01 Jan UFC on ESPN 15 nets top-five spot in cable ratings
The UFC on ESPN 15 card headlined by a five-round battle between Frankie Edgar and Pedro Munhoz landed in the top five for cable ratings this past Saturday night.
According to the Nielsen Ratings System, the show from Las Vegas averaged 869,000 viewers over the course of the broadcast. The event at UFC APEX got a bit of a late start on ESPN due to the overlapping NBA playoff game just ahead of the fights.
UFC on ESPN 15 also scored a .32 in the coveted 18-49 demographic.
That was good enough for the UFC to take the No. 4 slot overall for Saturday programming with the NBA playoffs taking the top three positions for the day. The Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder game directly ahead of the Edgar vs. Munhoz card ended as the top program for Saturday with 1.757 million viewers.
Overall, the UFC on ESPN 15 card still did solid ratings considering the lack of star power outside of the main event, which featured a former champion in Edgar and a top-five ranked contender in Munhoz.
The average viewers for UFC on ESPN 15 was down slightly from the previous card, which featured former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker against Darren Till in the main event with that show averaging 908,000 viewers for a Saturday night event that kicked off at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The UFC has continued to produce solid ratings ever since the promotion was the first major U.S. based sports property to begin holding events again after the start of the coronavirus pandemic. A number of cards have been highlighted by ESPN, which helped fill a lot of programming gaps on the network when there weren’t many live sports happening at the time.
The UFC will start running into tougher and tougher competition on Saturday nights with the ongoing NBA playoffs as well as the expected return of college football in the fall. But for now, the organization continues to flourish.