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UFC Pittsburgh: Rockhold vs. Branch averages 872,000 television viewers

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Even with competition of the second biggest boxing pay-per-view of the year, UFC Pittsburgh did the UFC’s best prime time Fight Night rating since June.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Pittsburgh Rockhold vs Branch
Luke Rockhold defeated David Branch via second-round submission at UFC Pittsburgh.
Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports

Going against strong competition that included four college football games and what was expected to be the second-most watched boxing fight of the year, Saturday's UFC show headlined by Luke Rockhold's second-round win over David Branch averaged 872,000 viewers.

It was clearly the main event that was the draw, as even starting around 12:30 a.m. ET, Rockhold vs. Branch did 1,118,000 viewers. The main event came after the conclusion of the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin boxing match, which was the biggest sporting event of the night and aired on pay-per-view.

The show was up six percent from last year's show headlined by Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Johnson on the similar third Saturday of September. That show also had boxing competition, but a less anticipated Alvarez fight against Liam Smith.

Out of 10 prime time live events on FS1 this year, Saturday's show landed in sixth place. It was the best number since the June 11 show headlined by Mark Hunt vs Derrick Lewis did 923,000 viewers.

UFC Pittsburgh also averaged 8,375 viewers per minute via Fox Sports Go streaming.

The biggest television sports head-to-heads were a Texas vs. USC game on FOX that did 4,912,000 viewers, and a Clemson vs. Louisville game on ABC did 5,064,000 viewers.

The prelims, headlined by Olivier Aubin-Mercier's decision win over Tony Martin, averaged 653,000 viewers, putting it in sixth place for the year out of eight FS1 Fight Night prelims that aired in prime time.

The pre-fight show averaged 224,000 viewers and the post-fight show did 361,000 viewers.

The most recent UFC prime time Fight Night on FS1 took place on Aug. 5 in Mexico City with Sergio Pettis vs. Brandon Moreno as the main event. That show did 208,000 for the pre-fight show and 327,000 for the post-fight show.