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UFC 219 prelims score fourth-best number of 2017

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The prelims for UFC 219 on Saturday did 914,000 viewers, the fourth-best number of 2017.

The number was even more impressive considering it was going head-to-head with the Orange Bowl, the Wisconsin win over Miami on ESPN that did 11,727,000 viewers. The number is also impressive because there were no major names on the prelim card, so the number is more based on interest in the pay-per-view show.

The peak was 998,000 viewers for the Michal Oleksiejczuk win over Khall Rountree.

UFC 219 was headlined by Cris Cyborg retaining her women’s featherweight title over Holly Holm in what was expected to be, based on name value, the most marketable woman’s fight of the year.

The three shows that topped the number were 1,033,000 for the prelims of the Tyson Woodley vs. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson fight in March, 1,148,000 for the prelims of the Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones fight in July, and 1,276,000 for the prelims before the Georges St-Pierre vs. Michael Bisping fight in November.

While prelims aren’t always accurate in predicting the eventual pay-per-view number, more often than not they give a good indication. In addition, Google searches, which also usually give a good indication, had this show as the third-biggest of the year, trailing the July and November shows.

The show also added an average of 10,928 viewers who were streaming the event live on Fox Sports Go and FOX Now.

Even though women were in the main event of the pay-per-view show, the audience was still at the usual level with 71 percent males in the 18-49 demo.

With the exception of Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl on ESPN, the UFC prelims were the most-watched sports event of the day.

The pre-fight show on FOX Sports 1 did 209,000 viewers. The post-fight show did 119,000 viewers.

The weigh-ins on Friday on FS 1 did 138,000 viewers.

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