Who is the Biggest UFC PPV Draw? – Part 5

September 8, 2010

Welcome to part five of our series.  Today will be the final set of numbers, and we’ll wrap up the series next week.  We’ll return to a consistent baseline in this part.  Our comparison group for today will be the average PPV buys for cards featuring NONE of the ten fighters we’ve been look at, and we’ll  look at that number in relation to average buys for cards featuring each of the ten fighters.

Overview: One of the common debates among MMA fans concerns which fighter is the biggest draw.  From the business side, a fighter’s draw shapes PPV expectations (and, subsequently, PPV revenues) and should play a major role in sponsorships for both the given fighter and every other fighter on the PPV.  In this series of articles, we’ll examine several intuitive ways that one can estimate a fighter’s draw and examine the wide variation in these estimates.  We’ll be focusing on the ten fighters that Derek Jenkins identified as the biggest draws in a recent article at Yahoo! Sports.

Today’s Comparison: Average PPV buys for cards featuring none of the ten fighters  versus average PPV buys for cards with a fighter

The Fighters

As mentioned in the overview, we’ll be using the ten fighters that Derek Jenkins identified as the biggest draws: Brock Lesnar, Georges St. Pierre, Chuck Liddell, Rashad Evans, Quinton Jackson, Forrest Griffin, Lyoto Machida, BJ Penn, Anderson Silva, and Randy Couture.

The Data

We’ll be using the PPV buys for all UFC pay-per-view events from UFC 57 (Couture-Liddell III) to UFC 116 (Lesnar-Carwin).  You can view the PPV buys for events up to UFC 107 in our MMAPayout.com Blue Book.

THE NUMBERS

Average buys for all UFC PPVs since 2006 that do not feature ANY of the ten fighters: 419,000

Events not featuring any of the ten fighters:

  • UFC 60 (Hughes vs. Gracie)                                                                          – 620,000 buys
  • UFC 61 (Sylvia vs. Arlovski III and Ortiz vs. Shamrock II)                  – 775,000 buys
  • UFC 85 (Hughes vs. Alves)                                                                            – 215,000 buys
  • UFC 93 (Franklin vs. Henderson)                                                               – 350,000 buys
  • UFC 99 (Franklin vs. W. Silva)                                                                     – 360,000 buys
  • UFC 103 (Franklin vs. Belfort)                                                                     – 375,000 buys
  • UFC 110 (Nogueira vs. Velasquez)                                                            – 240,000 buys
Fighter Average PPV buys for cards featuring fighter Difference from “baseline” average
Brock Lesnar 1,007,000 588,000
Georges St. Pierre 682,000 263,000
Chuck Liddell 600,000 181,000
Rashad Evans 577,000 158,000
Quinton Jackson 669,000 250,000
Forrest Griffin 602,000 183,000
Lyoto Machida 572,000 153,000
BJ Penn 539,000 120,000
Anderson Silva 456,000 37,000
Randy Couture 530,000 111,000

Average buys for all UFC PPVs since 2008 that do not feature ANY of the ten fighters:  308,000

Events not featuring any of the ten fighters:

  • UFC 85 (Hughes vs. Alves)                            – 215,000 buys
  • UFC 93 (Franklin vs. Henderson)               – 350,000 buys
  • UFC 99 (Franklin vs. W. Silva)                     – 360,000 buys
  • UFC 103 (Franklin vs. Belfort)                     – 375,000 buys
  • UFC 110 (Nogueira vs. Velasquez)            – 240,000 buys
Fighter Average PPV buys for cards featuring fighter Difference from “baseline” average
Brock Lesnar 1,007,000 699,000
Georges St. Pierre 889,000 581,000
Chuck Liddell 550,000 242,000
Rashad Evans 693,000 385,000
Quinton Jackson 735,000 427,000
Forrest Griffin 691,000 383,000
Lyoto Machida 610,000 302,000
BJ Penn 603,000 295,000
Anderson Silva 530,000 222,000
Randy Couture 573,000 265,000

Payout Perspective

Finally, all of our draws actually look like draws!

In all of the previous parts of the series, the comparison number included other top draws in some way.  The consistent story throughout was that comparing someone to Brock Lesnar’s numbers – or anything that includes Lesnar’s numbers – will make them look bad no matter what else you else you looked at.  This time, we’re taking a different approach and asking,

“What would the PPV buyrate look like for a card that didn’t feature a big draw?”

Unfortunately, one can get the impression that “cards that didn’t feature a big draw” essentially means “cards headlined by Rich Franklin.”  However, we can think about that in a different way which makes Franklin look better.  Out of all 55 PPV cards the UFC has put on since 2006 (up to UFC 107), only one card did not feature any of these twelve fighters:

  • Brock Lesnar
  • Georges St. Pierre
  • Chuck Liddell
  • Rashad Evans
  • Quinton Jackso
  • Forrest Griffin
  • Lyoto Machida
  • BJ Penn
  • Anderson Silva
  • Randy Couture
  • Rich Franklin
  • Matt Hughes

The lone remaining card, UFC 110, was headlined by a number one contender heavyweight bout featuring MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and undefeated prospect Cain Velasquez.  In my view, this is a clear implication that Zuffa thinks very few fighters can carry a pay-per-view event, and all of those fighters should be considered draws.

Let’s consider a single fighter.  Anderson Silva is often alleged to be a weak draw, but we see him getting 222,000 buys above the baseline here when using the 2008-present numbers.  At a $44.95 (minimum) price for the PPV, Silva is bringing an extra $9,978,900 in PPV revenue.  Zuffa is rumored to get about half of the PPV revenue, so Silva brings in about $5,000,000 per event in additional PPV revenue for Zuffa.

I’ll also point out the danger of relying too heavily on these (or any) numbers.  Silva has only had two PPVs that exceeded his average buyrate of 530,000 – UFC 97 (650K) and UFC 101 (850K).  However, he only had one PPV below the “cards without a draw” baseline of 308,000 buys for the 2008-present table – UFC 90, where he headlined against Patrick Cote and did 300K buys.  If you want to use the 2006-present cards and baseline of 418,000, five of Silva’s nine PPVs sold below the 418K baseline – UFCs 64 (300K), 67 (400K), 77 (325K), 82 (325K), and 90 (300K).  If you drop Silva’s two big PPVs (UFC 97 and UFC 101), his average buyrate is 371,000 for 2006-present and 383,000 for 2008-present.  The latter is still 75,000 buys above the baseline for the same time period.

If you’ll allow me to go off on a brief tangent, I’ll provide a quick explanation (OK, I’ll speculate) for why Silva may be even more profitable for Zuffa than he appears.  The PPV numbers we see are supposedly individual PPV buys, meaning number of sales from cable and satellite TV providers to households.  Importantly, this does not include revenue from public viewings in clubs and bars, which is handled by Joe Hand Promotions.  My understanding is that Joe Hand Promotions charges based on maximum building occupancy, so an 1100-capacity building pays more than a 1000-capacity building, even if the latter had more patrons watching the fights.  Watching the PPV at home and watching the PPV at a bar are what economists call substitutes, which is a fancy way of saying that one is a pretty damn good replacement for the other.  MMA fans may not be willing to pay $44.95 for a Silva PPV, but a large number of them may be willing to go watch the card at a bar.  It is possible that Silva PPVs are more popular at bars and clubs than other cards, which means that some businesses may order Silva PPVs but not those other cards (taking up the excess capacity that remains after the usual suspects, such as Hooters, are filled by patrons).  If this actually happens, then Silva drives up the (undisclosed) buyrate at commercial establishments which pay a much higher fee for the PPV than individuals.

One final point I want to mention is that the baseline does not appear to have shifted much.  The 2006-present baseline gets a huge bump from the Hughes-Gracie (UFC 60) and Sylvia-Arlovski III and Ortiz-Shamrock II (UFC 61) cards.  Hughes and Ortiz were among the UFC’s biggest stars at the time and remain popular.  There seems to be an idea that any card below 500,000 buys did terrible numbers, but the minimum number of buys hasn’t shifted much from around 200,000-250,000 buys.  Buys in excess of 250,000 should be attributed to the drawing power of the fighters, particular fights, or strength of the card.  The worst buyrate since 2006 was 200,000 buys for UFC 72 headlined by Franklin-Okami.  Earlier this year, we saw a 240,000 buyrate for UFC 110 (Nogueira-Velasquez) and 275,000 for UFC 109 (Couture-Coleman) which featured one of the draws on our list.  We’re seeing a lot more variation in buyrates and more blockbuster PPVs in recent years, and that be skewing our perspective.

PRIMARY STRENTH

Consistent and reasonable baseline. We looked at the benefits to a consistent baseline back in part one.  However, I also pointed out two weaknesses of the approach we used in part one, where the comparison number was overall average number of PPV buys – (1) it made good draws look worse and bad draws look better and (2) someone had to be worse than average.  Both of those weaknesses go away with the approach we’re using here.  Before, we were asking, “What does an average PPV buyrate look like, and how do these guys compare to it?”  Now, we’re instead asking, “What’s the average PPV buyrate look like on PPVs with no “star power,” and are these alleged stars actually bringing additional buys?”  In our baseline number, we’re not using the PPV buyrates for cards featuring any of our draws; for instance, Lesnar’s numbers don’t affect the baseline here, yet he pulled up the baseline we used in part one.  Also, it’s no longer the case that someone has to be below the average, and no fighter is “below average” relative to the baseline.  This last point provides strong evidence that all of these fighters actually do draw viewers.

PRIMARY WEAKNESS

Limited comparison group. I mentioned this above, but we need to keep in mind that our baseline comparison in the 2006-present table is based on only 7 of the 55 PPVs we’re using.  In the 2008-present table, the baseline uses 5 of 34 cards.  It’s hard to generalize from such a small number of events.  Readers Eric Nitsch and BrainSmasher have made some great comments on the previous articles in the series, and we had a discussion about the current baseline in the comments section of part one.  Here’s part of what I said back then:

One way of thinking about a “baseline” is to ask what a UFC card with no star power and little advertising would do, since that gives a good idea of how many buys a PPV gets just because it’s a PPV with the UFC name. One option is to use the WEC PPV, since that was basically marketed as a UFC PPV, though there are some obvious problems with using this as a baseline. Another is to ask how many buys an Ultimate Fight Night on Spike would get if it were put on PPV, since those are cards with known fighters who, typically, just aren’t quite at the top of their weight classes. Unfortunately, that’s only a hypothetical situation, so we don’t have numbers for such an event. A third option is to use the cards without these “top draws” (and I’ll point out again that the list came from Derek Jenkins’ Yahoo! Sports article and wasn’t some list provided by the UFC or by running these numbers for every single potential draw) as a baseline. It’s not perfect, but it’s arguably the best option given our limited set of options.

Early estimates had the WEC PPV at 150,000-200,000 buys, and we could have used that as a baseline.  However, it’s reasonable to think that the UFC brand brings in some non-trivial number of buys, and the WEC event was only a pseudo-UFC event with the “UFC Presents: Aldo vs Faber” branding.  WEC television ratings are also substantially lower than UFC television ratings for live events (eg. UFC Ultimate Fight Night events), so a PPV with WEC fighters will have less name recognition than a UFN event.  Using the WEC PPV sales as a baseline still points towards a UFC baseline of 200,000-250,000 buys that I mentioned above, so both baselines provide some consistency.  The main difference is that the baseline we’re using here is more conservative, since Rich Franklin probably does draw viewers but not to the extent of the fighters on our list.

UP NEXT

We’ll wrap up the series next week.  There won’t be any new numbers.  Instead, I’ll try to address many of the comments that readers have posted as well as address the difficulties in doing more sophisticated analysis like controlling for strength of card, which Michael Rome brought up in response to the first piece.  I have a general idea for what’s going in the final piece but probably won’t have the time to write it until this weekend, so feel free to make a comment if there’s something you’d like me to address.  I’ll try to include it.

ANNUAL BREAKDOWN

The previous year-by-year breakdowns didn’t generate a significant amount of discussion, so I’ll add them here.  I’m still happy to discuss those in the comments section, but there didn’t seem to be any benefit to making you wait another week to see the breakdown.

2006

Average buys for all UFC PPVs in 2006 that do not feature ANY of the ten fighters:  698,000

Events not featuring any of the ten fighters: UFC 60 (Hughes vs. Gracie), UFC 61 (Sylvia vs. Arlovski III and Ortiz vs. Shamrock II)

*Note: UFC 60 and UFC 61 were both enormously popular events, and UFC 61 set a new UFC buyrate record.

Fighter Average PPV buys for cards with fighter Difference
Brock Lesnar
Georges St. Pierre 400,000 -298,000
Chuck Liddell 650,000 -48,000
Rashad Evans 400,000 -298,000
Quinton Jackson
Forrest Griffin 658,000 -40,000
Lyoto Machida
BJ Penn 350,000 -348,000
Anderson Silva 300,000 -398,000
Randy Couture 400,000 -298,000

2007

Every UFC PPV in 2007 featured at least one of the ten fighters.

2008

Average buys for all UFC PPVs in 2008 that do not feature ANY of the ten fighters:  215,000

Events not featuring any of the ten fighters: UFC 85 (Hughes vs. Alves)

Fighter Average PPV buys for cards with fighter Difference
Brock Lesnar 745,000 530,000
Georges St. Pierre 578,000 363,000
Chuck Liddell 480,000 265,000
Rashad Evans 740,000 525,000
Quinton Jackson 770,000 555,000
Forrest Griffin 770,000 555,000
Lyoto Machida 475,000 260,000
BJ Penn 350,000 135,000
Anderson Silva 313,000 98,000
Randy Couture 1,010,000 795,000

2009

Average buys for all UFC PPVs in 2009 that do not feature ANY of the ten fighters:  362,000

Events not featuring any of the ten fighters: UFC 93 (Franklin vs. Henderson), UFC 99 (Franklin vs. W. Silva), UFC 103 (Franklin vs. Belfort)

Fighter Average PPV buys for cards with fighter Difference
Brock Lesnar 1,600,000 1,238,000
Georges St. Pierre 1,260,000 898,000
Chuck Liddell 650,000 288,000
Rashad Evans 635,000 273,000
Quinton Jackson 350,000 -12,000
Forrest Griffin 613,000 251,000
Lyoto Machida 685,000 323,000
BJ Penn 797,000 435,000
Anderson Silva 750,000 388,000
Randy Couture 435,000 73,000

2010

Average buys for all UFC PPVs in 2010 that do not feature ANY of the ten fighters:  240,000

Events not featuring any of the ten fighters: UFC 110 (Nogueira vs. Velasquez)

Fighter Average PPV buys for cards with fighter Difference
Brock Lesnar 1,200,000 960,000
Georges St. Pierre 770,000 530,000
Chuck Liddell 520,000 280,000
Rashad Evans 675,000 435,000
Quinton Jackson 1,050,000 810,000
Forrest Griffin
Lyoto Machida 520,000 280,000
BJ Penn 525,000 285,000
Anderson Silva 525,000 285,000
Randy Couture 275,000 35,000

16 Responses to “Who is the Biggest UFC PPV Draw? – Part 5”

  1. Machiel Van on September 8th, 2010 8:17 AM

    How many parts of this analysis will there be?? Brock Lesnar is the biggest UFC PPV draw, even if other funky statistical analysis methods say otherwise. It’s getting a little drawn out.

  2. Machiel Van on September 8th, 2010 8:18 AM

    Ah, next week (sorry I didn’t read before commenting).

  3. Tony Williams on September 8th, 2010 8:42 AM

    Machiel, this is the last set of numbers. Next week will be a wrap-up post that addresses issues with more complicated analyses like the ones people have been bringing up throughout the series.

    Doing this as a series has been a learning experience for me, and I probably won’t do another series again, unless there’s a very good reason. Like you said, it’s getting too drawn out.

    Thanks for following the series!

  4. Machiel Van on September 8th, 2010 9:15 AM

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s been very interesting. Series writeups are ok, maybe just keep them to 3 parts? It was a good experiment, kudos.

  5. Brain Smasher on September 8th, 2010 4:30 PM

    This was the best of the series. You finally get the baseline narrowed down to a realistic number. Also its a good idea not to use the WEC buy rates. There were tons of people online who claimed they would not buy a WEC PPV. Granted it had a UFC feel to it. But many people who follow the sport were not fooled. However, it did bring in a lot of UFC fans who didnt know the different. WEC on its own may have drawn 50K PPV buys. The confusion created with the “co promotion” drew only half of the UFC brands ability. So 50K went to 150K not 250K.

    Also the UFC where Franklin fought Vitor went head to head with a big boxing PPV. I believe a Floyyd Maywether fight. No doubt it effect the buys even more so than other events that the UFC has to deal with. Nothing really can be done about it but it puts into perspective how many varibles there are when looking at PPV buys.

    Thanks for the article. It was very insightful. Keep up the good work.

  6. mmaguru on September 8th, 2010 6:31 PM

    Great writeup, lots of interesting analysis.

  7. truck on September 9th, 2010 11:50 AM

    Frank Mir has been part of many big events recently and isn’t mentioned.

    UFC 81:
    650,000

    UFC 92:
    1,000,000+

    UFC 100:
    1,600,000

    UFC 107:
    620,000

    UFC 111:
    800,000

    Average PPV buys for cards featuring Mir:
    934,000

    Difference from “baseline” average:
    626,000

  8. Tony Williams on September 9th, 2010 1:43 PM

    Hi guys,

    Thanks again following and leaving comments. It actually is nice to know that people are reading and care enough to post a response.

    Machiel – If you have any more suggestions about doing a series, I’d love to hear them. This one would probably have run much better if I just added the yearly breakdowns at the bottom like I did in this piece. One of the reasons I was happy to come on board at MMA Payout is because it would give me a chance to get feedback on my attempts to methods and results of my analysis to a general audience, and I hope that will improve my (future) academic writing.

    Brain – Thanks for following from the first part! I totally agree about the WEC PPV, which is why I didn’t want to use it as a baseline. I was pleasantly surprised when those numbers came out in a way that lent some legitimacy to my argument for the baseline I did use. You also have a good point about the boxing PPV and how that can mess up some buyrates. I’ll talk about those “other variables” more in the last piece that should be up next week, but the boxing PPV is one I probably wouldn’t have thought of since I’m not a fan.

    truck – Thanks for coming over from Bloody Elbow and posting here. I noticed earlier today that Nate picked up the piece. You’re bringing up a valid and very important point which I already planned to address, but I’ll give a preview now. This is the “art” of estimation, as opposed to the “science” part with the numbers. The selection of fighters to include is, to some extent, always arbitrary. Even if I give you a set of criteria that we all agree is reasonable, that set of criteria is still arbitrary. In all honesty, I basically decided to outsource the blame for that arbitrariness to Derek Jenkins. His piece along with some of Jonathan Snowden’s writings about Silva being a terrible draw were the foundation of this series. Also, one of the responses to the first piece, maybe on the Sherdog forums, was that I could use the same methodology and make Jason Brilz look amazing; I was planning on using someone in the middle, like a Marcus Davis, in the final piece. For Mir specifically, I’ll admit that I was the second comment by “guest” when Kelsey did the Power Rankings last year (http://mmapayout.com/2009/12/mmapayout-coms-2009-power-rankings/), though the better example of the flawed methodology is Patrick Cote appearing on the list (which another commenter pointed out). Mir is an interesting case since he had a major resurgence after the first fight with Lesnar, where he was basically tossed in so that the UFC had a win-win scenario… if Lesnar won, he beat a former UFC champ but, if he lost, well, a legit HW and former champ beat Lesnar (by the way, this is a testament to Joe Silva’s fantastic and under-appreciated matchmaking). Based solely on the way I’ve calculated numbers here, I have no problem saying Mir should be #2 (assuming your numbers are right, and I have no reason to doubt they are). I can do the thing many have done to my previous pieces and argue why several of Mir’s PPVs got a huge non-Mir bump (stacked cards, fights against Lesnar, etc). With Lesnar, I think most of us will agree that you could put him in the cage against an actual tomato can (not the derogatory term from boxing, but an actual can of tomatoes) and the guy would do big numbers. With everyone else, it’s a bit more subjective. The last comment, at least for now, is that this entire series has used really rough approximations to fighter draws and has not even attempted to do anything sophisticated. It’s flawed – just like any empirical study – but I would argue it’s better than what you saw in the first two parts, which are the kind of numbers you usually see reported in the MMA media. For the more complicated stuff, I’ll talk about it next week, and you may see some of it in future pieces.

    After that long rambling, I hope I’ve given a partial answer. Please, feel free to write more. It does help me a lot to know what you’re thinking as you read these articles.

    Thanks, again, to all who have left comments!

  9. truck on September 9th, 2010 9:24 PM

    Tony, thanks for the response.

    I agree that this stuff is extremely complicated and it is next to impossible to isolate the exact reasoning for any number. TUF seasons, main events, co main events, the fighters, the fighters’ last fight, preview shows, timing, title fights and tape delays all play into the end numbers. Fighters fights so sparingly too.

    It is very interesting to see what kind of trends we can find and what they mean makes for interesting discussion.

  10. Dave P on September 9th, 2010 10:17 PM

    While I agree with some of what you posted above on Mir, I think that the 118 numbers do help his case. Both featured BJ Penn in the main event, and Kenny Florian fighting in the 3rd biggest match of the night. So in a sense, the co main was actually a bit of a controlled variable. With 107 doing better numbers I think the argument that Mir is a bigger draw that Couture could be made. After all, even if Toney was a bit of a flop, his debut had much more drawing power than Kongo could ever hope for.

    Are there any numbers for PPVs that show where the buys are coming from? I remember seeing Meltzer talk about how on the west coast, in areas that have always been good boxing markets, 114 did better than 116, but Lesnar is such a draw among traditional pro wrestling east coast markets that it made up the difference. That would interesting because if someone drew huge numbers from a certain area or demo and poorly in others, it would be easier compliment the card to help the areas the fighter draws poorly in while still taking advantage of their drawing powers in other markets.

    The biggest example of this would be GSP. GSP draws such huge numbers in Canada that any card he is on will see a large bump from that market. In a hypothetical sense, if GSP and Liddell were completely equal in terms of drawing power, and you replace GSP’s fight on 100 with Liddell v Franklin, while it seems like your swaping fights of equal value, you’re losing buys because GSP is bringing in a different area of viewers while Liddell would be duplicating the same people that would buy the card for Lesnar v Mir.

    Thanks for the series its been a pleasure to read.

  11. truck on September 10th, 2010 9:24 AM

    Dave,

    I have seen some breakdowns about where the buys come from, but I can’t remember where. If I remember correctly, most events do very well in Canada. GSP probably gets a bump, but if all events are already heavy with Canadian buys, I don’t know how much farther GSP would skew the numbers.

  12. Eric Nitsch on September 11th, 2010 7:33 AM

    Tony,
    This is really the section that I have been waiting to read. You may remember that I mentioned that you spent a lot of time discussing the flaws of the system that you were using instead of moving on to actual relavent information. The eagle has finally landed. I believe that you have good information, but you may have spent a bit too much time explaining the nuances of your steps to acquire it. However, it is interesting enough that I am continuing to follow the series. While I am being constructive, I actually like the series format but three entries should likely be the limit.
    As for the numbers. I think the baseline numbers came out about the way I expected them to for cards having no “big draws.” Although, I found it odd that the numbers from 2006 to present were higher than 2008 to present. After some consideration I just decided that the UFC maintaining similar PPV buy numbers while virtually doubling the number of shows done in a year is amazing, so I left it alone. Any thoughts on the higher 2006 to present average buyrate being higher? Additionally, you were absolutely correct in not using WEC numbers. It is like comparing grapes and raisins, similar but not the same.
    Thanks for all of your work and I hope you continue to bring data to our hunches about the sport we all love.

  13. Tony Williams on September 13th, 2010 11:25 AM

    Dave – I haven’t seen any breakdowns like that, but they would be interesting. Meltzer has been one of the biggest insiders in pro wrestling for around 25 years and covered UFC from the start, so it doesn’t surprise me in the least that he has better details than the rest of us (who generally rely on whatever information Meltzer provides to get things like PPV buyrates). You’ve also brought up an excellent point about where these fighters are drawing viewers, and this comes up occasionally in debates about promotions “sharing the pie” or “expanding the pie.” I tend to think that some promotion, if they wanted, could create a new niche in MMA by using older fighters and fighters with a typically less-brutal style to appeal to, for instance, older males in the 35-50 range who think MMA is too “violent.” Strikeforce could be doing this with Walker and Henderson (and play up Henderson’s Olympic background).

    Eric – Thanks, again, for reading and leaving comments throughout the series. For the higher 2006 baseline, you just need to look at the two events that were in the 2006 baseline but not the 2008 baseline – UFC 60 and 61. UFC 60 (Hughes vs. Gracie) did 620,000 buys, followed by UFC 61 (Sylvia vs. Arlovski III and Ortiz vs. Shamrock II) doing 775,000 buys and setting a new record for UFC PPV buys. It’s really that the 2006 baseline includes some of the older stars and peak events. Also, you hit on one of those huge points that is easy to overlook, which is that the UFC hasn’t just seen growth in the PPV buys. They’ve also had massive growth in the number of events per year.

    Sorry if I’ve missed anything, but I’ll try to respond if you post it again. I still need to write this week’s piece and get ready for a new semester… and hopefully pick up some German finally.

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