On Saturday night ION TV aired a live UFC 140 prelims special and drew an average of 808,000 viewers according to figures released today.

This was the third time the promotion have used the channel for this purpose and these numbers fell roughly into line with their previous outings, with UFC 125 prelims in January drawing 829,000, while UFC 129’s the following month produced 714,000.

At the time those figures were seen as a disappointment compared to prelim specials on Spike TV at the time which were seeing numbers in the region of 1.5 million, but since then the ratings have seen a dip as the final months of the UFC’s TV deal with the network count down, with recent shows dropping to as low as 1 million in October.

With that in mind the latest ION audience doesn’t seem so bad, particularly when you consider that many fans were probably unaware that the channel was even airing the show.

Those who did find it were treated to an extended two hour broadcast that included three first-round finishes from Igor Pokrajac, Constantinos Phillipou and Dennis Hallman.

With the UFC set to move their live prelim broadcasts over to Fuel TV in 2012 as part of their new seven year deal with FOX these specials on the likes of Spike, ION TV and Facebook will soon be a thing of the past.