If you were to make a list of the big winners of the UFC/Fox partnership, Fuel TV would undoubtedly rank near the top.
The fledgling Fox-family network kicked off its seven-year deal in style, ringing in the New Year with a 24-hour marathon of UFC programming that featured five show premieres. And by all accounts, the debut was a roaring success.
According to figures collected by MMA Nation, Sunday, January 1st, 2012 was the second most-watched day in the network's history. Altogether the UFC marathon resulted in a resounding 378-percent increase in viewership compared to January 1st, 2011.
In addition, the network earned its highest-rated primetime ever -- marking a 493-percent rise from 2011's Sunday average -- aided by debut of "UFC Bad Blood," which collected the fourth-highest ratings in Fuel TV history.
"Fuel TV's New Year's Day Marathon of UFC programming was essentially Day 1 of FOX's seven-year relationship with the UFC," said George Greenberg, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Fuel TV. "We are confident that this exceptional and powerful programming, our cross-network promotional strategy, along with a great working relationship with UFC management, will continue to drive growth for UFC and Fuel TV over the long term."
Fuel TV expects to offer over 2,000 hours of UFC programming, including live cards, weigh-ins, preliminary bouts, and pre- and post-fight coverage throughout 2012.