Despite being the only live sporting event on television, ratings for UFC Fight Night 170 weren’t exactly stellar.
According to figures released by ShowBuzz Daily, UFC Fight Night 170 averaged 672,000 viewers this past Saturday, the lowest figure ever for a card televised on ESPN. The card took place at Nelson Nilson Gymnasium in Brasilia, Brazil and saw Charles Oliveira submit Kevin Lee in the lightweight main event. Fans were not allowed in the venue due to coronavirus concerns.
The previous low for a UFC card televised on ESPN came when UFC on ESPN 5 averaged 680,000 viewers for a main card headlined by Robbie Lawler and Colby Covington.
However, while other cards with the UFC on ESPN designation aired primarly on the Worldwide Leader’s main channel, UFC Fight Night 170 was also streamed on ESPN+ and broadcast on ESPN Deportes, which could have divided the audience. Additionally, figures released by ShowBuzz Daily do not included separate ratings for the preliminary card and the main card. The audience typically tends to increase as the preliminary card transitions to the main draw
UFC Fight Night 170 began at 3 p.m. ET. The event was originally supposed to stream exclusively on ESPN+, but broadcast plans changed when ESPN lost other programming content once most major sports organizations suspended operations due to the coronavirus outbreak.