UFC 254 Prelims Draw Lowest Ratings for Pay-Per-View in 2020

By: Tristen Critchfield
Oct 28, 2020

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje may have been trending as the biggest pay-per-view ever, but that wasn’t reflected in the ratings for the UFC 254 preliminary card.

According to ShowBuzz Daily, the UFC 254 prelims averaged 343,000 viewers on ESPN2 for a broadcast that ran from 12 p.m. ET to 2 p.m. ET.

That figure is the lowest for a pay-per-view preliminary card this year. The previous low, the UFC 253 prelims, averaged 523,000 views on ESPN2. Saturday’s offering was bumped off of ESPN due to daytime college football coverage. All the other pay-per-view prelims of 2020 aired on ESPN and had evening start times.

The UFC 254 prelims featured a heavyweight clash between Tai Tuivasa and Stefan Struve. Tuivasa won that fight by knockout at the 4:59 mark of Round 1. The preliminary card didn’t offer much in the way of mainstream star power, however.

UFC 254 took place this past Saturday at the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi and was headlined by the lightweight title clash between Nurmagomedov and Gaethje, which Nurmagomedov won via submission in Round 2. At the beginning of last week, UFC president Dana White said the event was trending to outsell UFC 229, which moved 2.4 million pay-per-views for a card headlined by Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor.

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