UFC Scores in Ratings on Opening Night for Fox Sports 1

Fight draws 1.7 million viewers Saturday night, topping the broadcast networks in key demos

Shugun vs Sonnen

Fox Sports 1 is off and running.

The new national sports network, which launched Saturday in approximately 90 million homes, drew good ratings for a UFC fights Saturday night — handily beating the broadcast networks in key young male demos.

FOX Sports 1’s first ever primetime event, “UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen” averaged 1.78 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen estimates. This is more than 10 times the combined audience drawn by Speed, Fox Soccer and Fuel TV on the comparable night a year ago (141,000).

The gains are even bigger in key demos, with Fox Sports 1’s viewership more than 25 times greater than Speed/Fox Soccer/Fuel TV among both adults 18-49 and men 18-49, and 40 times greater among adults 18-34 and men 18-34.

The inaugural airing of news/highlights series “Fox Sports Live” averaged 476,000 viewers, more than double the 201,000 that Speed had averaged in the third quarter of last year.

Among Fox Sports 1’s new programs to launch this week is “The Crowd Goes Wild,” a late-afternoon weekday program hosted by Regis Philbin, which premieres today.