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Mayweather vs. McGregor prelims do 2,438,000 viewers

Esther Lin, Showtime Sports

The prelims on FOX for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing match did about double the usual level of viewers for boxing on the network.

The two hours leading to the pay-per-view broadcast, airing 7-9 p.m. Eastern time and 4-6 p.m. Pacific time, averaged 2,438,000 viewers. FOX broadcasts of boxing, usually with much bigger name fighters, have averaged 1,427,000 viewers so far this year. It was FOX's most watched boxing show in 20 months, dating back to the Danny "Swift" Garcia vs. Robert "Ghost" Guerrero headlined show, which did 2.5 million viewers.

There were another 130,000 viewers watching the show between Fox Deportes and the Fox Sports Go streaming platform.

Broken down, the Juan Heraldez vs. Jose Miguel fight did 2,360,000 viewers. The rating grew until hitting 3,110,000 viewers for the ending of the Yordenis Ugas vs. Thomas Dulorme fight.

FOX also aired the pre-fight show, building Mayweather vs. McGregor, which did 1,463,000 viewers, far more than pre-fight shows for any UFC events have done, although they are usually on FS 1.

FS 1 coverage of the post-fight show and weigh-ins did strong numbers, but nothing that would indicate far more interest than one of the bigger UFC shows.

The post-fight show on FS 1 did 368,000 viewers, which was up from 320,000 viewers that the second McGregor vs. Nate Diaz did.

The weigh-in show on Friday did 287,000 viewers, the third most-watched weigh-in for a combat sports event ever on FS 1.

But as compared with a major UFC event, there were far more platforms to watch the weigh-ins and post-fight coverage, including ESPN, which ran the weigh-ins and extensive post-fight coverage.

HBO competed with Mayweather vs. McGregor on pay-per-view with a show that was headlined by Miguel Cotto winning a 12-round unanimous decision over Yoshihiro Kamegai of Japan. The fight from start-to-finish averaged 730,000 viewers and peaked at 805,000. The main event ended about 20 minutes before Mayweather vs. McGregor started, but the show went against the pay-per-view itself.

The major MMA show of the weekend, a Bellator event from Verona, N.Y., on Friday did 481,000 viewers on Spike. Those numbers are below what the promotion usually does, but given all the attention of the week was on Mayweather vs. McGregor, and the short main event, that wasn't unexpected.

The show peaked at 655,000 viewers for the main event, where former welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov finished Chidi Njokuani in the first round.

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