ONE Championship Beats the UFC and Multiple Other Sports for Global Viewership and Engagement in 2021 With Staggering Numbers

Published 04/27/2022, 12:41 AM EDT

ONE Championship reached yet another significant milestone in 2021.

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According to a recent report published by Nielsen titled, Year in Review: Sports Consumption Evolution, the Singapore-based martial arts organization ranked as one of the top global sports properties in terms of viewership and fan engagement.

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The organization amassed 13.8 billion video views across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok to sit at #2 on the list, just behind NBA, which garnered 14.5 billion views on the same platforms.

 American-based MMA promotion UFC ranked #5 on the list with 6.6 billion views, while fellow mixed martial arts promotion Bellator MMA ended its year with 227 million views.

This was a huge leap for ONE, which closed out the previous calendar year with 6.1 billion views. The 2021 report by Nielsen showed that ONE’s video views have doubled in just 12 months.

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In terms of digital fan engagement on Facebook, ONE sealed its spot at #4, getting approximately 16.6 thousand average engagements per post. The martial arts organization trailed football’s UEFA Champions League (#1), EPL (#2), and LaLiga (#3).

UFC ended the year with half of what ONE achieved, earning 6.1 thousand average engagements per post, while Bellator MMA recorded 1.4 thousand according to the Average Facebook engagements per post 2021 chart.

ONE also showed a rapid increase in digital followers, improving its total fanbase to 42.7 million (24% improvement) across Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube from 2020 to 2021. Only four other sports properties manage to finish higher – Tokyo 2020 Olympics (+73%), UEFA EURO 2020 (+35%), and F1 (+31%).

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Moreover, ONE exhibited growth on TikTok, increasing its followers by 146% in 2021 – second only to F1.

ONE Championship is leaving behind global sports

In cumulative reach on global broadcast television last year, ONE ranked #4 behind the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (#1), UEFA EURO 2020 (#2), and UCL (#3), but ahead of F1 (#5), NFL (#7), NBA (#8), and UFC (#9). Cumulative reach measures the number of unique viewers who tune in to watch at least one minute of a TV broadcast.

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Deepak Kumar

647 articles

Deepak Kumar is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. His love for MMA comes from the chaos and violence the fight game brings to the table. A BJJ aspirant, Deepak began following the sport as a casual fan when Ronda Rousey was finishing her opponents in seconds.

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