Bucking monstrous sports competition, the UFC 179 prelims did 536,000 viewers, the second-lowest audience for that type of show for prelims since the move to Fox Sports 1.
The two-hour show was without a marquee star on the undercard with William "Patolino" Macario vs Neil Magny as the main event. But the difference was more the competition with a World Series game and two major college football games going head-to-head. It fell from the 698,000 on the Sept. 27 show which had Dominick Cruz's return, but was up from the record-low 436,000 for the prelims before UFC 177.
The big competition was the World Series, which did 10.7 million viewers on FOX. ESPN was broadcasting No. 3 ranked Ole Miss vs. No. 24 ranked Louisiana State in college football, which did 4.9 million viewers, and ESPN 2 aired No. 4 ranked Alabama vs. Tennessee which did 2.6 million viewers.
The show had a far higher profile in Brazil, given it came from Rio de Janeiro, and featured Brazil's last champion, Jose Aldo, in the main event. The show did 7.5 million viewers on Globo, an impressive number since the main event, airing on a few minute delay, started after 2 a.m. and ended at 3 a.m. local time. The last time Aldo headlined a show on Globo, UFC 163, on August 3, 2013, against Chan Sung Jung, the show also did 7.5 million viewers.
The Ultimate Fighter returned on Oct. 22 after a two-week hiatus and did 509,000 viewers, the second-lowest mark of the season, for the Felice Herrig vs. Heather Clark fight. The show did an additional 280,000 viewers watching via DVR before Saturday at midnight, for 789,000 total. The previous show, on Oct. 1, did 577,000 viewers that night and another 236,000 viewers via DVR viewership, for a total of 813,000.
The Oct. 24 edition of Bellator did 644,000 viewers, slightly below the show's average, also with World Series competition. That show featured Emanuel Newton vs. Linton Vassell for the light heavyweight title and Bobby Lashley vs. Karl Etherington. The show peaked at 952,000 viewers.