MMAterial Facts (02/04/10)

February 4, 2010

  • More on the Potential April 24 WEC / Strikeforce Clash
  • Strikeforce ‘Miami’ Attendance Figures Released
  • Bellator Fighting Championships forms alliance with online poker giant UB.net
  • Former NBA All-Star Glen Rice in Business of Fight Promoting
  • Dana White on Strikeforce, Herschel Walker, Kimbo’s next fight and more
  • Kimbo is no Herschel

More on the Potential April 24 WEC / Strikeforce Clash

1. The WEC card is completely dependent on Urijah Faber staying healthy and fighting on the card.  If something happens and Faber is hurt the event will lose close to all of it’s “casual viewer appeal.”

2. At $44.95 50,000 buys is very likely an acceptable success threshold for the WEC:

Judging by the price point of $44.95, 50,000 buys would bring in $2,247,500.  Assuming roughly 60% takeout by cable/satilite companies/other sources there would be a leftover take-in of $899,000.  The total disclosed fighter payout for WEC 46 was $272,000.  Now we can assume somewhere around a 50% increase in the payouts based on the rumored card being much more stacked top-to-bottom than the average WEC event.  That brings the total payout of $408,000.  $899,000 – $408,000 = $491,000.  This doesn’t take in ticket sales, building rental, production costs…etc.  But it would seem they would have to lose close to half a million dollars in these other areas for the event to be a “loss” should they manage to do 50k in PPV buys.

3. April 24 is one of the only dates that makes any degree of sense for the promotion’s return to CBS:

The 10th is UFC 112 which is shaping up to be a mega-card.  If Scott Coker has any input into what dates they can and can’t run on, he would tell them to stay far away from going heads-up with this card.  The 17th is a Super Six boxing card on Showtime.  With Showtime being CBS owned there was no chance that they would put the two combat shows against each other.  The 3rd is the only Saturday left in April and that would create a period of 5 MMA shows in a 4 week period which COULD hurt Strikeforce if fans choose to take a weekend off by skipping the non-UFC event.  (BloodyElbow)

***

I’ve voiced my opinion on this PPV – saying it should happen, but questioning the price point and timing of the event – but I really think the WEC is taking some solid steps towards addressing those concerns and mitigating some of that risk inherent in an initial PPV offering.

The most important step the WEC has made is to label the event as the “UFC Presents: WEC 48 – Faber vs. Aldo” because that’s going to help alleviate some of that brand equity gap that might have caused casual consumers to shy away from an unknown product at $44.95. But it cannot stop at just a label. The UFC and WEC need to build and reinforce the presentation with a host of content and promotional material that further leverages the UFC brand in order to raise the profile of the WEC … [MMA Payout's Perspective]


Strikeforce ‘Miami’ Attendance Figures Released

The debut of Herschel Walker and two championship bouts sold 4,927 tickets for a net gate of $301,424.60 at Strikeforce “Miami,” according to documents obtained by Sherdog.com from the Florida Department of Business and Regulation.

According to the paperwork, 2,083 comped tickets were distributed for the Jan. 30 event held at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., boosting the overall attendance to 7,010 spectators. The disclosed fighter payroll for the event was $469,600.  (Sherdog)

***

STRIKEFORCE: MIAMI DRAWS 7,010 FOR $300,000

The promotion still pays taxes on the complimentary tickets, which were valued at $238,511.52, but that total does not get subtracted from the ticket revenue. It is solely a valuation to determine the amount of taxes the promotion pays on complimentary tickets.

The Florida State Boxing Commission also reported that Strikeforce received a $700,000 “Broadcast, Television, or Motion Picture” rights fee, as well as $8,003 from “Programs, Souvenirs, and Concession” sales.  (MMAWeekly)

Bellator Fighting Championships forms alliance with online poker giant UB.net

Bellator Fighting Championships, the nationally televised mixed martial arts promotion, has formed an exclusive sponsorship alliance with leading online poker site UB.net designed to leverage the two companies’ synergistic demographics and powerful online presences.

This first-of-its-kind, fully integrated partnership will introduce Bellator to the tens of millions of online poker players worldwide who visit UB.net every month while increasing awareness of the UB.net brand among the millions of MMA fans available through Bellator’s new groundbreaking television alliance with FOX Sports Net, NBC and Telemundo beginning April 8th.

“We’re super excited to tie the new UB logo to Bellator—the hottest MMA success story of 2009—and are proud to partner with them in their sophomore year,” said Paul Leggett, chief operations officer of Tokwiro, the owner/operator of UB.net.

“Last year, we watched from the sidelines as the new kid on the MMA block delivered some of the most explosive moments in televised fighting sports history; this year, we’re elated to jump in the cage as an active player in the Bellator phenomenon, while exposing the UB brand to more than 250 million homes across the U.S.”

Under the terms of the agreement, UB.net will have a prominent presence on all Bellator broadcasts and at Bellator.com as well as a substantial on-site presence at each of the promotion’s events in 2010. Bellator, meanwhile, will have a major presence on the UB.net Web site. UB.net will also sponsor online tournaments that give players the opportunity to win an all-expenses-paid trip to sit cage-side at Bellator events.

“Bellator’s fans have great synergy with UB’s multi-million player group: they’re young, successful and drawn to exciting, fast-paced competition,” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “This alliance will be great for both companies and we are thrilled to be partnered with UB.net.”  (Bellator)

Former NBA All-Star Glen Rice in Business of Fight Promoting

“No Herschel Walker for me,” Rice told MMA Fighting recently with a hearty laugh. “Hey, I applaud what he’s doing, but I’m going to stay in the position I’m in right now. I’m going to watch these guys enter the cage, and I’m going to stay on the outside of it.”

The former NBA star’s new role is the owner and head of G-Force Fights, a Miami-based MMA promotion that will run its third card on Thursday.

His company, along with Pro Team TKO, are presenting “Bad Blood 3″ with local American Top Team talents Hector Lombard and Jorge Masvidal headlining the co-main events on the 13-fight card.

After 15 seasons in the NBA, three All-Star games and four years removed from his 2000 NBA championship, Rice retired from competition in 2004. Then Rice took, for the most part, the next two years off to reflect on his accomplishments and give his body a much-needed rest.

But by 2008, Rice, who says he became a big fan of MMA since the early UFC days of Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock, was ready to turn the interest into opportunities, not just for himself in his post-NBA unemployment stage, but also for others in the area.

“I said, ‘You know what?” Instead of being a big fan, I think I can do something to help these guys and being had I just retired from the NBA,” he said. “It gave me an opportunity to do something as well. So I decided to start my own promotional company and form G-Force Promotions.”  (MMAFighting)

Dana White on Strikeforce, Herschel Walker, Kimbo’s next fight and more

On Brock Lesnar’s impending return to the UFC:

We have to do these next two fights with Nogueira/Velasquez and Carwin/Mir and then we’ll figure out what we’re going to do. We have to do the fight in Australia first, and then the Newark fight. If those guys come out of the fight healthy (Carwin or Mir), then we’ll do that fight.

The earliest Brock will return? If everything goes perfectly, he could fight in July. The end of June or July.

On ESPN’s coverage of mixed martial arts in the United States:

Do you know what ESPN was talking about all day yesterday? They were talking about Herschel Walker and Jose Canseco. Are you kidding me? Every show, they’re talking about Herschel Walker and Jose Canseco. You’ve got Brock Lesnar, Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva. All of these guys are incredible athletes who put a ton of time into training for these fights, and all you can talk about is goofy ass Jose Canseco? Are you kidding?

On Herschel Walker’s Strikeforce fight and its impact on the MMA world:

I don’t think it’s bad for MMA if this guy wants to go out and fight. But to give him one ounce of coverage? It’s retarded.

If he wants to have a hobby, that’s fine. But if he fights anybody who is any good whatsoever, he’s going to get beat. He’s one of the greatest athletes ever, but I can’t take him seriously in this sport. It’s impossible.

On Kimbo Slice and his next move in the Octagon:

Kimbo Slice is fighting Matt Mitrione in Montreal. I know that much. That fight is happening in Canada. (Heavy)

***

• UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, still recovering from a life-threatening intestinal disorder, could be ready to fight in “late June or early July,” if needed. White indicated the winners of the Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira-Cain Velasquez fight at UFC 110 and the Frank Mir-Shane Carwin bout at UFC 111 could meet to determine Lesnar’s next opponent;

• In terms of international expansion, White pointed to China, South Korea and India as the UFC’s next three targets. Now that it has landed the 2016 Summer Olympics, Brazil has also moved onto the promotion’s radar. White credited UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta for the progress on the global front. “I couldn’t have done what he did. How fast he’s done the international stuff has been staggering. I had a 10-year plan; it may be a four-year plan now,” White said;  (Sherdog)

Kimbo is no Herschel

Herschel Walker provided us with a glimpse of what future MMA fighters can achieve, especially those who get into the sport with the mindset derived from years of being a professional athlete.

His performance was exactly what it should have been for a guy fighting for the first time, and I believe it was better than another ratings grabber, Kimbo Slice, who in his last fight (his seventh) still showed a lack of understanding for the ground game. I firmly believe that Slice’s potential has yet to be reached, despite his age, but Walker (who is twelve years is senior) showed a more advanced level of MMA skill in his debut in the sport.  (SportsNet)

QUICK HITS

  • Strikeforce makes Jay Hieron vs. Joe Riggs “Miami” bout available online (MMAJunkie)
  • Dan Henderson Signs EA Sports MMA Contract Live at Madden Bowl in Miami (EA Sports MMA)
  • Strikeforce WW Tyron Woodley Latest Fighter Added to EA Sports MMA (EA Sports MMA)
  • Herschel Game for Another Fight in April (Sherdog)
  • Video: UFC 109 Pre-Fight News Conference (Sherdog)
  • Extensive UFC 2010 Preview: New Modes, New Features, No Couture (ThrowThemBows)
  • Analysts: THQ Turnaround Underway, Proving Time Ahead (Gamasutra)
  • Griffin vs. Nogueira likely for UFC 114 in Las Vegas, not UFC 113 in Montreal (MMAJunkie)
  • With Rakoczy up next, Frausto already eyeing showdown with Tate at Strikeforce (MMAJunkie)
  • “Countdown to UFC 110″ preview show debuts Feb. 18 on Spike TV (MMAJunkie)
  • Dana White: UFC 109 co-headliners Marquardt and Sonnen fighting for title shot (MMAJunkie)
  • Liddell-Ortiz 3 Likely for UFC 115 in Vancouver (MMAFighting)
  • Matt Millen Would Love to Try MMA (MMAFighting)
  • Dana White Talks UFC 109, Sonnen’s Comments, WEC Pay-Per-View Decision (MMAFighting)
  • GEORGE DODD NEW HEAD OF CALIFORNIA COMMISSION (MMAWeekly)
  • AARON SIMPSON VS CHRIS LEBEN LIKELY FOR UFC 114 (MMAWeekly)
  • Couture’s methodology key to success (Yahoo! Sports)

IMAGES OF THE DAY

WEC 48 Poster

UFC Undisputed 2010 Cover

TV LISTINGS

  • HDNet Fights Presents K-1 Classics (2005 World GP Finals)  at 8 PM ET on HDNet (02/05/10)
  • InsideMMA (Brendan Schaub, Matt Mitrione, & Dermontti Dawson) at 9 PM ET on HDNet (02/05/10)
  • HDNet Fights Presents “Furious Finishes III” at 10 PM ET on HDNet (02/05/10)
  • Best of Pride FC at 10 PM ET/PT on Spike (02/05/10)
  • UFC 109 at 10 PM ET on PPV (02/06/10)

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • UFC 109: Couture vs Coleman at 10 PM ET on PPV (02/06/10)
  • HDNet Fights: King of the Cage – Vengeance at 10 PM ET on HDNet (02/12/10)
  • UFC 110: Nogueira vs Velazquez at 10 PM ET on PPV (02/20/10)
  • Strikeforce Challengers: Prangley vs  Amoussou at 11 PM ET/PT on Showtime (02/26/10)
  • WEC 47: Bowles vs Cruz on at 10 PM ET on Versus (03/06/10)

3 Responses to “MMAterial Facts (02/04/10)”

  1. Strikeforce Received $700,000 In Broadcast Fees - Sherdog Mixed Martial Arts Forums on February 4th, 2010 7:52 PM

    [...] [...]

  2. jj on February 5th, 2010 3:20 AM

    “Strikeforce received a $700,000 “Broadcast, Television, or Motion Picture” rights fee…”

    Does that mean Showtime payed Strikeforce $700,000? That’s what it sounds like to me.

  3. Jose Mendoza on February 5th, 2010 11:12 AM

    jj,

    You are correct. Strikeforce signed a $25 million dollar contract with Showtime/CBS:

    “The source, who chose to remain anonymous, said Strikeforce stands to make $25 million dollars in license fees over the course of its three-year deal with the broadcast network and its premium channel sibling.”

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