The numbers from Saturday night’s UFC 249 event have stated to roll in and it looks like it was a good night for the promotion.
In terms of the TV ratings, between 8-10pm the UFC 249 prelims averaged 1.466 million viewers on ESPN, while they added a further 500,000 viewers from having it also broadcast on ESPN+ as well.
However, it should be pointed out that in a change from the norm, every single prelim was broadcast on ESPN, meaning the show actually ran for four hours in total, and when that is factored into the equation the prelims as a whole averaged 1.15 million viewers.
The broadcast peaked with with prelims bill-topping fight between Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone, which drew 1.6 million viewers.
With these strong numbers, ESPN had the best demographics in it’s timeslot amongst 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 years-olds.
Meanwhile, the initial pay-per-view estimate for the event suggest it did over 700,000 buys according to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal.
“We absolutely destroyed it,” White told Yahoo Sports. “It was a home run by every measure. The early trends were good and they continued.”
It would certainly appear to have been a success for the promotion given that numbers in the 700,000+ region tend to be reserved for major draws. For example, in his prime Georges St-Pierre often drew in that ballpark, but neither Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje, Henry Cejudo or Dominick Cruz has had that kind of drawing power in the past.
So, its clear that amongst avid fight fans who have been starved of live action for some time now this was a must-see show.