UFC 150 PPV buys: Initial domestic numbers at 190K buys

August 16, 2012

The Wrestling Observer (subscription required) reports that preliminary numbers of UFC 150 are 190,000 domestic PPV buys.  The ratings, if correct, are the lowest in some time for a show held in the United States.

UFC 147 in June was held in Brazil and garnered only 140,000 PPV buys.  But UFC 150 featured a title fight between Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar as well as a co-main event featuring local product Donald Cerrone versus Melvin Guillard.

The Wrestling Observer notes the DirecTV issue may have come into play considering some may have been shut out for the live event.  The reason may have centered on how you ordered the PPV.  If you ordered it through your remote control, it was unlikely you had a problem.  However, if you ordered online,  you may have had issues.  This may be due to the updating of its system.  This may also be the reason why some had no issues at all ordering DirecTV.  The purpose of ordering via online is that you have the advantage of watching the PPV in multiple rooms.

Payout Perspective:

If the numbers hold true, the overall event has to be considered a disappointment.  From the prelim ratings, to the attendance and gate and now the buy rate reflect a card that the consumer had little interest in.  Undoubtedly,   one might argue the DirecTV issues may have affected the number but even 200K PPV buys cannot be what the UFC had wanted to see especially with a rematch between Henderson and Edgar.

21 Responses to “UFC 150 PPV buys: Initial domestic numbers at 190K buys”

  1. Sampson Simpson on August 16th, 2012 9:41 AM

    Once you miss one PPV and realize these UFC events are missable, the slide will continue.

  2. jose on August 16th, 2012 9:58 AM

    Nothing booms forever. UFC hit its peak and has been declining somewhat for a while.
    All individual sports are built on stars.

    UFC will be fine. They aren’t the hot new thing anymore, but that hype could only last so long.

    UFC’s task is to become something like golf, tennis, and NASCAR. A sport that occasionally peaks with exciting personalities (Tiger Woods, Earnhardt Sr, Andre Agassi), but maintains a base level of support even without the breakout star. Boxing still has the occasional superstar, but doesn’t have a base level of support. UFC needs to avoid becoming boxing and I think they will.

    UFC will always be attractive to advertisers since it reaches a valuable demo — young men.

    A comparison might be made to the whole X-games style sports which exploded in the 90s, but which have now settled in as a mature niche sport. The “action” sports grew rapidly in the 90s and attracted a young male demographic. At a certain point the growth peaked, declined and plateaued. Has another Tony Hawk come along to get mainstream fame?

  3. BrainSmasher on August 16th, 2012 5:06 PM

    This shows the UFC name isnt going to sell 300K each time out. Which we knew was the case already. Like every sport it will require the UFC brand and fighters people are about to sell PPVs. No one was beating down the door to see Ricky Williams in the CFL or Terrell Owens in the Indoor Football League. So the stars still need that Brand. But the UFC cant keep expecting people to pay for shit fighters.

    That said the UFC is in a tight spot. Small weight class’ dont sell. But at the same time they have created a lot of them and have to try and build them. When the right champ comes along they can sell. But if the UFC gives all the light weights for free you kill the divisions and label them as sub par. Te UFc is trying to build them as meaningful as the other divisions. So they have to keep putting them out there and support them.

  4. Felix on August 16th, 2012 10:54 PM

    The hype is defenitely over. Two years ago I’d get all the PPVs with a group of friends. Now none of them bother watching UFC any more, and I just haven’t been tempted enough to get any of the last few PPVs. No question the UFC has lost many fans over the last 12-18 months. Everything suggest so. I can’t even say when I’ll get another PPV now.

  5. michael on August 17th, 2012 12:24 AM

    You know I could hardly name the next scheduled fight that I’m really(!) excited for. Probably Carwin x Big Country. And another interesting fight is Bj x Rory McD. Then again: so many disappointments with injuries, gotta wait to see if they will happen.

    What I mean is: I personally don’t get excited about most of the fights nowadays.
    (Though a lot of recent fights were great!)

  6. Jake on August 17th, 2012 1:00 AM

    “Once you miss one PPV and realize these UFC events are missable, the slide will continue.”

    Good point.

    I wonder when the so called MMA media is going to be honest with themselves and see the sport is declining at an accelerated pace. From one year to another 300k buys went from horrid to awesome. Some of these cards are doing pre TUF numbers and everybody is acting as business as usual.

    If the journalist don’t start talking about the issues that the fans have been crying about for the past year we are going to start seeing some 80k PPV’s with 200k gates.

    Lets be honest, the UFC was built on the “We ain’t boxing” model where cards were stacked and the price was $29.99. Now the price is almost on par with boxing and cards are looking worse.

    Maybe if we just keep writing that the sport is “on the rise” and put in “fastest growing sport in the world” into the articles the bleeding will stop.

  7. 5 Oz. MMA Link Club : Five Ounces of Pain on August 17th, 2012 6:01 AM

    […] UFC 150 Buyrate Estimates Lower than Expected (MMAPayout.com) […]

  8. Sampson Simpson on August 17th, 2012 6:53 AM

    If you guys think the UFC is in a tough spot right now, wait until next year.

    It’ll be the year of 100,000 PPV buys being a success.

  9. Machiel Van on August 17th, 2012 7:52 AM

    Stay grounded buddy, you’re getting a little ridiculous :)

  10. Ron on August 17th, 2012 1:43 PM

    Jake, fabulous point! Re illustrated by Machiel only 2 posts later. We’ve gotten three straight cards under 200K buys , when last year 300K was horrid, and he says it is “a little ridiculous” that we’ll get 100K next year.

  11. Sampson Simpson on August 17th, 2012 2:43 PM

    It ain’t ridiculous… just wait and see.

    UFC has a disgruntled fan base that votes with their wallets.

  12. BrainSmasher on August 17th, 2012 3:35 PM

    Sampson you are a moron. The UFC has complete control over their buy rates. They will never allow it to get as you say “100K is a success”. They need to stop runnning so many events. If they gets get the stars on the cards then they need to not book the event. If they cut back on events then numbers will go back up on each PPV. 3 things have watered the events down to a level i never would have thought. 1. To many events. 2. Less active fighters specifically the stars. 3. The addition of new smaller weight class’. Not only did this add dozens of midget fighters few care about. BUt it thinned out the division. 145 pulled names from 155 and 135 pulled guys from 145. Once all these guys were at 155. Now they are hiding behind a few lbs hoping to find a loop hole to get a belt.

  13. Sampson Simpson on August 17th, 2012 3:57 PM

    The highs will get lower and the lows will get lower.

    It’s already happening.

    I watched it happen in boxing when 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 had way too many PPVs that originally averated 300,000 buys. Then the average dropped to 200,000. Now it’s at 50,000 for guys not named Pacquiao, Mayweather, or Cotto.

    Boxing adjusted and now does less PPVs because that’s what the market dictated to them.

    UFC cannot do that since they operate with a much higher overhead than what most boxing operations run on.

  14. Random Guy on August 20th, 2012 1:01 AM

    “Maybe if we just keep writing that the sport is “on the rise” and put in “fastest growing sport in the world” into the articles the bleeding will stop.”

    They used to say the same thing about NASCAR…

    The press ignored the decline of NASCAR for years to the point we are at now where nobody really cares about it including former fans and they aren’t building any new fans.

  15. hoy on August 20th, 2012 4:58 AM

    just want to ask questions…why is the UFC on the decline ever since it on FOX? the answer…FOX is a big company and they are now the tv partner of the ufc..the difference is maybe the ppv did not decline at all…maybe it was really low to begin with years before and Dana hyped the numbers…remember Zuffa is not required to submit its ppv figures unlike hbo boxing because its a private company..but now that its with a mainstream network like fox they are forced to release its true ppv numbers….remember when richard shafer challenge dana that they would hire an accountant to review ufc numbers dana declined and went silent…remember bob arum stated that ufc 100 was south of the 1 million ppv buys…check the past articles..dana is master salesman— now saying nike pulls out pacman line when its not true at all–

  16. c.b on August 20th, 2012 7:01 AM

    i have to agree with sampson, the ufc is running way to many ppvs, and they are very watered down, 5they have run what like 4 ppvs in less than two monthes.

    thats crazy not to mention none of these cards were very stacked or even that good.

    i think they got a bit full of themselves thinking people would buy anything they put out.

    not to mention not only are there buys and ratings going down they are sitting

    on a mountain of debt as well.

  17. sledge on August 21st, 2012 1:25 AM

    much better free show on fox the previous week, the sport is transitioning to the advertising/cable model and away from the ppv, although some casual fans are drifting away altogether, lesnar was a big loss, strikeforce gave us quality and value, the ufc replays=many reasons not to buy the ppv, also people want to see the big boys

  18. c.b on August 21st, 2012 7:44 AM

    why would anyone pay 55.00 to see uriah faber fight?

    hes never been a draw. its an insult to the loyal fans to put on these crap ppvs

    every other week and expect people to pay for them

  19. Sampson Simpson on August 21st, 2012 9:19 AM

    Dave Meltzer revised his Brock Lesnar-Overeem figures from 800k to 500k.

    That means that all the reported PPV numbers are suspect.

  20. James on August 21st, 2012 11:13 AM

    What’s above, is one big problem ^^^

    Dave Meltzer.

    This guy has a complete racket going where he pulls numbers from his bunhole and then dozens of media outlets post them as gospel.

  21. Random Guy on August 22nd, 2012 9:38 PM

    I hate that Dave Meltzer guy and the fact that people think he has any legitimacy. His numbers are all made up bullshit. It’s a good scam…I mean job…if you can get it…

    He doesn’t have any contacts or insider info. Celebrity tabloids print more accurate news than he does.

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