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Bellator London draws best ratings since January

Bellator scored its best TV numbers since January, while Combate Americas actually drew the largest audience in recent weeks

Bellator 170 photos
Paul Daley
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC prelims on Saturday did 413,000 viewers airing from 4-7 p.m. on ESPN.

The six-fight show was headlined by Dan Ige vs. Kevin Aguilar. Due to the time slot and it being prelims without any major name fighters, it was the lowest number of viewers for a UFC event to date on ESPN.

Competing sports events head-to-head included Women’s World Cup soccer on FOX with 1,915,000 viewers, Major League Baseball on FS 1 with 436,000 viewers, PGA Golf on CBS with 1,530,000 viewers and LPGA Golf on NBC with 509,000 viewers.

Once again ESPN used UFC prelims to build up getting fight fans watching to subscribe to ESPN+ to watch the main fights that took place in Greenville, S.C.

The Bellator show on Saturday on Paramount averaged 386,000 viewers for the television portion. The Bellator strategy was interesting, because this was a tape delayed show, not live, coming from London’s SSE Arena, Wembley, but the biggest fight on the show, the Rafael Lovato Jr. middleweight title win over Gegard Mousasi did not air on U.S. television. Instead, the U.S. television show was headlined by a Paul Daley decision win over Erick Silva.

The title match was aimed at the audience in the U.K., where it aired live in prime time on Ch. 5. In the U.S. it streamed on the Bellator app.

The 386,000 viewers were Bellator’s best mark since the Jan. 26 show. That event did 697,000 viewers for the finals of the heavyweight Grand Prix with Fedor Emelianenko vs. Ryan Bader in a loaded show from the Forum in Los Angeles.

Bellator’s biggest sports competition on Saturday was baseball on FOX that did 2,909,000 viewers.

Combate Americas on June 7 on Univision did 421,000 viewers in a Friday night at midnight time slot, which was the largest television audience for MMA in the past few weeks.

The other nationally televised show, which would be the June 6 PFL show on ESPN 2, did 115,000 viewers in a Thursday night at 7 p.m. time slot. That number was slightly lower than the previous shows on ESPN 2 have done.

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