UFC Facebook live streaming draws up to 140,000 viewers

March 29, 2012

MMA Weekly reports that Facebook streams of UFC fights have received as many as 140,000 viewers on its web page.  This information comes from Dana White after the UFC 146 press conference this week.

In speaking with the press, White offered up a number of viewers to its Facebook streams which have aired prior to prelims on television.  “I think the most we’ve ever had watching on Facebook was something like 140,000 people. That’s a good number,” White added, “If you look at some of the numbers that some of these other organizations have pulled whether it’s on HDNet, MTV2, or whatever it might be, to pull 140,000 is a good number.”

White indicated that the Facebook streaming comes at a cost to the company.

Via MMA Weekly:

It does come at a cost, however. White didn’t put any numbers to dollar signs, but he did say that cost was a factor when they recently opted not to stream just a single fight on Facebook when there wasn’t space for it on television.

White told reporters that he didn’t know how many people that watch on Facebook actually buy the PPVs stating that there’s no way to accurately track it.

Payout Perspective:

The Facebook stream viewership has been one of the bigger secrets held by the UFC and its sponsors as no one has put a number to them.  It appears that White is pleased with the use but also looks to the fact that the costs may override the marketing benefits.  In the past, there have been sponsors for Facebook which may offset some of the UFC’s costs to stream.  But, one must think of the content its placing on Facebook.  Most of the fights are the opening bouts as the more interesting prelim fights are now televised.  With the Fox deal and the availability of Fuel and FX, Facebook may become less of a need.

Obviously, taking live fights off of Facebook somewhat flies in the face of the UFC’s championing of social media.  But, if the UFC steers away from live streaming of its fights on its Facebook page, I’m sure there’s other ways it can drive its fans to its Facebook page.

10 Responses to “UFC Facebook live streaming draws up to 140,000 viewers”

  1. Jose Mendoza on March 29th, 2012 12:14 PM

    UFC Facebook streams average around 30-50K viewers. They have only done really well once, and that was for the Henderson vs Guida title eliminator fight which broke 140,000.

    As far as I know, that is the only fight that did that well and a fight that should have been on the FOX show instead of FB anyways.

  2. BrainSmasher on March 29th, 2012 6:42 PM

    I am really suprised the UFC really went to streaming facebook fights. The more you lead people to watch fights online the closer you get to them streaming the PPV. I believe the biggest reason why some dont stream is quality and having to sit in front of a computer. So encouraging people to watch the fights on facebooks in a way leads people away from the tv to the computer. It makes since to do get them to buy the PPV on UFC.tv. I see that. But pulling people into watching fights online seems to not be worth it for the level of fights and lack of return. It was a really good idea at first to get people to like UFC so they get constant UFC news on their facebook page. But now they have kind of ran their course with it and it seems they know it too judging by the level of fights they show. The fights arent Mighty Mouse vs Kid Yamamotto like they start out.

  3. The Fight Nerd | Friday Link Party- March 30, 2012 on March 30th, 2012 4:01 AM

    […] MMA Payout looks at the success of UFC’s streaming bouts on facebook. […]

  4. Sampson Simpson on March 30th, 2012 7:04 AM

    @jose How can you tell UFC streams average 30-50k viewers normally?

  5. Jose Mendoza on March 30th, 2012 8:46 AM


    Several legit sources have told me. The 140,000 number is an anomaly. I believe even Dave Meltzer acknowledged the viewership a while back, said the same.

  6. Sampson Simpson on March 30th, 2012 11:46 AM

    @jose Thanks!

    Always wondered how many fans actually tuned into those. Those are the real hardcore fans.

    Interesting that even with their 8 million or so “Facebook Fans”, they still only generated a small fraction of that audience to tune into the fights.

    Don’t get me wrong, 30k to 50k is still impressive to a certain extent but still a very tiny percentage of 8 million.

  7. BrainSmasher on March 30th, 2012 4:20 PM

    I have only watched the facebook fights a couple times. The fights are no name guys and to much of a hastle to watch online anyway. I almost never go to facebook either. But i never miss a PPV or prelims on tv.

    Something strange is the Like of the UFC facebook page were tracked by mmapayout. Hundreds of thousands joins within a couple days of the fight. Likely to watch the fights. I find it hard to believe that few of the new likes watched the fight and so few of the millions of original likes watched. Makes you wonder if Dana was giving the real numbers or if they can see exactly how many are watching.

  8. Sampson Simpson on March 30th, 2012 5:05 PM

    @BS It means that there’s little to no true reaction from the “MMA Fanbase” on the streams.

    They’re not really fans of the sport persay, just name fighters on the big stage.

    Fairly typical.

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