The numbers are in, and this past Saturday’s UFC Charlotte pulled just north of one million viewers on broadcast network ABC.
The mid-afternoon card, numerically UFC on ABC 4, averaged 1,018,000 viewers for the five-fight main card, which isn’t far off the original UFC on ABC numbers in 2021.
Numbers for the Charlotte event come by way of ShowBuzz Daily.
The first UFC on ABC event drew 1.22 million viewers, for a card headlined by Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar — a much more interesting fight, frankly, than Jailton Almeida vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik, which topped Charlotte.
With that in mind, the numbers appear to be a success. And overall numbers aren’t the only metric to look at: in the coveted adults 18 to 49 demo, which advertisers love, the UFC Charlotte broadcast drew a 0.30 rating. Among men, the show returned a 7.8 share, good enough for second on the night (not entirely surprising, given the UFC skews male). Outside of overall viewers and adults 50+, UFC Charlotte was above average across the board (the latter is not necessarily a bad thing — it simply reflects that MMA appeals to a younger audience).
That said, the downfall of broadcast TV viewership is also reflected in the 1.018 million viewers who turned in to watch the UFC’s latest big network effort. When the promotion debuted on FOX in 2011, over five million viewers watched Junior Dos Santos defeat Cain Velasquez in a heavyweight title fight.
While that sort of marquee event isn’t the norm for free TV, UFC on FOX 2 managed to collect 4.7 million viewers in May of 2012. In comparison, the final UFC on FOX event in 2018 drew 1.83 million sets of eyeballs.
In February, Bellator MMA drew over 1 million viewers for an event on CBS featuring the retirement of heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko. It was the first time the Viacom-owned company had appeared on the network.