Going against NBA All-Star weekend activities, the UFC did normal numbers and Bellator did above usual numbers over the weekend.
The UFC Fight Night from Halifax, Nova Scotia, airing on Sunday, and one hour earlier than usual, averaged 907,000 viewers for the final six fights, headlined by Derrick Lewis' second round knockout of Travis Browne. The audience peaked at 1,019,000 viewers for the No. 2 bout, where Johny Hendricks won a decision over Hector Lombard.
Bellator did 807,000 viewers on Saturday night for a show from San Jose, Calif. The show was originally to be headlined by Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione, which likely would have drawn substantially more viewers than usual, since the bout was supported by a stronger than usual marketing campaign. However, due to Mitrione developing kidney stones, the fight was canceled just three hours before the broadcast went on the air.
It is likely some people who had made plans to see the show, well above the normal Bellator level of 600,000 to 650,000 viewers, watched, while others who may have tuned in particularly for Emelianenko, after finding out his fight was off, may have tuned out. The Bellator show peaked at 1,050,000 viewers for the main event where Patricky "Pitbull" Freire stopped Josh Thomson in the second round.
The UFC show went against the NBA All-Star Game, which did 6,513,000 viewers. Bellator had similar competition, going against the All-Star Saturday night activities, which did 5,627,000 viewers, and Bellator also had competition from NASCAR on FS 1 and college basketball on ESPN.
The viewership of the UFC and Bellator shows from a demographic standpoint were remarkably similar. Bellator had slightly more teenage viewers. The two shows did almost identical numbers in 18-34 viewers, while UFC had a small lead in viewers 35 and older.
In the 18-49 key demo, the UFC audience was 67 percent men while Bellator's was 62 percent men, which is a higher percentage of women viewers than MMA events usually get.
The UFC prelims on Sunday did 760,000 viewers, while the pre-fight show did 233,000 viewers and the post-fight show did 249,000 viewers.
For a comparison, the show two weeks earlier headlined by Chan Sung Jung's win over Dennis Bermudez averaged 1,158,000 viewers on a Saturday night against lesser competition, with the prelims doing 834,000, the pre-fight show doing 237,000 and postfight show doing 355,000.