Capped by a strong December, Fuel TV led all ad-supported cable networks in terms of Nielsen growth in 2012.
Fuel TV, bolstered by its expansive UFC programming, completed the year as the top ad-supported cable network in year-to-year percentage growth among households, total viewers and guys 18 to 49 during total day and primetime, according to figures released by the measurement company
The network pinned a 164% jump in primetime during 2012, averaging 37,000 viewers, versus 14,000 the prior year. Gauged on a total-day basis, Fuel upped the audience ante 122% to 20,000 from 9,000, according to Nielsen data.
In December, Fuel pumped a 163% rise in total day to 21,000 viewers, including a 100% jump to 8,000 males 18 to 49. Primetime reflected a 186% surge to a 40,000 average, with the aforementioned demo ahead 133% to 14,000 of those watchers. December closed as the network’s third most-watched month in primetime and fourth most-watched month ever. A "UFC Holiday Knockout" marathon on Christmas delivered the sixth most-watched day in network history
The most-watched day in network history occurred last April 14, with an average of 71,000 total viewers for the “Day of UFC on Fuel TV 2,” while its most-watched primetime came Feb. 15: 176,000 total viewers were intrigued by “Night of UFC on Fuel TV 1.”
"Two thousand twelve has been an incredible year for Fuel TV and we are excited to see the extraordinary viewership growth month after month,” said George Greenberg, executive vice president and general manager, Fuel TV. "Driven by the power of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and its passionate and loyal fan base, we have seen unbelievable increases in all demos throughout the year. We know the trend will continue in 2013. The UFC product is without a doubt the major league of MMA and you cannot find this quality of fights anywhere else.”
All told, Fuel televised 31 live UFC weigh-in and post-fight shows, nine live prelims, and six live UFC on Fuel TV Fights. In addition, the network showed a mix of additional UFC news, highlight and lifestyle programming. The UFC served to complement the network’s mix of motocross, boxing and adrenaline-fueled sports and entertainment programming.
Now, the question is how will the audiences hold up as the network cycles through the now higher Nielsen benchmarks fueled by the mixed martial arts leader.