The UFC proved once again to be the king of young men on cable television on Wednesday, September 17 with a live â€œUFC Fight Nightâ€ (8:00-10pm) and the premiere of season 8 of â€œThe Ultimate Fighterâ€ (10:00-11:00pm).
Spike TVâ€™s â€œUFC Fight Night,â€ headlined by Nate Diaz and Josh â€œThe Dentistâ€ Neerâ€™s, placed #1 with Men 18-34, 18-49, 18-24, and 25-34. In fact, the UFC fight drew more young men than ESPNâ€™s telecast of Major League baseball game in the heat of a pennant race and ESPN2â€™s college football telecast combined as the Spike telecast drew 913,000 Men 18-49 and 465,000 Men 18-34. By comparison, ESPNâ€™s telecast of the Red Sox vs. Rays and ESPNâ€™s Louisville vs. Kansas St. college football game drew a combined 858,000 Men 18-49 and 373,000 Men 18-34.
Overall, the UFC fight card, emanating from the sold-out Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska, earned a 1.6 in M18-49, a 1.6 in M18-34, and an average audience of 1.8 million viewers. The viewership peaked for Diazâ€™s thrilling split-decision victory over Neer in the main event with 2.3 million tuning in.
Following the live fight, the premiere of â€œThe Ultimate Fighter 8â€ ranked #1 in cable in M18-49 (846,000) with a 1.5 rating. Overall, the premiere earned a 1.2 household rating, a 1.5 in M18-34, and an average audience of 1.6 million viewers. Frank Mir and Antonio Nogueira, two of the worldâ€™s top heavyweight mixed martial arts fighters, serve as coaches for season eight of the popular Spike TV series.