The UFC 276 prelims did big numbers for ABC and ESPN last week.
Sports Business Journal reports that the UFC 276 prelims hauled in a combined 1.8 million viewers on both ABC and ESPN. 929,000 viewers came in from ABC, while 871,000 came from ESPN.
It is now the second-most viewed UFC telecast of the ESPN era, which dates back to 2019. It’s also now the top-ranked UFC telecast ever for a preliminary card. The prelims also ranked No. 1 for ESPN for the entire week in the 18-34 demographic.
ESPN To Continue Building UFC Relationship
ESPN VP/Programming & Acquisitions and Head of Combat Sports & Basketball Matt Kenny had said before the event that the time slot was “an opportunity to bring it to a broader audience, perhaps more to casual fans who might not otherwise tune in.”
This isn’t the first time the UFC has aired on ABC. It has done so before, however, in afternoon time slots, which will happen again on July 16 for a UFC Fight Night card from the UBS Arena.
Kenny added that ESPN “will continue to be opportunistic as we look at the UFC calendar, and the bottom line is, we’re going to continue to do what we can to help grow our UFC relationship.”
With two early submissions to round out the prelims, it was an excellent way to lead into the main card on pay-per-view (PPV), which aired exclusively on ESPN+, headlined by a middleweight title defense of Israel Adesanya.
What do you make of the big UFC 276 preliminary card ratings? Sound off in the comment section below!