UFC 254 PPV numbers reportedly fall short, prelims get lowest rating for 2020 PPV card


The viewership numbers for last Saturday’s UFC 254 card on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi are in, and they certainly leave a lot to be desired.

According to a report from Sports Business Journal, UFC 254 sold 675,000 pay-per-views, making it the fifth biggest pay-per-view card of the year behind UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal (1.3M), UFC 256: McGregor vs. Cerrone (1M), UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa (700,000) and UFC 249: Ferguson vs. Gaethje (700,000).

While 675,000 certainly isn’t bad, it isn’t a home run either—and unfortunately, the UFC 254 prelims reportedly didn’t fair any better.

According to the Nielsen Ratings System, the UFC 254 undercard, which aired on ESPN2 at 12:00 pm ET, averaged just 343,000 viewers over the course of a two-hour broadcast (h/t MMA Fighting). That’s the lowest number for a UFC PPV card this year.

The card also earned a .14 rating among 18 to 49-year-olds.

These figures are likely to come as a disappointment for UFC President Dana White, who claimed that UFC 254 was trending to be not only the biggest card of the year thus far, but the biggest in UFC history, beating out even 2018’s Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor fight, which sold more than 2M pay-per-views.

“This thing is trending off the charts for us right now,” Dana White told TMZ Sports ahead of UFC 254. “So, today is Tuesday and on Monday, this thing was trending to be the biggest fight we have ever had. Not Thursday, not Friday, Monday.

“It is trending bigger than [Khabib vs. McGregor] right now,” White added. “Will the trend hold? One of the things that is a big negative for us is that it is not in primetime at home and it is hard to message that to people.”

Are you surprised by the viewership numbers for UFC 254?

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