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World Series holds UFC Sao Paulo down to 588,000 viewers

Saturday night’s UFC show, headlined by Derek Brunson’s first-round knockout of Lyoto Machida, did the lowest average audience for a primetime UFC live main card on FS1.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Brunson vs Machida Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Going head-to-head with the World Series led to Saturday night's UFC Fight Night to do its lowest numbers ever for a live primetime show on FOX Sports 1.

The show from Sao Paulo, Brazil, headlined by Derek Brunson's first-round knockout win over Lyoto Machida, averaged 588,000 viewers.

The lowest mark prior to Saturday happened twice. Most recently was a rare Wednesday night show on July 13, 2016, headlined by John Lineker vs. Michael McDonald, which was UFC's fourth live event in a one-week period. The other was a May 31, 2014, event also in Sao Paulo, headlined by Stipe Miocic vs. Fabio Maldonado. Both shows did 609,000 viewers.

It should be noted that FS1 is in slightly fewer homes this year than in previous years due to cord cutting, although the drop from the peak is still only three to four percent.

The culprit was clearly the fourth game of the World Series, which did 15,400,000 viewers. There were also multiple college football games on Saturday night, although all were down from usual numbers due to baseball.

UFC Sao Paulo was also slightly impacted by the short time of the main event. The peak of the show was during the Colby Covington vs. Demian Maia fight, which had three rounds to build the audience instead of 2:30 for Brunson vs. Machida. The Covington vs. Maia fight averaged 671,000 viewers.

The prelims, which were headlined by Vicente Luque's second round stoppage of Niko Price, did 198,000 viewers on Fox Sports 2, since FS1 was airing college football. The Minnesota vs. Iowa game on FS1 did 769,000 viewers, which is more than the UFC prelims would have done.

The post-fight show did 265,000 viewers on FS1,while the pre-fight show on FS2 did 54,000 viewers.

The prior televised Fight Night, on Sept. 22, a Friday night show on unfamiliar FXX, did 502,000 viewers with an Ovince Saint Preux vs. Yushin Okami main event.

The last FS1 Fight Night show, on Saturday, Sept. 16, going against college football and headlined by Luke Rockhold vs. David Branch, averaged 872,000 viewers, and the post-fight show did 361,000 viewers.

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