The UFC’s 216 pay-per-view (PPV) preliminary card went head-to-head with major sporting events such as college football and Major League Baseball (MLB) playoffs – and the numbers really showed it.
A number of 653,000 viewers tuned in to view the preliminary card on FX, the lowest of any PPV to date on channel, per MMA Fighting. The number was also the second-lowest on a network with nearly full national cable distribution. The card was headlined by a featherweight contest between Cody Stamann and Thomas Duquesnoy, which Stamann won via split decision.
The show also did the lowest gate in over a decade for an event in Las Vegas, reeling in only $677,999.50. The highest viewed fight on the card was Stamann vs. Duquesnoy at 756,000 viewers.
College football’s Michigan State vs. Michigan game was the most viewed event of the night with 6,508,000 viewers on ABC. Networks such as ESPN, ESPN 2, FOX and FS 1 were also broadcasting college football games. Kansas State vs. Texas on FS1 did 1,266,000 viewers, beating out nearly every UFC PPV preliminary card this year.
Friday’s weigh-ins for UFC 216 did 171,000 viewers (slightly above normal), while the pre-show did 324,000 and the post-show 221,000.
Bellator didn’t do much better, with their event headlined by bantamweight champ Darrion Caldwell against Eduardo Dantas, doing only 437,000 viewers. The card went up against MLB playoffs and two college football games.