UFC on ESPN 3 draws over 1M Saturday night

July 2, 2019

UFC on ESPN 3 drew 1,091,000 million viewers on Saturday night. The event was the second highest rated cable show for the day.

The event featured Junior dos Santos taking on Francis Ngannou with the Cameroonian-born Ngannou taking a first round KO. The event drew 543,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and drew an overall share of 0.69. The main card peaked at 1.247 million viewers.

In addition, the Prelims aired prior to the event and drew 553,000 viewers scoring 242,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and 0.36 share.

UFC on ESPN 1: 1.463M viewers, prelims 988,000
UFC on ESPN 2: 828,000 viewers, prelims 480,00
UFC on ESPN 3: 1,091M viewers, prelims 543,000

The 3-hour Prelims this past Saturday featured a big KO by Eryk Anders as he took out Vinicius Moreira in the first round. It also saw heavyweight Maurice Green as he defeated Junior Albini in round 1.

Payout Perspective:

Only Women’s World Cup Coverage bested UFC on ESPN’s main card Saturday night. While it did not do as well as the first event back in February, it still has to be considered a great success. The viewership reflects the dedicated ESPN viewer has adjusted to watching UFC and has produced nice ratings.

Top Rank Boxing on Friday night draws 490,000 on ESPN

July 1, 2019

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN drew 490,000 viewers Friday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event, which took place in Temecula, California, was a unique Friday event as opposed to its usual Saturday fight cards.

The main event Richard Comney as he stopped Ray Beltran.  The event drew a 0.15 share in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

The event was held Friday likely due to the ESPN event on the network Saturday night.  A couple weeks prior Top Rank Boxing on Saturday night drew 799,000 viewers as it had the UFC as a lead-in to its telecast.  The decrease in ratings might have been simply to a change in nights.

Bellator MMA 223 draws 386,000 on The Paramount Network for tape-delayed card

June 25, 2019

Bellator MMA Live 223 drew 386,000 on The Paramount Network Saturday night.  The event was a tape-delayed telecast as the show took place earlier in London.

The event saw an upset as Rafael Lovato, Jr. defeated Gegard Mousasi to win the Bellator MMA middleweight world championship.

The telecast aired on digital streaming service DAZN as well as Paramount.

The last three Bellator events have been exclusively on DAZN.  The last event airing on Paramount was Bellator 219 which drew 307,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

It’s hard to gage how much Bellator viewership has dropped off since the event also airs on DAZN and we are not privy to the digital platform’s viewership.  With tape-delayed card, you can expect a lower viewership number since most of the hardcore fans will find ways to watch the event live.

UFC Fight Night Greenville Prelims draw 413K on ESPN Saturday afternoon

June 25, 2019

The UFC Fight Night Prelims: Greenville drew 413,000 viewers on Saturday night on ESPN.  The event preceded the event on ESPN+.

According to Nielsen, via ShowBuzz Daily, the event drew 207,000 viewers in the A18-449 demo and a 0.27 share overall.  The Prelims aired early afternoon on the west coast and late afternoon on the east coast.

The three-hour prelims featured Dan Ige winning a unanimous decision victory over Kevin Aguilar.  It also saw the second-fastest KO in UFC heavyweight history with Jair Rozenstruik defeating Allen Crowder.

Earlier this month, UFC Fight Night Stockholm Prelims drew 257,000 viewers on ESPN2.  Those Prelims aired early Saturday morning due to the time difference.

Payout Perspective:

The prelims are fairly low considering that the Prelims airing on ESPN occurred during the early/mid-afternoon for most of the country.  With the east coast start, it made the main card easy for those in the same time zone as Greenville, but early for those of us on the west coast.

Fury-Schwarz Prelims on ESPN2 draw 493,000 viewers

June 18, 2019

The undercard for the Top Rank Boxing event this past Saturday night on ESPN2 drew 493,000 viewers per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The telecast preceded the main card for the Fury-Schwarz fight.

The event drew 143,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and a 0.32 share overall.

The undercard featured several fights including Junior lightweight Mikaela Mayer’s win over Lizbeth Crespo and Albert Belll’s win over Andy Vences.

On the main card, Jesse Hart scored a victory over Sullivan Barrera in a mild upset in a light heavyweight contender matchup.  The main card was featured on ESPN+.

Payout Perspective:

The prelims began at 4pm west coast time so the 493,000 viewers is a pretty decent turnout for boxing on ESPN2.  According to Jake Donovan, it outperformed every 2019 PBC Show on FS1 except for one and every Showtime card except for last month’s Wilder-Breazeale fight.  The ratings could go to the draw of the heavyweight matchups and/or the character that is Tyson Fury because the fight itself was anticlimactic and not competitive.

Top Rank Boxing draws 799,000 viewers on ESPN Saturday

June 11, 2019

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN drew 799,000 viewers Saturday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event drew 314,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

The telecast, which featured Oscar Valdez defeating Jason Sanchez to retain his featherweight title drew a 0.56 share.

The event came after the UFC 238 Prelims which drew 964,000 viewers.  It drew 489,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and a 0.63 share.

Payout Perspective:

Based on the bare numbers, the numbers reflect little drop off from the UFC as a lead-in.  Certainly, you have little crossover audience although the hope for the UFC and the network is that those that watched the prelims buy the PPV on ESPN+ but if they didn’t, tune into boxing.  The viewership numbers for Top Rank are promising considering there was a self-imposed competition with MMA on Saturday night.

UFC 238 Prelims draw 964,000 viewers

June 11, 2019

The UFC 238 Prelims drew 964,000 viewers on ESPN Saturday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  It was the best rating for a PPV Prelims since UFC 235.

The PPV prelims aired on ESPN prior to the UFC 238 Prelims on ESPN +.  The feature bout of the prelims saw Tatiana Suarez defeat Nina Ansaroff in a competitive fight between strawweights.  Also, Aljamain Sterling defeated Pedro Munhoz in a bantamweight contender matchup.

The event drew 489,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and a 0.63 share.

UFC PPV Prelims ratings 2019

UFC 234:  1.339M

UFC 235:  1.480M

UFC 236:  893,000

UFC 237:  813,000

UFC 238:  964,000

The prelims actually served as a lead-in to Top Rank Boxing on ESPN.  It’s the second straight PPV that the prelims have led to boxing on the network.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings reflect a nice uptick in viewership which may mean more PPV purchases.  This time around the prelims seemed stacked more competitive fights and fighters the casual fan may know.  This is also another evening where ESPN dedicated to combat sports which is interesting to see.

UFC Fight Night Stockholm Prelims this past Saturday draws 257K

June 7, 2019

UFC Fight Night Stockholm Prelims last Saturday on ESPN2 drew 257,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event took place on Saturday morning in North America.

The three hour prelims featured welterweights Sergey Khandozhko as he defeated Rostem Akman via decision.  Also, Lina Lansberg defeated Tonya Evinger in a bantamweight matchup.  The featured event, which aired on ESPN+ featured Anthony Smith against hometown favorite Alexander Gustafsson.  Smith silenced the crowd when he submitted Gustafsson in round 4 of their light heavyweight matchup.

Earlier this year, UFC on ESPN + 7 Prelims from St. Petersburg, Russia drew 232,000 viewers.  It also was a Saturday morning telecast on ESPN2.  In February 2019, UFC Fight Night on ESPN +3 drew 271,000 viewers for an early morning North American start from Prague.

Payout Perspective:

 The televised portion of this event happened Saturday morning on the west coast which likely contributed to the low ratings.  Of course, it was the prelims.  This past Saturday’s event is about the average for these Saturday morning telecasts.

Top Rank Boxing draws 556,000 viewers Saturday night

May 29, 2019

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN drew 556,000 viewers on Saturday night.  The main event saw an upset as Jamel Herring defeated Masayuki Ito to win the WBO junior heavyweight title in Kissimmee, Florida.

The event aired Saturday night at 10pm and featured the matchup of the former Marine taking the title from Ito.  The event drew 171,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and a 0.38 market share.

Notably, the event outdrew ESPN2 which showed women’s college softball super regional action at the time.  The games averaged in the 300K viewer range.  The event did air opposite the Bucks-Raptors Conference Finals which drew 6.4 million viewers.

Top Rank on ESPN Ratings

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN (2/2):  880,000 viewers

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN (2/10):  655,000 viewers

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN (2/15) 704,000 viewers

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN (3/23) 469,000 viewers

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN (5/4) 480,000 viewers

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN (5/11) 740,000 viewers

Payout Perspective:

The event was likely overshadowed by the NBA and although the backstory behind Herring was a good one.  The 556,000 is a little better than 2 of the past 4 Top Rank shows which you might see as an improvement.

PFL2 Prelims on ESPN2 draw 120,000 viewers

May 24, 2019

Professional Fighters League drew 120,000 viewers on ESPN2 Thursday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  Notably, the UFC 236 replay drew 191,000 viewers later that night on ESPN2.

The PFL2 aired for the second time on ESPN2.  The event took place at the Nassau Coliseum in New York.  The featured event of the 2 hour Prelims on ESPN2 saw Natan Schulte defeat Yincang Bao via rear naked choke.

The event on ESPN2 aired early in the night (7pm ET).  The UFC 236 replay (10pm ET) which featured Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier drew more than the live event.

The second season of the PFL debut on May 9th drew 137,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The decrease in viewership may not be the best look for the PFL which is trying to gain some traction on ESPN in its second season.  Of course, the main card is airing on ESPN+ so don’t expect too much concern from the network.  Moreover, being placed on the deuce and being the prelims might not be the best way to put your best product out there.

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