M-1 Challenge 24 – Showtime Debut: Payout Perspective

April 1, 2011

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective! This week we’ll be taking a look at M-1 Challenge 24: Damkovsky vs Figueroa, which made its solo promotional debut with Showtime last Friday night. The event was headlined by M-1 Lightweight champ, Artiom Damkovsky taking on title challenger Jose Figueroa, who is a member of American Top Team based in Florida.

The event took place at the Ted Constant Center in Norfolk, Virginia and featured 5  fights: Artiom Damkovsky vs. Jose Figueroa, Magomed Sultanakhmedov vs. Tyson Jeffries, Vinny Magalhaes vs. Jake Doerr, Jason Norwood vs. Billy Horne, and Alexander Sarnavskiy vs. Beau Baker.


Attendance and Gate

MMAFigthing reports that M-1 Challenge 24: Damkovsky vs. Figueroa, drew 2,031 fans (1,024  comps) for a live gate of $30,65. The venue at the Old Dominion University campus can hold over 8,100, not to mention that with additional floor seating it can hold over 10,000 attendees.



MMAJunkie also reports that the M-1 Challenge on Showtime had 189,000 (0.52 rating) viewers.  The event did only slightly lower than what Strikeforce Challengers shows do in that time slot and beat Strikeforce Challengers 11: Bowling vs Voelker and tied Challengers 6: Kaufman vs Hashi . The event also had more viewers than Bellator did the next day on a Saturday night- drawing 150,000 viewers (it’s lowest mark to date) on MTV 2, though we must point out that they were going head-to-head with the UFC prelims on Facebook and NCAA March Madness.  It also wasn’t in it’s regular slot as it moved to an earlier time to avoid overlapping the UFC televised portion of the event.

Average Showtime viewership for Strikeforce Challengers:

– Strikeforce Challengers 7: 316,000
– Strikeforce Challengers 8: 249,000
– Strikeforce Challengers 10: 237,000
– Strikeforce Challengers 13: 223,000
– Strikeforce Challengers 12: 210,000
– Strikeforce Challengers 14: 200,000
– Strikeforce Challengers 9: 197,000
– Strikeforce Challengers 6: 189,000
– M-1 Challenge 24: 189,000
– Strikeforce Challengers 11: 178,000



M-1 Global got a big boost airing on Showtime, when GOOD4U Drinks announced that they had signed a deal with M-1 Global to sponsor the event on Showtime on March 21st.  Good4U Drinks, after being banned from the UFC for being a competitor to Xyience (owned by Zuffa) and AMP Energy.  They were also in talks with Strikeforce to become a sponsor but sponsor Rockstar Energy had exclusive rights.  After failing to get on Showtime with Strikeforce, GOOD4U Drinks jumped at the opportunity to be on the mat for the M-1 Challenge last week, placing a big logo of their brand in the center of the M-1 mat, which had great visibility 


Event Notes:

* The promotion and marketing heading into the event was almost non-existent for M-1, with some of its fighters claiming that Visa issues prevented Showtime and M-1 from promoting the event ahead of time.  Members of both parties said there will be more promotion for the upcoming event since the Visa issues should be cleared up now.

* The next Showtime event will be M-1 Challenge 26: Figueroa vs Weichel, which will take place on July 8, airing at 11 PM ET/PT.  M-1 Challenge prospect Guram Gugenishvili (11-0) has been scheduled to participate in the event.

* Both Showtime and M-1 were said to be happy with the ratings and how the event turned out, claiming the next event in July would be even better.


Recap Video

8 Responses to “M-1 Challenge 24 – Showtime Debut: Payout Perspective”

  1. Rich on April 3rd, 2011 3:06 PM


  2. Caidel on April 4th, 2011 2:19 AM

    Nice event. Very enjoyable, very good fights. Just one of the fights was boring, others were very good, which is a better ratio than most orgs have.

  3. Diego on April 4th, 2011 8:34 AM

    I was surprised by the quality of the fights. And since I get Showtime anyway they were essentially free. I never look down on free MMA.

  4. Jose Mendoza on April 4th, 2011 11:46 AM

    Diego, Caidel:

    I agree, the fights had a lot of actions and the fans in attendance were very involved with the card, looked and sounded great on TV. Definitely a pretty good event and it will be interesting to see if some of these M-1 fighters start to become better known in the US due to Showtime.

  5. Caidel on April 5th, 2011 1:57 AM

    Diego: I wasn’t really surprised, since I watched all the M-1 Challenges when they were on HDNet (year or two ago) and I also often watch M-1 Selection /M-1 Challenge streams from Russia and Europe (Since I’m from Europe myself) so I basically know, what to expect 🙂

    Funny thing is, that in the US, the M-1 is often portrayed as a devil organization which is making bizzare claims, has Fedor for a puppet and so on, but interesting point is, that in the global POV, last year they did basically same number of events as UFC, but pretty much everywhere around the globe. West Europe, East Europe, Russia, Asia, Japan, USA. There is big difference in reputation of M-1 in USA and in reputation of M-1 for example in Europe.

  6. Diego on April 5th, 2011 7:52 AM

    I watched a few M-1 cards on HDNet, but then Time Warner dumped the channel and this is the first I see of M-1 in years. I could have followed them online, but didn’t.

    Like I wrote in an earlier post, M-1 introduced me to Gegard Moussasi so I owe them for that. Now that I can watch them regularly on Showtime I’ll start following them online as well. As long as the fights are good I’ll keep tuning in and I look forward to getting to know some fighters who I otherwise wouldn’t see.

  7. eDDie M. on April 5th, 2011 10:12 AM

    Great first show.
    More advertising by Showtime is needed.
    Anyone know the attendance?
    Seemed like a good crowd.

  8. Jose Mendoza on April 6th, 2011 3:55 PM


    We now have attendance and gate numbers from MMAFighting.

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