The UFC’s third foray of the year into the U.K. drew a record number of viewers for mixed martial arts in North America. According to officials at Spike TV, which aired the event on a tape-delayed basis in the United States, the telecast captured an average of 4.7 million viewers on the strength of a 3.1 overall rating.
At one point during the title bout between Quinton Jackson and Dan Henderson, there were approximately 5.6 million viewers tuned in, according to David Schwartz of Spike TV.
UFC 75 actually outdrew any other televised program during the same time period on Saturday night in the hotly contested advertising demographics of Men 18-34 and Men 18-49. The competition in that time period included offerings of college football on ABC and ESPN, NASCAR on ABC, and the U.S. Open Women’s Final on CBS.
The ratings are further proof that the tide in American sports is changing,” said Kevin Kay, General Manager, Spike TV. “Young men, who constitute the Spike TV core audience, prefer the incredible action and athleticism of the UFC to more traditional sports.”..
UFC President Dana White was understandably touting the achievements of the promotion’s latest move into the U.K. and on American television. “Not only did UFC 75 showcase the bout that unified the 205 lb Pride and UFC titles, it did so in front of a record breaking crowd at the O2 Arena in London, and in front of the largest U.S. audience to ever tune in to an MMA card during its Spike TV telecast.”