UFC 256 was one of the year’s most entertaining and memorable cards but that wasn’t reflected in the ratings for the preliminary draw.
According to ShowBuzz Daily, the UFC 256 prelims averaged 503,000 viewers for a two and a half hour broadcast on ESPN2. Only the UFC 254 prelims, which averaged 343,000 viewers for a daytime broadcast on ESPN2, attracted a smaller audience.
UFC 256 took place this past Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The pay-per-view portion of the card was headlined by a flyweight championship clash between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno, which ended up being praised as one of the best fights of 2020. The prelims, meanwhile, saw featherweight veteran Cub Swanson score a second-round knockout of Daniel Pineda in the evening’s featured bout. Additionally, surging lightweight prospect Rafael Fiziev knock out Renato Carneiro in the opening stanza of their preliminary encounter.
The lower ratings can be attributed, at least in part, to the prelims airing on ESPN2 instead of ESPN. The last four pay-per-view prelims of 2020 aired on ESPN2, with UFC 255 earning the largest audience at 587,000 viewers.
All told, UFC pay-per-view preliminary cards averaged 907,000 viewers for 11 events. That represents an increase from 2019, when prelims averaged 894,000 viewers on the ESPN family of networks.
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