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World Series game leads to UFC Moncton setting new Saturday prime time ratings low

Saturday’s UFC Moncton show, headlined by Anthony Smith’s win over Volkan Oezdemir, did 531,000 viewers, the lowest ever for a Saturday night prime time show on FS1.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Hamburg-Rua vs Smith
Anthony Smith defeated Volkan Oezdemir at UFC Moncton.
Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Going against the fourth game of the World Series, Saturday’s UFC Moncton show did the lowest Saturday night prime time rating the company has ever done on FOX Sports 1.

An event with very little in the way of stars recognizable to the average fan, headlined by Anthony Smith’s third-round finish of former light heavyweight title challenger Volkan Oezdemir, UFC Moncton averaged 531,000 viewers.

The show also featured ranked fighter Misha Cirkunov and a Michael Johnson vs. Artem Lobov co-headlining bout.

The 531,000 ratings number is 28 percent below 2018’s Saturday night prime time average for FS1 shows, which is 736,000 viewers.

The previous low for a Saturday night prime time show was 596,000 viewers for the Aug. 25 show headlined by Justin Gaethje vs James Vick. The UFC has done two lower numbers on Friday nights, with the prime time record low on FS1 being 501,000 viewers for Nicco Montano women’s flyweight title win over Roxanne Modafferi on Dec. 1, 2017.

Game four of the World Series drew 13,563,000 viewers. It ended before the Smith vs. Oezdemir fight, which averaged 805,000 viewers and was the peak of UFC Moncton show.

UFC Moncton also went against college football on ABC, CBS, ESPN, and ESPN 2, the most-watched of which was Oklahoma State vs. Texas doing 3,486,000 viewers.

HBO Boxing’s main event of Daniel Jacobs beating Sergiy Derevyanchenko in an IBF middleweight title fight did 500,000 viewers. Bellator’s Heather Hardy won the vacant WBO women’s flyweight title with a decision win over Shelly Vincent on that show, a fight which did 442,000 viewers.

The prelims on FOX Sports 2, headlined by Sean Strickland’s win over Nordine Taleb, did 237,000 viewers. That is the lowest number for a Saturday night prelims on FS2 this year, falling below the previous low of 243,000 for the Sept. 22 show.

The prelims had no real star power, with Sarah Moras and Calvin Kattar as the other biggest names.

The pre-fight show on FS2 did 60,000 viewers, down from 97,000 that the Sept. 22 show drew with no World Series competition. The post-fight show on FS1 did 237,000 viewers, up from the 218,000 the Sept. 22 show drew.

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