Fox Sports 1 registered a strong first night with the Nielsens, averaging more than 1.7 million viewers in primetime.
The fledgling national sports network -- which stepped into the channel position previously occupied by Speed and launched before a cable-record 90 million subscribers -- posted a 1.33 household rating and 1.71 million viewers between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. (ET) on Aug. 17, according to Nielsen fast national data. Fox officials said that performance marked a tenfold jump over the combined delivery of 141,000 for Speed, Fuel TV, which also re-launched on Aug. 17 and Fox Soccer, which is slated to become FXX on Sept. 2, on the comparable night in 2012.
Fox Sports 1’s edge in viewership was over 25 times greater than Speed/Fox Soccer/Fuel among both persons and males 18 to 49, and 40 times greater among persons and guys 18 to 34, said Fox officials. FS1 also outpointed each of the major broadcast networks among adults and men 18 to 49, and persons and males 18 to 34.
The primetime slate was driven primarily by UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen, which averaged a 1.38 rating and 1.78 million viewers (the UFC telecast ended at 10:43 p.m. and was followed by Fox Sports Live).
Saturday night’s UFC card topped the rating (0.93) and audience (1.29 million) of eight UFC on FX Fights Nights by 49% and 38%, respectively. Moreover, Shogun vs. Sonnen beat seven of the eight cards on FX. Last night’s UFC card easily beat the average of FX’s primetime UFC cards by 50% among males 18 to 49 (994,000 vs. 663,000) and 44% among men 18 to 34 (492,000 vs. 342,000).
For its part, Fox Sports Live’s inaugural showing from 10:43 p.m. until midnight averaged 476,000 viewers, including 163,000 males 18 to 34, according to Nielsen. That represented a 137% jump from Speed’s third-quarter 2012 average of 201,000 viewers in the time period, and 1384% over the 11,000 in the aforementioned demo, said Fox officials.