UFC 243 this past Saturday was the biggest event in Australasian history — however, the prelims on ESPN 2 didn’t do so well.
According to MMA Fighting, 559,000 viewers turned into to see the prelims which took place prior to the main card. The peak number was 693,000 which was during the Callan Potter vs. Maki Pitolo fight. The 559,000 number is notably the lowest primetime prelim number of the year.
Part of that is because it was on ESPN 2 for the first time rather than ESPN. Instead, ESPN featured the Georgia vs. Tennessee football game which notably drew 3,901,000 viewers.
Another factor was the heavy sports competition which usually increases in the month of October. There were more football games, a Major League Baseball playoffs game as well as a preseason NBA game with the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers.
However, as MMA Fighting notes, the prelims were a success for ESPN 2 as it finished seventh in its timeslot in the 18-49 demographic. It was also ESPN 2’s highest rated show in the last two weeks not only in the 18-49 demorgaphic, but also 25-54 and 18-49 and 25-54 for men specifically.
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