ESPN was able to bring 568,000 new subscribers to its ESPN+ digital streaming service over the weekend (free trial details here), thanks to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and its “Cejudo vs. Dillashaw” mixed martial arts (MMA) event, which took place inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Jan. 19, 2019.
The “Worldwide Leader in Sports” is clearly enjoying its moment in the spotlight as it kicked off its blockbuster UFC partnership.
The UFC Brooklyn “Prelims” on ESPN (recap here) averaged a 1.4 metered market rating, making it the highest-rated UFC Fight Night preliminary card on cable since at least 2013, according to today’s press release.
“Our first UFC Fight Night on ESPN+ was a thrilling evening of action and a great success, with a record-setting night that continued the momentum for ESPN+, delivered strong ratings on ESPN and marks a great start to our new agreement with the UFC,” said Kevin Mayer, Chairman, Direct-To-Consumer and International, The Walt Disney Company. “It was a milestone evening, with the success driven by outstanding joint efforts from the teams at DTCI and ESPN.”
UFC left the FOX network at the beginning of the year and hooked up with ESPN for the next several years, where fans can expect 20 exclusive UFC Fight Night cards on ESPN+ each year, as well as 10 exclusive UFC on ESPN Fight Night events and UFC pay-per-view “Prelims.”
For complete results from UFC Brooklyn click here.