the drawing board and try to get it right.  While competition is healthy, the numbers the UFC has put up against the rival promotions on television almost seem like the equivalent of let’s say….Anderson Silva vs. James Irvin or for that matter, Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia.

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