We may not know (if ever) the estimated pay-per-view buys for UFC 239, but the promotion’s biggest event thus far of 2019 generated plenty of attention for the televised preliminary card.
According to Nielsen, the two-hour broadcast of the UFC 239 prelims averaged 1,145,000 viewers on ESPN, with a 0.44 rating in the coveted 18-49 demographic. It was the top-rated cable program for all of last Saturday, which followed the second-place finish for UFC Minneapolis in the week prior. Unlike UFC 234 and 235 (the two PPV events in 2019 with better preliminary card ratings and viewership), there was no benefit of a major sporting event lead-in for UFC 239.
Peak viewership came for the featured bout between Arnold Allen and Gilbert Melendez, which pulled in 1.4 million viewers.
MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer has more facts and figures:
It was second as far as sports viewership in the time slot trailing Major League Baseball on FOX with 2,406,000 viewers.
Males made up 76.4 percent of the viewers in the 18-49 demo and 35-49 was the key audience watching.
Also notable is that the show did the best in markets where it didn’t air in prime time, as of the major markets, the two highest rated were Los Angeles and San Francisco at 1.0, which aired the show 5-7 p.m. Philadelphia was the weakest at 0.2.
The next UFC on ESPN broadcast is July 20th, with Rafael dos Anjos vs. Leon Edwards slated to headline UFC San Antonio.