UFC’s ESPN Debut Draws 1.5 Million Viewers

The ESPN era for UFC has continued to show marked improvement, was the first event on the Worldwide Leader yielded 1,463,000 viewers on Sunday.

The number would be the best for a Fight Night card on cable in more than three years, and would have been higher if the Francis Ngannou and Cain Velasquez main event went longer than 26 seconds.

The last time the UFC went over 1.4 milion viewers was in January 2016, when Dominic Cruz would take the bantamweight title from T.J. Dillashaw in-front of 2,280,000 viewers on FS1.

While the number would be down from ESPN’s broadcast of the UFC Fight Night Brooklyn Prelims (1,956,000), that card was helped by a healthy lead-in of an NCAA basketball game between Duke and Virginia.

Sunday’s prelims, headlined by Aljamain Sterling’s win over Jimmie Rivera, averaged 988,000 viewers.

ESPN would control most of the night in the coveted 18-49 demo, with the exception of TNT’s coverage of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game, Walking Dead on AMC, as well as FOX and CBS from 9-10pm.

Initial Report: MMA Fighting

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