Last night’s UFC on ESPN+ debut, featuring 13 fights live from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, saw Henry Cejudo successfully defend his flyweight championship against bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw in a stunning 32-second finish, and led to a record-setting night with 568,000 new subscribers for ESPN+ on Friday and Saturday combined – over 525,000 Saturday alone. It marks the largest event and subscription catalyst for ESPN+ thus far.
The UFC Fight Night on ESPN+ Prelims card aired on ESPN (English) and ESPN Deportes (Spanish) from 8:15 -10 p.m. ET. The telecast averaged a 1.4 metered market rating, making it the highest-rated UFC Fight Night Prelims on cable since at least 2013.
ESPN+, the premium multi-sport, direct-to-consumer video service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN, launched in April and surpassed one million paying subscribers in just five months. It offers fans thousands of live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks, along with premium editorial content.
“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.”
On Saturday, there were also more than 1.8 million unique visitors to MMA-related digital content across ESPN digital platforms (ESPN App, ESPN.com, etc.), which was the most-trafficked Saturday for MMA content on record.
ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said, “All day, and across all ESPN platforms, we collectively demonstrated the promise of what we can do to fulfill our mission of serving a wider array of sports fans.”
On the Prelims portion of the card broadcast on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone thrilled the crowd with a second-round TKO of Alex Hernandez. After his win, Cerrone immediately challenged Conor McGregor. “I want Conor, if he’ll agree to it. I’m coming for a belt. Cowboy is back.” McGregor, the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion, quickly responded on Twitter, accepting the challenge: “For a fight like that Donald, I’ll fight you. Congratulations.”
This was the first fight card of the five-year media deal between UFC, The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-To-Consumer & International segment and ESPN, announced last year. ESPN+ will offer 20 exclusive UFC Fight Night on ESPN+ events per year and all preliminary fights for UFC on ESPN Fight Night programs. ESPN linear networks will broadcast 10 exclusive UFC on ESPN Fight Night events per year as well as Prelim fights for UFC pay-per-view events.
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My girlfriend says your hot! would you hang out with us
Looking awesome karyn
Karyn got a YouTube? Lol jk I knew for some time now either way take my money
YES UFC ON ESPN+ AND ESPN TELEVISION.
Definitely yes .. because i can see Karyn fine azz in espn+
Was nice to see you on the broadcast! Gave it a familiar feel and some continuity
So sexy with the glasses! Brains and Beauty!! Champ Champ!!!
Enjoyed the card, but the stream crashed on me 3 times throughout the night.
Good job with hair on ESPN desk! All natural I hope (or some added wigs?)
Yessss Cejudo for the win! I was rooting for him against DJ. I met cejudo and yourself at the open work outs at the novo in LA. TJ put on a show for his open work out as well.
That's a short q+a. Great job KB on the desk! When will you be a guest on Bisping's believe you me?
I watched a dozen different videos of the TJ Cejudo fight and i agree 100% with the stoppage. TJ went for a single leg about 2 seconds after the fight was stopped and Cejudo was walking away. He had no idea where he was.
Everytime I see KB, I kiss the screen
Fights were great…glad you are at espn…i didn't like watching it on the internet and I liked the Fox coverage much better so far
Congrats Karen !!!!
Karyn we love you. But hate espn. Miss fox
Great job, thanks.
Karyn is one of those type women that doesn’t age one bit over the years…
It was ok just little concerned about what will happen to Greg Hardy
YOU LOOKKK SOOO GOOD GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!! MUCH LOVEE
like your glasses. as far as the show it was fine. im sure it will evolve with time. i hear people complaining how it was similar to the fox broadcast. what do they expect? of course it will initially then with time the will throw a few things out there and see what sticks. they are not going to discard a winning formula, for what?
My comments pertain to the show elements. I really enjoyed coach Trevor Whitman providing commentary on what coaches said in between rounds. I like hearing his voice and his insight was helpful. Stephen a Smith and the count or OK. The desk with sugar, the count and KB was good. Chemistry was there. I do miss Kenny Florian though. It will just have to take some getting used to.
Great card..never enjoyed watching someone take a well deserved beating more than hernandez..this Buds for Cowboy
People that are upset about early stoppages = People who were upset at Mario Yamasaki and "let her be a warrior"
You aren't a qualified referee. So let us know, xoxoxMMAFANxoxox, what is the perfect amount of time to let someone get beaten up?
Awesome and kinda surreal seeing you guys on espn. Been following you since the beginning!
Bad ass milf
Yes it was an amazing card Karyn and I have to say you were looking beautiful as always 🙂
ESPN hired you?
I love you spunk, energy, and passion for what you do karyn.
another early stoppage ruins the night.
Your name makes this comment hilarious