The Ultimate Fighting Championship proved yet again to be the ratings champion with the hard-to-reach demographic of young men. Spike TV's telecast of "UFC Fight Night" on July 19 , which featured the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world (according to many rankings) Anderson Silva, drew the highest ratings in its targeted demographic among all broadcast and cable programs.
Among men aged 18-34, UFN 14 drew 903,000 views, while men 18-49 and 25-34 saw numbers reach 1,550,000 and 622,000, respectively. Among all viewers between the ages 18-34, approximately 1,326,000 tuned in.
The telecast peaked at 11:30 p.m. for the Silva vs. James Irvin bout drawing 3.8 million viewers and a staggering 4.9 rating for men 25-34 and a 4.1 rating in men 18-34.
The UFC fight card also drew more viewers than FOX's coverage of MLB (3,072,000) earlier in the day and nearly tripled its reach of men 18-34 (369,000) and doubled the men 18-49 (879,000).
Overall, the three-hour live UFC event averaged a 2.1 household rating, a 2.8 with men 18-49, a 3.2 with men 18-34, a 2.0 with P18-49 and 3.1 million total viewers. Comparing to other marquee weekend events, Spike's UFC telecast also drew more men 18-49 than ESPN's coverage of "The ESPY Awards" (1,127,000) and men 18-34 (689,000).
Compared to the time period a year ago, the "UFC Fight Night" was up 229 percent in household rating, 451 percent in M18-49, 463 percent in M18-34, 470 percent in M25-34 and 266 percent in average audience.
Silva moved up a weight class to fight "The Sandman" Irvin in the light heavyweight division in the event, which took place at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. "Spider" defeated Irvin at 1:01 into the first round of their matchup with a barrage of punches that resulted in a referee stoppage.
Also on the main event card, Frankie Edgar spoiled Hermes Franca's return to the Octagon by controlling the fight with his strong wrestling and ground-and-pound style, earning a unanimous decision from the judges. Brandon Vera, who moved down in weight to fight Reese Andy, earned a decision win, as well.