Fox Sports 1’s UFC Fight Night averaged 1.78 million viewers Saturday night in the new network’s first-ever primetime telecast. That’s the second-best ratings for the UFC since signing with Fox Sports heading into 2012 — behind only a Saturday night FX telecast on January 19, when the franchise averaged 1.9 million viewers. UFC on FX had averaged 1.29 million viewers overall, notes SportsBusiness Daily. FX1 also boasted it finished the night with better stats in key male demos than did the four major English-language networks, which you could file under Damning with Faint Praise. After the UFC battles, the premiere of FS1’s Fox Sports Live averaged a 0.3 preliminary rating from 10:43 PM-12 AM ET; ESPN’s SportsCenter earned a 0.6 rating from 11 PM-midnight. Saturday from 12:30-2:30 PM FS1 had earned a preliminary 0.6 rating for its NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Michigan International Speedway. ESPN in the same window averaged a preliminary 0.7 for Australia vs. Puerto Rico at the Little League World Series. Overall, Fox Sports 1, which launched Saturday, featured 16.5 hours of live sports coverage Saturday, including its late morning/afternoon NASCAR coverage and five hours of UFC, followed by the premiere of Fox Sports Live.
Fox’s fledgling 24-hour national sports network today unveiled the full cast of commentators and analysts for its nightly rival to ESPN’s SportsCenter. Joining hosts Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole on Fox Sports 1′s daily news program Fox Sports Live are former ESPN host Charissa Thompson, ex-NFL stars Donovan McNabb and Ephraim Salaam and NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton. Already on that list was ex-tennis star Andy Roddick. “Whatever the story is, we’ll rise to the top. Regardless of what sport it comes from”, said executive producer Mike Hughes during an event to unveil the cast. The show debuts when the network launches August 17, replacing Speed Channel. It will air at 11 PM ET, with refreshed editions airing at midnight ET and 1 AM ET.