After accounting for West Coast viewers and the main event viewers, Saturday's UFC on FOX show headlined by Demetrious Johnson's record-tying tenth flyweight title defense against Wilson Reis did a 1.22 rating and averaged 1,996,000 viewers.
The final number barely beat out the Aug. 27 show headlined by Demian Maia vs. Carlos Condit for the least-watched FOX prime time show in the five-and-a-half year history of the relationship. UFC on FOX 21 did a 1.2 rating and averaged 1,983,000 viewers. But that comparison is misleading because the show aired either on tape delay or on another station in 15 major markets which instead aired preseason football, making Saturday's show the lowest number with full FOX national coverage.
Saturday's show peaked for Johnson vs. Reis main event, which from 10 p.m. to 10:15 p.m., did 2,874,000 viewers.
The show beat an NHL playoff game on NBC with the Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks, which did 1,675,000 viewers, but trailed the Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs NBA playoff game on ESPN, which did 3,156,000 viewers, in head-to-head competition.
UFC's FOX ratings in 2017 for the shows in January and April are down 19 percent from last year, and the last two shows have been two of the three least-watched shows to date. The January show, headlined by Valentina Shevchenko's win over Julianna Pena, did 2,189,000 viewers and the main event did 3,003,000 viewers. The first two main events of 2016 were Anthony Johnson vs. Ryan Bader in January, which headlined a show that averaged 2,685,000 viewers, and Rashad Evans vs Glover Teixeira, which headlined the April show that did 2,487,000 viewers.
The post-fight show on FS 1 did 125,000 viewers.
Bellator had a Friday night taped show from Budapest, Hungary, that did 522,000 viewers. It was the second most-watched sports program of the night trailing the Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers NHL playoff game that did 610,000 viewers on the USA Network.
The show was taped from several hours earlier. Six days earlier, a live Bellator show from Italy, airing in the afternoon, did 438,000 viewers, so it is still more beneficial for maximizing the audience to run on tape delay in prime time than live in the afternoon. For a Friday, it's really not much of a decision because a Friday afternoon audience live would be significantly lower than that of a Saturday, where there is at least the viable option to go live.
Bellator kickboxing, airing from 11:15 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. on Friday night, did 295,000 viewers.