3e punches above weight with first UFC Fight Night

Mixed martial arts event likely to return to TV3 Group as younger viewers tune in

Box office: Conor McGregor defeated Brazil’s Diego Brandao at UFC Fight Night in the O2, Dublin. Photograph: Rodrigo Romos/INPHO

Box office: Conor McGregor defeated Brazil’s Diego Brandao at UFC Fight Night in the O2, Dublin. Photograph: Rodrigo Romos/INPHO

Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 01:30

Saturday night’s Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Fight Night garnered an average of 257,500 viewers for TV3 Group’s 3e, with the audience peaking at 340,000.

While the average figure was not quite as high as it has been in the past for 3e’s showing of I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, the well-hyped event will have boosted 3e’s overall ratings performance as well as alerted some viewers to the fact that the channel exists.

The viewing average represented a 21 per cent share of the total available audience, but it did rather better with the cohort of 15-24s who were watching TV at the time.

Some 43.3 per cent of them watched Conor McGregor rain punches on Brazil’s Diego Brandao, while 36.7 per cent of TV-watching males aged 15-34 also watched the fight.

The “mixed martial arts” event, staged live in the O2, was the first and most likely not the last UFC event to be shown on a free-to-air channel in Ireland, with the Twitter account for @TV3SportIreland helpfully reminding social media users of the “free-to-air” part if they dared complain about 3e missing the start of a round due to an ad break.