UFC Fort Lauderdale prelims average 720,000 viewers on ESPN

Saturday’s UFC show from Sunrise, Fla., averaged 720,000 viewers for the prelims on ESPN and 288,000 for the first three fights on ESPN2.

The main card was exclusively streaming on ESPN+.

The prelims were the lowest rating for a UFC live event up to this point on ESPN, but not a bad number for prelims of a Fight Night. For a comparison, in a better 8-10 p.m. time slot, the most recent pay-per-view prelims, before UFC 236, did 893,000 viewers.

The show was fifth on cable during its 7-9 p.m. time slot. It was third for sports broadcasts on the night, trailing a Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors NBA playoff game that did 3,075,000 viewers and a Boston Bruins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets game on NBC that did 2,852,000 viewers.

The prelims featured several name fighters, including former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, former strawweight champion Carla Esparza, as well as BJJ ace Gilbert Burns and veteran Ben Saunders.

The first three fights on the show did 288,000 viewers, airing from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on ESPN 2. It beat the previous ESPN 2 UFC broadcasts, although the others aired in morning time slots rather than late afternoon/early evening.

The ESPN2 portion included Jim Miller, one of the most durable fighters in company history breaking his own UFC record with his 32nd fight in the organization.

For the ESPN portion, the highest rated major markets were Washington, DC, and the San Francisco Bay Area, which both did 0.8 ratings. The San Francisco number was most impressive since the show aired 4-6 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon. New York only did a 0.3, while Los Angeles and Chicago did 0.4 ratings.

The overall national average rating was 0.50.

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