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Ratings report: Thompson vs. Till main event is top-rated event in time slot on cable

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Liverpool: Thompson vs Till Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

A rare Sunday early afternoon UFC show on FS 1 on May 27, headlined by Darren Till’s controversial five-round decision win over Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, averaged 552,000 viewers over its three plus hours from 1 p.m. to 4:06 p.m. It was the highest-rated show in the 18-49 demo on cable during that time period and finished second only to Fox News, which skews much older, in its time slot.

he number was up 11 percent from a similar Sunday afternoon show last year. A similar show, on May 28, 2017, from Stockholm, Sweden, headlined by Alexander Gustafsson’s win over Glover Teixeira, did 496,000 viewers. The show peaked with the main event doing 811,000 viewers, which is a great figure for 3:45 p.m. Eastern time, making it the most-watched event on cable television during that period.

The show also averaged 10,224 streaming viewers between FSGO and FOX Now. The prelims, airing from 11 a.m. Eastern to 1 p.m., headlined by Tom Breese’s first-round knockout win over Daniel Kelly, averaged 308,000 viewers on FS 1 and another 5,450 streaming.

The UFC post-fight show did 392,000 viewers.

Meanwhile, Bellator 200, held two nights earlier, a tape delayed show from SSE Wembley in London, where Gegard Mousasi won the Bellator middleweight title from Rafael Carvalho, averaged 421,000 viewers in prime time on the Paramount Network. It’s inconceivable that the show would have done anywhere close to those numbers airing live on a Friday afternoon.

The number is virtually identical to the last Bellator show on Paramount that aired on tape delay, the April 6 show from Budapest, Hungary, with Benson Henderson beating Roger Huerta in the main event, which did 420,000 viewers.