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UFC 212 prelims do 732,000 viewers

The combination of a late start, the NHL playoffs, and a pay-per-view without a marquee main event, led to Saturday’s prelims doing the second-lowest number of the year.

Esther Lin/

With a baseball game going into extra innings, meaning the show started airing 32 minutes later than scheduled, the prelims prior to UFC 212 did 732,000 viewers.

The number is the second lowest so far this year, and 19 percent below the 2017 average of 902,000.

The late start time hurt the number, as did the competition from Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals that did 2,953,000 viewers on NBC Sports Network, and a baseball game on FOX that did 2,084,000 viewers.

UFC 212, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was headlined by Jose Aldo vs. Max Holloway to unify the featherweight titles. It was not expected to do major pay-per-view numbers, and usually the prelim numbers are an indicator.

The first fight of the prelims, where Brian Kelleher upset Iuri Alcantara, aired on FS 2, and did 218,000 viewers.

The main event, where Raphael Assuncao won a heavily disputed decision over the debuting Marlon Moraes peaked at 905,000 viewers.

Even with the handicap of starting late, the prelim numbers were slightly above the prelims before UFC 210, the pay-per-view headlined by Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, which did the 2017 low of 723,000 viewers.

The most positive number of the weekend was that a replay of the weigh-ins on FS 1 did 240,000 viewers airing in prime time. The live showing of the weigh-ins on FS 2 only did 33,000 viewers.

It was the sixth most-watched weigh-in in history, and the replay was the second most-watched replay.

The pre-fight show, scheduled for FS 1, but moved to FS 2 due to baseball, did 68,000 viewers. The post-fight show on FS 1 did 113,000 viewers. That's down from the 329,000 viewers for the post-fight show after UFC 211, the show headlined by Stipe Miocic vs. Junior Dos Santos. That show's prelims were on FX, and did 1,148,000 viewers, the largest of 2017.

A bright spot for the UFC has been the ratings for the current season of The Ultimate Fighter. The most recent episode, that aired on May 31, did 373,000 viewers the day of the show and another 249,000 via DVR viewership through Saturday night, for a total of 622,000 viewers. That figure was up 16 percent was the show on the same week last year.

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