UFC on Versus 3: gate, ratings and payout
March 5, 2011
The numbers for UFC on Versus 3 are in and the biggest surprise is the generous bonus Dana White awarded Diego Sanchez and Martin Kampmann.
In its first time in the state of Kentucky, the UFC drew 8,319 for a live gate of $471,450. The UFC announced this at the post-fight press conference according to MMA Junkie.
Ratings for the Thursday night broadcast received a 0.67 rating with an average of 681,000 viewers. Of the three times the UFC has been on Versus, this is the poorest showing. There are some factors that may contribute to the showing. First, it was the first time the UFC event took place on a Thursday. The first two were Sunday night. Also, the first two UFC events had Jon Jones in the main event.
Of course, Zach Arnold points out that TNA received a 1.4 rating for the same time slot. TNA, not even WWE, beat the UFC.
Via MMA Junkie:
…the MMA ratings are slightly above average for Versus, which averaged a little more 601,000 viewers for the 18 WEC events it aired between 2008 and 2010, though the numbers often fluctuated wildly depending on the depth of the fight cards. In fact, just three events in WEC history (WEC 41, WEC 38 and WEC 34) drew more viewers than UFC on Versus 3. However, the figures still fall short to those generated by the UFC’s usual cable partner, Spike TV, which generally draws in the 1.5 million to 2 million viewers range for events of similar prominence.
The bonuses for Thursday saw an eye-opening $160K bonus for Diego Sanchez and Martin Kampmann for their performance in the night’s main event.
In addition, Shane Roller (Knockout of the Night) and Brian Bowles (Submission of the Night) received $40K for their performances.
The$160K bonus for Fight of the Night may placate the many people that thought Kampmann
won the fight. Yet, Sanchez won via unanimous decision. Some might see the extra cash as incentive and a sign to all fighters to give it their all in the Octagon and they will be rewarded.
Odds and Ends
The UFC split screen during commercials was executed much better than its last try. The use of stats, facts and figures was a good touch.
Anyone else notice that Brandon Vera was in the UFC Store commercials. Not only is he back, he is a face for the UFC. Either that, or the UFC was using a B-Reel commercial. Watching the UFC and its attention to detail, I am not sure what to think of it.
SafeAuto Insurance is making itself a fixture in the UFC as it sponsored the Facebook streaming this time around. We are attempting to get numbers on how many people logged in to the UFC page to watch the fights. We will pass those along once we receive them.
Speaking to the ratings, Arnold argues that while UFC live events are still ascending, television
ratings may have plateaued.
I don’t think UFC has plateaued by any means in terms of live business, but the TV side may be where it’s going to stay the same or decline a little. With Australia proving its worth as a big-time foreign market and Canada proving to be golden, the question now becomes what to do internationally and on television in a landscape where a lot of fans Stateside are giving more fighters the thumbs downthan the thumbs up in terms of paying to watch them or even watch them for ‘free’ on cable. I would be remiss in forgetting to note how Strikeforce did on Showtime last month as compared to some of UFC’s cable TV events.
It may be too early to say that UFC ratings have hit the ceiling. While TUF ratings may have declined this past cycle, we might need to wait until the next Fight Night or June’s UFC on Versus to see if the ratings are the same or lower than Thursday to determine a trend.