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UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Arlovski beats afternoon ratings average, but falls short of record

Sunday's heavyweight contenders fight with Alistair Overeem beating Andrei Arlovski paced a main card that averaged 656,000 viewers. While well above the usual average number for that time slot, it fell short of the time slot record set last month by the Junior Dos Santos vs. Ben Rothwell card.

Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday's Fight Night from Rotterdam, Holland, headlined by Alistair Overeem's second round stoppage of Andrei Arlovski in a battle of top-ranked heavyweights, did 656,000 viewers for the main card.

The number is 24 percent ahead of that previous FS1 cards have done when broadcast in the afternoon. But it was down from FS1's strongest afternoon show, on April 10, headlined by heavyweights Junior dos Santos vs. Ben Rothwell in a similar time slot. Dos Santos vs. Rothwell, which featured a five round main event on a show that went 35 minutes longer, averaged 781,000 viewers.

The April show, from Zagreb, Croatia, also aired on a Sunday with a 2 p.m. Eastern time start of the main card. The longer main event and overall show gave the show more time to build an audience.

The main event on Sunday averaged 805,000 viewers.

FS1 has averaged 530,000 viewers on shows that have aired in weekend afternoon time slots.

The prelims, headlined by Rustam Khabilov vs. Chris Wade, with no real marquee stars, averaged 494,000 viewers from Noon to 2 p.m. That number breaks the FS 1 record of 443,000 viewers for early afternoon prelims, set on the April 10 show.

Other comparisons also were also favorable on Sunday. The pre-fight show did 188,000 viewers, well ahead of the 119,000 for the April show. However, the post-fight show did 230,000, down from the 310,000 in April. The weigh-ins on Saturday did 172,000 viewers, up from 109,000 from the April show.

The company continues overall to trend well ahead of last year's numbers overall. FS1 was the most-watched cable sports network based on the duration of the show from Noon to 4:45 p.m.

This past Wednesday's episode of The Ultimate Fighter did 414,000 viewers, up from 387,000 the prior week.

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