Saturday’s UFC show on ESPN, headlined by Colby Covington’s five-round decision win over Robbie Lawler averaged 680,000 viewers in the 3:20 p.m. to 6:10 p.m. time slot.
The show had the lowest audience of the five ESPN Fight Night main shows to date. That was largely expected because of the afternoon time slot and being in the summer. The only other afternoon show, a March 30 show which started at 4 p.m., headlined by Justin Gaethje vs. Edson Barboza, did 828,000 viewers.
The show peaked at 945,000 viewers for the main event.
In the main card time slot, the UFC show was the most-watched show in all male under-50 demos, including network shows such as NBC’s broadcast of NASCAR and CBS airing PGA golf.
But with the older viewers, UFC placed third head-to-head among sports, as NASCAR on NBC did 1,468,000 viewers and golf on CBS did 1,455,000 viewers.
The show also beat the Yankees vs. Red Sox game on FS 1 which did 587,00 viewers. It beat baseball in every demo between 18 and 50 with both males and overall.
The prelims, from Noon to 3 p.m., averaged 523,000 viewers. The prelims featured three ranked women flyweights, Lauren Murphy, Mara Romero Borella and Antonina Shevchenko, and was headlined by Mickey Gall winning a decision over Salim Touhri.
Dallas and Philadelphia were the strongest markets for the main card, with Dallas averaging a 0.9 rating and Philadelphia doing a 0.7. New York only did a 0.1, the lowest of the top ten markets.
Dallas was also the strongest market for the prelims, doing a 0.6, with Philadelphia and Houston both doing 0.4s.