All the signs surrounding UFC when it comes to viewership of programming were strong with one record destroyed, and well above usual numbers on all other programming after Saturday's UFC 158.
The unpredictability of Nick Diaz was likely the cause for the weigh-ins, airing on Friday at 4 p.m. ET, doing a 0.47 rating and 215,000 viewers. Even though it aired out of prime time during normal working hours to an audience that is mostly males 18 to 49, it ended up as the sixth-most watched program in the history of the FUEL Network. The number beat the vast majority of live UFC fight event also aired live on the channel. With replays of the weigh-in airing in prime time, it helped FUEL to its fifth-most-watched day in network history.
The previous record for a UFC weigh-ins show on Fuel was 132,000 viewers, set for the weigh-ins of UFC on FOX 2 on January 27, 2012. That show headlined by Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis and Chael Sonnen vs. Michael Bisping.
The prelims on Saturday night on FX, headlined by Patrick Cote vs. Bobby Voelker, did a 1.03 rating and 1,579,000 viewers. The number tied for third highest in the fifteen month history of the UFC-FX relationship, behind only UFC 156 and UFC 148, and even with UFC 145.
The show also did strong numbers in the key demographics, with a 1.45 in males 18 to 49 and 1.38 in males 18 to 34. The post-fight coverage at 1 a.m., right after the pay-per-view ended, did 125,000 viewers on FUEL. It was the record for most viewers of a post-game show after a pay-per-view card. There were two FUEL shows that did more viewers for the post-game show, but that has the inherent advantage of having the audience already there going directly from the main event to the post-fight on the same station. The old pay-per-view record post-fight show record was held by the Cain Velasquez heavyweight title win over Junior dos Santos at UFC 155, which did 96,000 viewers.
In addition, UFC sources reported the press conference on Thursday was viewed over the Internet by more people than any press conference in UFC history with the exception of UFC 148, an event headlined by the rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen.
Because of the presence of Georges St-Pierre, who has been the company's biggest pay-per-view draw since the retirement of Brock Lesnar, the pay-per-view numbers were expected to be the largestest since the 925,000 orders for UFC 148.
UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz event sets two records on FUEL
UFC set two records with UFC 158 coverage. FUEL TV's broadcasting of the weigh-in live was the sixth most-watched show in network history. It also set a new mark for the most-watched post-fight show after a pay-per-view event.