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UFC 239 prelims pull third-best number of the year

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The prelims for UFC 239 on Saturday night averaged 1,145,000 viewers, the third-best number of the year for such a show.

But in some ways that number may have been the most impressive. The show was in July, a harder month to draw ratings, and had no major lead-in. The two bigger numbers, UFC 234 (pay-per-view headlined by Kelvin Gastelum vs. Israel Adesanya) did 1,339,000 viewers in February with a strong college basketball lead-in, and the prelims before UFC 235 (Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith) did 1,480,000 viewers in March, also with a huge college basketball lead-in.

The broadcast was the highest-rated show on television in 18-49 and Males 18-49 on Saturday night. It was first on cable in Males 12-34 and 18-34, and second on cable in both overall 18-34 and 25-54.

The show peaked at 1.4 million views for the Arnold Allen decision win over Gilbert Melendez.

It was second as far as sports viewership in the time slot trailing Major League Baseball on FOX with 2,406,000 viewers.

Males made up 76.4 percent of the viewers in the 18-49 demo and 35-49 was the key audience watching. .

Also notable is that the show did the best in markets where it didn’t air in prime time, as of the major markets, the two highest rated were Los Angeles and San Francisco at 1.0, which aired the show 5-7 p.m. Philadelphia was the weakest at 0.2.

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