Wednesday night's debut of "UFC Primetime: St-Pierre vs. Shields," which previews the UFC 129 main event on April 30 between current UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and top contender Jake Shields, drew 610,000 viewers to Spike TV.
) today received the figure from an industry source.
The three-part "UFC Primetime: St-Pierre vs. Shields" series debuts new episodes each Wednesday night (early Thursday) at midnight ET/PT. Replays air throughout the week on Spike TV and Fuel TV.
"UFC Primetime: St-Pierre vs. Shields" is the fifth installment of the "Primetime" series.
Different from the UFC's traditional "Countdown" show (which also returns for UFC 129), "UFC Primetime" goes more in depth and focuses on some of the biggest fights of the year. The most recent "Primetime" special, for example, focused on this past October's UFC 121 heavyweight title clash between then-champ Brock Lesnar and challenger Cain Velasquez. St-Pierre twice before has been featured in "UFC Primetime" specials. The champ's UFC 111 bout with Dan Hardy drew the extra treatment, as did a UFC 94 fight with B.J. Penn.
The debut episode of "UFC Primetime: St-Pierre vs. Shields" earned the smallest audience to date for a first episode of the "UFC Primetime" series.
The full list of debut episode audience size for the series, as compiled by MMAjunkie.com, includes:
* "UFC Primetime: Rampage vs. Evans" (UFC 114): 1,200,000 viewers
* "UFC Primetime: St-Pierre vs. Hardy" (UFC 111): 1,000,000 viewers
* "UFC Primetime: Lesnar vs. Velasquez" (UFC 121): 974,000 viewers
* "UFC Primetime: St-Pierre vs. Penn II" (UFC 94): 880,000 viewers
* "UFC Primetime: St-Pierre vs. Shields" (UFC 129): 610,000 viewers
UFC 129 takes place April 30 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and airs on pay-per-view. The event is sold out with more than 55,000 tickets purchased within the first hour of the on-sale period. It'll be the largest-attended event and biggest gate in North American MMA history.