The UFC 244 prelims had a solid showing on ESPN2, attracting an average audience of 910,000 viewers to the network, according to ShowBuzz Daily.
UFC 244 took place at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday and saw Jorge Masvidal defeat Nate Diaz for the “BMF” title in the evening’s main event. The card was regarded as one of the year’s most highly-anticipated pay-per-view offerings, and that was reflected in the viewership for the preliminary card.
The prelims peaked at 1.121 million viewers for the featured bout between Corey Anderson and Johnny Walker. Walker entered the light heavyweight matchup with plenty of hype behind him due to a trio of impressive finishes in the Octagon, but Anderson overwhelmed his Brazilian opponent, winning via technical knockout at the 2:07 mark of Round 1.
The UFC 244 prelims aired from 8 p.m. ET to 10 p.m. ET. The second hour of the card, which also featured a pivotal featherweight tilt between Shane Burgos and Makwan Amirkhani averaged more than 1 million viewers.
The figures are far superior to the two other pay-per-view prelims that aired on other networks other than ESPN, as the UFC 242 prelims averaged 222,000 viewers on FX for a daytime card, while UFC 243 prelims attracted an audience of 559,000 to ESPN2. Overall, the UFC 244 prelims drew the fifth highest rating of any preliminary card since the promotion partnered with ESPN.