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Ratings report: Fight Night does 638,000 viewers; TUF follows with 725,000

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Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday night's TV ratings were middle-of-the-road levels for both the main card from Brazil as well as the Ultimate Fighter featuring the much-talked about Jessamyn Duke vs. Raquel Pennington fight.

The UFC Fight Night 29 event, headlined by Jake Shields vs. Demian Maia, airing from 7-10:22 p.m., averaged 638,000 viewers. It was up from the 539,000 on Sept. 4, the previous show, but well below the first two live shows on FS 1. The prelims, which started at 5 p.m. Eastern time, did 220,000 viewers, down from the 270,000 bottom figure from Sept. 4.

The Ultimate Fighter continued the pattern where the ratings increase every week there is a women's fight. Saturday's show, which started 23 minutes late, did 725,000 viewers, up 18 percent from the live viewership the week before of a show with a men's fight. But it was the lowest of the four episodes that have featured women's fights. The show was likely hurt by the late start time, but helped because the fight night lead-in was more than double the usual lead-in of a replay of the previous week's episode.

The show is currently averaging 736,000 viewers watching on the first Wednesday night airing each week. The two shows with men's fights average 640,000 and the three shows featuring a women's fight average 791,000 viewers.
The Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals National League playoff game, which did 6.09 million viewers, provided the most significant sports competition.

FS 1 won the night in prime time among the cable sports stations, essentially meaning it beat the competition on both ESPN and ESPN 2, which is the station's goal.

Even though airing on a weaker station, that's also in fewer homes, last night's episode on adult males had 20 percent more viewers in Males 18-49 than the same week last year on FX during the Roy Nelson vs. Shane Carwin season.

DVR viewership has also gotten stronger. Last week's show did 308,000 DVR viewers between Thursday and Saturday night of the original episode. That is a 48 percent increase over the live numbers. On a percentage basis of increase, it's the highest in the history of the show. For actual DVR total viewers, it would be the strongest the show has done since the season with Kimbo Slice.