The debut of the ONE promotion this past Saturday night on TNT did 264,000 viewers in the 11 p.m. to 1:05 a.m. ET slot for a three-match television event from Ryogoku Sumo Hall in Tokyo.
The ONE Century show was broken down into three matches on television. The preliminaries as well as the second of two shows in the building, aired on the Turner Broadcasting streaming service, B/R Live.
The big draw for the show was Demetrious Johnson’s flyweight Grand Prix win over Danny Kingad via unanimous decision. The other two fights saw Christian Lee beat Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev to win the lightweight Grand Prix via decision, and Angela Lee, one of ONE’s major stars in Asia, retain her women’s Atomweight title via fifth-round submission over Jing Nan Xiong in what was the main event of the broadcast.
For a sports comparison in the time slot, the only major thing head-to-head, was an FS1 PAC 12 college football game with Washington vs. Arizona. That game did 730,000 viewers.
ONE’s debut was one of two MMA shows on television Saturday.
Bellator 230, a taped show from earlier in the afternoon from Milan, Italy, did 202,000 viewers on Paramount, the lowest prime time rating for the promotion ever on the station.
There were a number of reasons, ranging from no marquee stars, a ridiculous night of prime time sports competition and the show not airing live.
Bellator went against not only the New York Yankees vs. Houston Texans on FOX (6,108,000 viewers), but college football on NBC, ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2 and FS 1, the biggest game being Florida vs. Louisiana State on ESPN that did 6,450,000 viewers.