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UFC on FOX 21 does 2.22 million viewers based on overnight numbers

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Saturday night's UFC on FOX show did in the usual range based on the overnight ratings listing an 0.8 in the 18-49 demo and 2.22 million viewers for the show headlined by Demian Maia's quick submission win over Carlos Condit.

This would be the first time UFC has run a FOX show in August, as normally they would run in July and not again until December.

The show was hurt by going head-to-head with the NFL preseason on CBS, which did 1.0 in the demo and 4.28 million viewers, as well as local market NFL broadcasts around the country.

In fact, the presence of the NFL would make this rating a somewhat misleading early number.

The overnights measure the FOX network from 8-10 p.m. in the Eastern time zone, 7-9 p.m. Central, 6-8 p.m. Mountain and 8-10 p.m. Pacific time.

Because the FOX show is live on the West Coast, airing from 5-7 p.m., the numbers measure whatever programming the local channel is putting on during that time period, usually lower rated than the UFC. But UFC was pre-empted in some markets if the FOX station had the local market NFL game. In at least some markets the UFC show was delayed until much later, meaning a worse time slot and lower ratings.

In addition, the ratings bump that is traditional because the main event usually takes place after 10 p.m. wasn't the case last night, as Maia defeated Condit at 1:52, and the match was over at roughly 10 p.m.

The 2.22 million viewer number was down from 2.44 million in the preliminary number for Holly Holm vs. Valentina Shevchenko, but that fight went five rounds, peaking after 10 p.m., and thus the final numbers were 2.98 million.

In July, 2015, a show headlined by T.J. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao for the bantamweight did 2.29 million viewers on the overnights, but its final number ended up at 2.8 million. Similarly for the July 2014 show, headlined by Robbie Lawler vs. Matt Brown, the show did 2.02 million viewers on the overnights and finished at 2.5 million. But the key to the growth was those shows all featured main events that either went the distance, or in Dillashaw vs. Barao, went four rounds.

Based on the overnights, UFC was second to the NFL on CBS in the 18-49 demo. For overall viewers, FOX was last of the four major networks as NBC had 2.47 million viewers and ABC had 2.39 million viewers.