UFC 211 was arguably the best event put on by the UFC this year, and it seems viewer interest was at a high. That’s good news for the promotion, who have seen ratings slip so far in 2017. With the ratings out for the weekend, it appears the UFC have hit their highest rating for a prelim card so far this year.
Per TVBytheNumbers, the UFC 211 prelims – which aired on FX rather than Fox Sports 1 – brought in 1,148,000 million viewers for a 0.5 in the coveted 18-49 demo. The broadcast was still beat by an airing of Jason Bourne (also at 8PM, on HBO), but regardless, that’s good news.
According to MMA Payout, the previous PPV card, UFC 210 in Buffalo, pulled in 723,000 viewers. UFC 209, which saw the expected Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov fight pulled last minute, brought in 1,033,000. UFC 208, a dismal card all around, drew 824,000 viewers. So the 211 numbers are certainly a step in the right direction.
Interestingly, a NASCAR race which bumped the UFC off Fox Sports 1 managed to pull in over 2 million sets of eyeballs. FX, where the UFC 211 prelims aired, actually has a wider audience than FS1, however. The prelims of PPV events have found their way there before. MMAPayout has those numbers as 727,000 viewers for the UFC 188 Prelims and 980,000 viewers for the UFC 154 prelims.
The UFC 211 prelims were anchored by a lightweight tilt between Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier. The fight ended in a No Contest as a result of unintentional illegal knees landed by Alvarez on his opponent during the second round.
Overall, the ratings news bodes well for how the show likely performed on PPV.