UFC on ESPN 1 Delivers Strong Numbers Despite NBA All-Star Game

Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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UFC on ESPN 1 went head-to-head with the NBA All-Star game and still managed to peak at over 1.7 million viewers.

UFC Phoenix was the first ESPN and/or ESPN+ card that was not immediately preceded by a major sporting event. The sports network’s flagship show ‘Sportscenter’ was the lead-in.

It appears that didn’t affect the ratings too much, however as the main card averaged 1.463 million viewers. The high point came during the 26-second main event between Cain Velasquez and Francis N’Gannou when ratings peaked at 1.7 million viewers. (statistics provided by Nielsen).

The first full UFC on ESPN broadcast finished 5th on the night at 0.59 in the 18-49 demographic for television ratings. The night’s top spot went to the NBA All-Star Game on TNT with a 2.42 rating in the same demo, averaging more than 5.7 million viewers.

The two-hour prelims featuring a bantamweight fight between Jimmy Rivera and Aljamian Sterling topped out at 988,000 viewers.

The next UFC on ESPN event is March 30 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Justin Gaethje and Edson Barboza will go to war in the main event. Michelle Waterson and Karolina Kowalkiewicz will serve as the co-main event of the evening.

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