PFL Playoffs 2 on ESPN2 draws 126,000 viewers

October 21, 2019

The Professional Fighters’ League drew 126,000 viewers on ESPN2 Thursday night for its second night of playoffs from Las Vegas.

The PFL playoffs last week from the Mandalay Bay featured the quarterfinals of the Featherweight and Lightweight divisions.  Fighters advancing to New York had to fight twice with some fighting on the Prelims and then on the Main Card to allow at least some time in between fights.  Purses for the show can be found here.

The event did slightly better than some of the regular season Prelim cards which aired on ESPN this past summer. Notably, last week, the first set of playoffs on ESPN2 didn’t register in the top 150 of cable programming for the night.

Payout Perspective:

The viewership likely was buried due to MLB Playoff baseball featuring the Yankees and Astros, NFL Thursday night football and then College Football on ESPN.  Still, one would have hoped that the ratings would have been a little more considering PFL is in the thick of its playoffs.

WWE Friday Night Smackdown week 3 reflects another decrease in viewers

October 19, 2019

WWE Friday Night Smackdown drew 2.44 million viewers last night according to Nielsen via Television By Numbers.  The ratings show another week-to-week decrease in overall viewership since the show debuted 3 weeks ago.

The 2-hour telecast did draw a 0.8 rating in the 18-49 adult demo which was the most for the night on the networks and a 4 share which tied for the most on Friday night.  But the overall ratings reflect a drop-in viewership.  Fox was third behind CBS, ABC and NBC in viewership in the time slots.

According to a breakdown from ShowBuzz Daily, the viewership actually gained in the second hour from 9-10pm which shows improvement but still falls behind the big 3 networks.  Fox did do better than the CW Network in these timeslots.

Payout Perspective:

Cause for concern?  Friday night is not the best night for programming and its clear that audiences have yet to gravitate to SmackDown yet.

AEW’s third episode draws 1.014M viewers, NXT draws 712K

October 17, 2019

All Elite Wrestling bested NXT Wednesday night for the third straight week although both telecast showed declines in ratings over the previous weeks.

All Elite Wrestling on TNT drew 1.014M viewers, a 0.44 share in the P18-49 demo and a 0.65 in the M18-49 demo.  NXT on USA drew 712,000 viewers, a 020 share in the P18-49 and a 0.27 in the M18-49 demo.

AEW was the 5th highest rated cable show on Wednesday.  Notably only VH1 Network had a higher rating during both the 8pm and 9pm hours with AEW on TNT second.

Lee South/AEW



Week 1: 1.4M viewers

Week 2:  1.018M viewers

Week 3: 1.014M viewers


Week 1: 1.179M viewers *1 hour

Week 2: 1.006M viewers *1 hour

Week 3: 890,000 viewers

Week 4: 790,000 viewers

Week 6: 712,000 viewers

ONE Championship draws 264,000 viewers

October 16, 2019

ONE Championship’s airing of its big card from Tokyo, Japan on Saturday night drew 264,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The event featured many of the top stars from the promotion including Demetrious Johnson as he won the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix title over Danny Kingad.  The event aired late Saturday night on the east coast (11pm) and after the UFC Fight Night event and Bellator on the Paramount Network.

The event drew a 0.09 share for its 126 minutes on TNT.

Payout Perspective:

The telecast bested Bellator on the Paramount Network earlier in the evening.  It also showcased the best of its roster with the exception of Eddie Alvarez.  While 264,000 viewers might not be a huge audience, one has to believe that it is a baby step in finding inroads into the U.S.

PBC on FS1 draws 282,000 viewers

September 24, 2019

PBC on FS1 Saturday night drew 282,000 viewers per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily. The event featured Alfredo Angulo as he defeated Peter Quillin via split decision.

The event took place in Bakersfield, California at the Rabobank Arena.

In addition, Thomas Dulorme defeated Terrel Williams in a co-feature on the event.

Payout Perspective:

This past August, PBC on FS1 drew 345,000 viewers making it the best rating on the network since January. The 282,000 viewers is fairly strong for this event and at a late time slot on Saturday night.

NXT Episode 1 on USA Network draws 1.179M viewers

September 19, 2019

The debut of WWE’s NXT on the USA Network Wednesday night drew 1.179 million viewers per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  It was the first show on cable television for the WWE-owned “developmental” roster of sports entertainers.

The debut gets a head start on the debut of the new AEW wrestling promotion that will be shown on TNT.  The competition will be reminiscent of the “Monday Night Wars” that happened during the 1990s when WWE and WCW competed head-to-head against each other on USA and TNT.

The WWE’s NXT had been shown exclusively on the WWE Network.  The show’s second hour will still be shown on the Network while the first hour will be on the USA Network.

The ratings made it the 4th highest rated cable show on Wednesday night.  It also drew a 0.43 rating in the A18-49 demo.

Notably, the highest-rated show on the USA Network the Wednesday preceding NXT’s debut was an episode of Suits which drew 965,000 viewers.

Right off the bat, we see that the WWE on Wednesday night will bring an immediate impact in ratings.  When AEW debuts one might expect a decrease in the viewership as the audiences will be split (assuming, as rumors indicate, that AEW and NXT will be shown at 5pmPT/8pmET.

UFC 242 Prelims on FX draws just 222,000 viewers

September 10, 2019

The UFC 242 Prelims on FX drew just 222,000 viewers on Saturday morning per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event aired early due to the event being held in Abu Dhabi.

Usually on ESPN, the telecast moved to FX to accommodate College Football on the ESPN networks.  The Prelims did air on ESPN+ in addition to FX.

The feature bout of the Prelims saw Joanne Calderwood defeat Andrea Lee via split decision.  In addition, the telecast saw two stoppages with Ottman Azaitar knocking out Teemu Packalen with a vicious punch that sent Finnish fighter down to the canvas face first.  Also Sarah Moras was able to stop Liana Jojua in round 3.

Payout Perspective:

Even though the UFC did its best to tell its fans, the move to FX from ESPN hurt the ratings for this telecast although one might expect that the PPV sales on ESPN+ were good.  The early start time likely hurt the broadcast as well.

PBC on Fox draws 1.04M viewers for Saturday night broadcast

September 1, 2019

PBC Boxing on Fox drew 1.04 million viewers in fast nationals according to Nielsen via Television By Numbers.  The telecast competed with College Football on ABC which drew 6.13 million viewers.

The PBC main attraction featured Erislandy Lara as he defeated Ramon Alvarez with a stoppage in the 2nd round of their 12 round super welterweight title fight.  The event drew a 0.3 rating in the A18-49 demo and a 2 share.

2019 PBC on Fox (fast nationals)

August 1.04M

July 880,000

June (Sunday) 1.007M

May 1.21M

April 1.01M

March 1.34M

February 1.26M

January 1.72M

The Auburn-Oregon game on ABC was the highlight game of the first full weekend of College Football and drew 6.13 million viewers.  It drew a 1.7 in the A18-49 demo and a 10 share.

Payout Perspective:

To be honest, I did not even realize that PBC had an event on national television.  The Vasiliy Lomachenko fight on ESPN+ somewhat overshadowed this card as Lomanchenko’s unanimous decision victory took place earlier in the afternoon.  Yet, over 1 million viewers improves upon July’s ratings despite a busy Labor Day weekend.

PBC Fight Night on FS1 does its best rating since January

August 29, 2019

PBC Fight Night on FS1 this past Saturday drew 345,00 viewers according to Nielsen.  It was FS1’s best performance since January.

The telecast saw Brandon Figueroa KO Javier Nicolas Chacon in the fourth round in a Junior Bantamweight title fight.

According to Fox Sports, it was up 48% from Saturday’s average of FS1 PBC cards.  It peaked with 421,000 viewers in the 12:00am ET-12:15am ET quarter hour.

The event averaged 85,000 viewers on Fox Deportes.  According to Fox Sports, 432,00 viewers watch on FS1, Fox Deportes and Fox streaming services.

January’s PBC on FS1 event featured rising star Caleb Plant and drew 761,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

A decent rating for PBC on FS1 considering the card and the fact College Football’s return was the star of the night with the Miami vs. Florida game.  There was also the Bellator card on The Paramount Network although that didn’t do much of a dent in the ratings.

Bellator posts lowest Paramount Network ratings in 2019 this past weekend

August 29, 2019

Bellator 225 which took place on Saturday night drew just 285,000 viewers on Paramount according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The event, which also aired on DAZN, featured heavyweights Matt Mitrone and Sergei Kharitonov.  The former Strikeforce fighter won via TKO via the former TUF competitor in the second round.  The event drew an overall share of just 0.09.

Per Jed I. Goodman, here are the Paramount Network ratings for the 2019 events:

Bellator 224 325k

Bellator 223 386k

Bellator 222 DAZN

Bellator 221 DAZN

Bellator 220 DAZN

Bellator 219 307k

Bellator 218 255k

Bellator 217 349k

Bellator 216 DAZN

Bellator 215 365k

Bellator 214 697k

Bellator did go up against PBC on FS1 which drew 345,000 viewers.  But the boxing telecast started after the MMA telecast.

Payout Perspective:

With a Bellator average on The Paramount Network at 325,000 viewers, one has to hope more viewers are on DAZN watching the events.  Granted, it was the start of College Football and the end of NFL Preseason which has many sports fans interested in the sport than MMA.  With this card having little interest, the ratings were likely expected.

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