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UFC 202 prelims do 1.3 million viewers, down from UFC 196 levels

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Going against the Olympics, the prelims for UFC 202 on Saturday night averaged 1,300,000 viewers, the third best prelim number of the year.

Across the board, the numbers for television were lower than those for UFC 196, with the first Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz fight.

The number was well below the 1,843,000 viewers for the prelims leading into UFC 196, which ended up doing a UFC all-time record of 1.6 million pay-per-view buys.  The UFC 200 prelims did 1,786,000 viewers, which led to a pay-per-view number estimated at between 1.1 million and 1.2 million buys.

Saturday night's show was the most-watched event on cable for the day in the 18-49 demo, and defeated everything else on cable for the day overall except NASCAR on NBC Sports.

The peak viewership was for the Raquel Pennington vs. Elizabeth Phillips fight with 1,507,000 viewers.

The prelims number was almost identical to the show last year at the same time, the prelims before the Ronda Rousey vs. Bethe Correia fight, which did 1,322,000 viewers.

Roughly 63 percent of the viewers were between the ages of 18 and 49. UFC continues to skew substantially lower as far as the age of the viewing audience compared to every major sport in the country.

The pre-fight show did 523,000 viewers, the seventh most watched in the history of the station.  The post-fight show did 320,000 viewers, the sixth most watched after a pay-per-view event on FS 1. The weigh-ins also did a strong 173,000 the day before.

The numbers were all down from the first McGregor vs. Diaz fight, which did 767,000 for the pre-fight show, the all-time record, 377,000 for the post-fight show and 377,000 for the weigh-ins.