UFC 113: 520,000 Buys (Early Reports)
May 24, 2010
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported last week that he’s getting early reports of 520,000 buys for UFC 113, but that he’s also seeing numbers which could point towards a number even higher.
Early reports on UFC 113 on 5/8 in Montreal have the show doing 520,000 buys, slightly above the 450,000 that the first Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua fight did. We should note that there were cable reports as high as 687,000 for the show, and trending patterns were only slightly behind GSP vs. Dan Hardy and the highest besides that show since August, which would also indicate something closer to the latter than the former. There are a lot of other measures that also indicate the higher number, but as far as the number of buys from people who would have the numbers and that can be confirmed, the lower number is the best number we’ve got.
The website issues that have plagued MMAPayout.com in the last few weeks prevented me from devoting any time towards putting together a PPV prediction for UFC 113, but the gate and countdown data pointed to 491k (I believe my personal guess was 550k in the comments section of a related post). It was always a pretty good bet that the bout would do over 500k, even if Machida nor Rua were genuine stars, considering that it was a rematch of a highly controversial fight, featured a co-main war of words, and also had Kimbo Slice.
Here’s where things get interesting. I’ve been harping on how PPV buyrates go in cycles and that we were coming up on a big cycle in March. If UFC 114 performs as we all expect it will, the string of events from UFC 111-114 will be the first four-event string in UFC history to sell more than 500k at each event. It won’t be the most lucrative series in UFC history (that still belongs to UFC 97-UFC 101), but it’s still a feather in the UFC’s cap, especially in light of all the people that said the UFC had peaked.
I don’t expect the UFC will make it five in a row with UFC 115, but the UFC is rolling out the movie theaters for the event which suggests they’re looking to give 115 a little extra support (fight week promotion could push that event over the top). However, if the UFC can push 115 above the 500k mark, it should be good to establish a record string of events with 116, 117, and 118 this summer (Lesnar-Carwin, Silva-Sonnen, Edgar-Penn/Couture-Toney).
In fact, the way things are shaping up right now, the UFC could end up beating its mark for PPV buys from last year – something that’s pretty impressive considering they had a very bad start to the year.