Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) staged its fifth event designed for ESPN viewers this past weekend (Sat., Aug. 3, 2019) inside Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., featuring a Welterweight main event between former interim champion, Colby Covington, against ex-division kingpin, Robbie Lawler.
While UFC on ESPN 5’s main- and co-main events delivered in terms of action (highlights here and here), it appears that the event overall failed to deliver in terms of television ratings. In fact, the “Covington vs. Lawler”-led event was “the lowest of the five UFC on ESPN fight cards to date” ratings-wise with little more than a half-million television viewers, according to a Forbes.com report.
Here is the all time UFC on ESPN ratings figures:
- UFC on ESPN 1: “Ngannou vs. Velasquez” — 1.463 million
- UFC on ESPN 2: “Barboza vs. Gaethje” — 828,000
- UFC on ESPN 3: “Ngannou vs. dos Santos” — 1.091 million
- UFC on ESPN 4: “dos Anjos vs. Edwards” — 957,000
- UFC on ESPN 5: “Covington vs. Lawler” — 680,000
UFC on ESPN 5 kicked off its “Prelims” undercard at 12 p.m. ET — followed by an abnormal main card start time of 5 p.m. ET — because of ESPN’s coverage of the NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony later that evening. Perhaps that timing — or the quality of the undercard (or lack thereof) — contributed to a lack of viewers.
Donald Trump and Co. did attempt to give the show an odd boost via social media just before (and after) showtime, but it just wasn’t enough. UFC will return to ESPN with “Weidman vs. Reyes,” which will take place at TD Garden in Boston, Mass., on Oct. 18, 2019 (details).
For complete UFC on ESPN 5 results and coverage click here.