Bellator 83 receives only 105K viewers

December 16, 2012

MMA Junkie reports that this Friday’s Bellator 83 ratings received a disappointing 105,000 viewer average.   The ratings are the second lowest in Bellator history on MTV2.

The low ratings can be attributed to the abrupt cancellation of the main event between Shahbulat Shamhalev and Rad Martinez after officials discovered Shamhalev vomiting backstage prior to the fight.  As a safety issue, officials cancelled the fight.

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Payout Perspective:

UFC on FX 6 could have also contributed to Bellator’s low ratings.  The decision to cancel the fight was warranted as officials have to protect fighters from themselves.  It’s not clear whether it was related to cutting weight, sickness or just nerves.  There are times when a commission must step in.  Its likely that any fans wanting to see the main event switched channels to watch the UFC once they learned the main event was cancelled.

UFC on FX 6 attendance, gate and bonuses

December 16, 2012

MMA Junkie reports that Friday’s UFC event, UFC on FX 6 had 5,133 attendees for a gate of $900,000.  Bonuses were $40,000 each although there were no submissions of the night on the card.

Bonuses for the “TUF” The Smashes Finale were as follows:

Fight of the Night: Cody Donovan and Nick Penner
Submission of the Night: Ben Alloway

Payout Perspective:

According to its web site, capacity at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre is 6,000.  So, it was near a sellout.  The previous shows in Australia were at bigger venues and had higher attendance figures.

The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale numbers

December 15, 2012

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses for Saturday night’s Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale.  In the main event, a Roy Nelson upper-cut was the beginning of the end for Matt Mitrione.

The event held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas drew 2,500 fans for a gate of $318,525 which averages out to $127.41 per ticket although we assume a certain amount of comps were handed out.

Bonuses were $40,,000 and are as follows:

FOTN: Tim Elliott and Jared Papazian

KO of the night:  Pat Barry

Submission of the night:  TJ Waldburger

Payout Perspective:

It was announced during the telecast that the Hard Rock was sold out for Saturday night. This means that 2,500 was considered a sell-out.  Roy Nelson could have won KO of the night as well.

The Wrestling Post – 12.15.12

December 15, 2012

Welcome to another edition of The Wrestling Post.  This week we look at TNA’s venture into lottery tickets, reduction in PPVS and the WWE’s iPad App.

TNA agrees to pact with lottery ticket maker

MDI Entertainment, LLC has signed a deal with TNA wrestling for lottery branded scratch tickets with images of TNA stars. The agreement includes images on promo materials as well as the possibility of personal appearances and public service announcements.  The agreement includes the possibility of second chance prizes including the possibility of TNA merchandise and/or trips to TNA events.

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(H/t:  Cageside Seats)

Payout Take:  A good partnership for both companies as it allows some promotion of the TNA brand and it gives the company some exposure to a greater population of people.

WWE’s iPad App offers second screen experience and PPVs

Last week, the WWE began promoting a second screen experience entitled “WWE Active” which allows users of the App access to additional information including polls, trivia and the opportunity to watch backstage features during the live edition of RAW.  In addition, the WWE announced that users could eventually order PPVs on the App which would allow mobile access to watch WWE PPVs

Payout Take:  The WWE iPad App is very popular with 2.7 million downloads in 215 countries.  Having used the app, it definitely is one of the better free downloads for iPad users.  The move to utilize the app to include additional original content allows more interaction with its fans.  The PPV component is one way to monetize the app and give fans another way to access the WWE.

TNA reduces PPV schedule

The Wrestling Observer (subscription required) reported that TNA Wrestling will be reducing its total PPVs for 2013 from 12 to 10.  This would allow for better buildup between pay per views.

Payout Take:  Less is more.  This is a good move by the company as it can build on storylines and hype the matches for a PPV.  The move should help with overall PPV sales for the year and shave down production costs for two less PPVs.

Dana White interviewed on UFC’s social media use

December 14, 2012

Mashable.com conducted an interview with UFC head Dana White on the company’s social media presence.  The interview was done in lead-up to the BusinessNextSocial conference next month in Las Vegas where White will be the keynote speaker.

The article/interview talks about how White transformed the public perception of the UFC with help from social media.  As most know, the UFC has been ahead of the curve in its social media efforts.  White has over 2.3 million followers and the article highlights the fact that the company’s fighters compete for quarterly bonuses for its use of twitter.

Notably, White points to twitter and his vlogs which are posted on YouTube as the two platforms of social media White utilizes the most.  The video blogs are heavily viewed by UFC fans.  White also talks about the livestreaming of fights on Facebook and the company’s use of Spotify.

Payout Perspective:

The article touts the social media successes of the UFC as White will be a speaker at a conference on social media use next month.  It does not cover some of the social media issues White has had in the past such as the various outbursts he has had with fans on twitter.  Overall, the company has used social media to connect directly with fans without the need of the use of an intermediary (i.e. the media).  This can be a good and bad thing.

Pacquiao-Marquez Payout Perspective

December 13, 2012

Welcome to a special edition of Payout Perspective as we take a look at Pacquiao-Marquez IV.  The fourth fight probably will not be the last as Juan Manuel Marquez knocked out Manny Pacquiao.

Marquez Planks Pacquiao

In what was the most intense and violent of the four fights, Juan Manuel Marquez knocked out Manny Pacquiao with a counter right hand on the button with just one second left in the sixth round.  The KO gave JMM the first win, and the most devastating in their rivalry.

For Pacquiao, it’s a forgettable 2012 with two straight losses.  With such a devastating KO, one wonders if it’s wise to continue to fight.  There’s no question that he’s going to fight but it appears that he is fighting more for others than he is for himself.   This could prove to be a dangerous proposition for Pacquiao if his heart is not in it anymore.

On a side note, Freddie Roach is having as bad a year as Pacquiao.  Not only did his star pupil lose twice this year, but Roach lost Amir Khan after Khan was upset by Danny Garcia and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. lost in his big showdown against Sergio Martinez.

Attendance and gate

Bad Left Hook reports that the attendance and gate figures show a sell out with a $10.8 million gate and attendance of 15,430 with 904 comps.  It comes in second this year to the Mayweather-Cotto fight on May 5th which had a gate of a little over $12 million.

Payouts

Manny Pacquiao will receive up to $30 million for last Saturday’s fight.  The $30 million includes a PPV cut of the buys. The night’s winner, Marquez, will only receive $3 million as he took a pay cut from their November 2011 fight.  This should likely change if and when we see a fifth fight.  It’s likely that Pacquiao will still earn more than Marquez although JMM should get a bigger cut of the pie.

Prefight Promotion

Top Rank streamed a Manny Pacquiao workout from the Wildcard Gym on its web site.  In addition, it was aired in Times Square.  A good promotion to serve as a reminder for those walking on the street in New York that Pacquiao has a fight coming up.

In addition to the mandatory 24/7 series, TNT included an additional program with the NBA on TNT’s Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller to promote the fight.  It was shown after the NBA on TNT on Thursday night so it aired pretty late on both coasts.  It was heavily promoted and talked about on the post-game show by Barkley and the other studio hosts.

The NBA on TNT also provided in game promos for the fight on its Thursday night prime time games.  It helped that Barkley and Miller are fight fans as they talked about the fights even after the promo spots were done.

Reruns of the first three fights were available on the Audience Network and HBO.  Although listings indicated that the fights were rerun on ESPN, I did not see them.

A new ad campaign for Wonderful Pistachios featuring Manny Pacquiao launched on Monday Night Football.  More on this in the sponsorship section.

Pacquiao made his usual appearance on Jimmy Kimmel.  Maybe after these last two losses he decides to go with Leno or Letterman.

Sponsorships

There were six official sponsors for the Pacquiao-Marquez fight:  Tecate, Wonderful Pistachios, the Cinemax show, “Banshee,” the movie, “Django,” Filipino wireless provider, Smart and Mexican wireless provider, Telcel.

Tecate once again served as the official beer sponsor and offered its usual PPV discount.  If anyone has benefited from this, please let me know as I have never seen this offer in my area.

Paramount Farms’ Wonderful Pistachios chose Manny Pacquiao for its “Get Crackin” ad campaign featuring the boxer.  Pacquiao joins an eclectic group of pop culture figures including Snooki and Snoop Dogg to sponsor the company.  He is the only athlete on the list.

The “Get Crackin” slogan signage was around the ring and on Pacquiao’s shorts.  Unfortunately for Manny, the sponsor received a lot of visibility when he lay face down on the canvas.

The pistachio deal is for one year and is in the neighborhood of six figures according to the Sports Business Journal (subscription required).

Conclusion

A pre-PPV buy estimate for this fight had it at 1 million buys which seems about right.  There was little buzz for this fight outside of the hardcore boxing/Pacquiao/Marquez fans despite the synergy of Time Warner.  With the ending of number 4, a 5th fight would exceed 1 million buys based on how good a fight it was plus the added interest in seeing how Pacquiao rebounds.

 

TUF 16 episode 12: 678,000 viewers

December 13, 2012

MMA Junkie reports that TUF 16’s final taped episode garnered an average of 678,000 viewers.  The 12th episode was down from the prior week and the season ended with an 829,250 viewer average.

TUF 16 Episode 1: 947,000

TUF 16 Episode 2: 872,000

TUF 16 Episode 3: 775,000

TUF 16 Episode 4: 1.1 million

TUF 16 Episode 5: 624,000

TUF 16 Episode 6:  811,000

TUF 16 Episode 7:  676,000

TUF 16 Episode 8: 1.1 million

TUF 16 Episode 9: 921,000

TUF 16 Episode 10:  643,000

TUF 16 Episode 11:  804,000

TUF 16 Episode 12:  678,000 viewers

 Payout Perspective:

It will be interesting to see what this season’s viewership ratings translate for the TUF Finale on Saturday.  Of course, the TUF final will be the only one on the card involving cast members from the show.  Based on the record lows in ratings, moving to Tuesdays could not hurt the TUF franchise.  But, for those watching, was this season a disappointment?

UFC on Fox 5 Prelims: 1.2 million

December 12, 2012

MMA Junkie reports that UFC on Fox 5 prelims on FX scored an average of 1.2 million viewers.  It is the first time that UFC on Fox Prelims have aired on FX.

The three hour card showed all 7 prelim bouts as the one Facebook fight involving John Albert and Scotty Jorgenson was shown as well.  The rating on Saturday hit the average for prelim bouts on FX.

Payout Perspective:

A good viewership for a three hour card as the other prelims previously airing on FX were two hours.  The move to show the Fox prelims made sense considering the prelims would give another chance to hype the stacked network card.  It’s interesting to see Fox move more fights to FX as opposed to Fuel considering it was once thought that Fuel would be the de facto UFC channel.  However, with FX in more homes the move makes sense.

Payouts and updated ratings for UFC on Fox 5

December 12, 2012

MMA Mania reports updated ratings for Saturday’s UFC on Fox 5 which reveals it doing much better than originally reported.  In addition, payouts for Saturday have been released with Shogun Rua and B.J. Penn leading the list.

The final numbers show that the UFC pulled 4.4 million viewers with the main event receiving an average of 5.7 million viewers.  This is up from the overnight rating of 3.41 million.  The final rating for UFC on Fox 5 was a 2.5 according to the Wrestling Observer.

MMA Junkie reports the salaries for Saturday:

Benson Henderson: $78,000 (includes $39,000 win bonus)
def. Nate Diaz: $50,000

Alexander Gustafsson: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
def. Mauricio Rua: $175,000

Rory MacDonald: $42,000 (includes $21,000 win bonus)
def. B.J. Penn: $150,000

Matt Brown: $54,000 (includes $27,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Swick: $48,000

Yves Edwards: $32,000 (includes $16,000 win bonus)
def. Jeremy Stephens: $24,000

Raphael Assuncao: $38,000 (includes $19,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Easton: $14,000

Ramsey Nijem: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Joe Proctor: $8,000

Daron Cruickshank: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Henry Martinez: $8,000

Abel Trujillo: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
def. Marcus LeVesseur: $8,000

Dennis Siver: $62,000 (includes $31,000 win bonus)
def. Nam Phan: $10,000

Scott Jorgensen: $41,000 (includes $20,500 win bonus)
def. John Albert: $10,000

Payout Perspective:

The big rating for Saturday is great for the UFC.  The job it has to do now is translate the big number into PPV buys.  Can the UFC market Henderson, MacDonald and Gustaffson and groom them to become PPV stars?

As for the salaries, it’s interesting to note that Benson Henderson had a base of $39,000 while Nate Diaz made $50,000 with a likely $50,000 win bonus.  Also, B.J. Penn made three times more than Rory MacDonald and Shogun Rua almost made three times more than Alexander Gustaffson.

Bellator moves to Thursdays

December 11, 2012

Bellator officially announced its debut on Spike TV for Thursday night, January 17th.  It will be in a two hour block starting at 10:00PM PT/ET.

Via Bellator Press Release:

Emanating from The University of California’s Bren Center in Irvine, CA, featherweight world champion Pat Curran defends his title against explosive knockout artist Patricio Pitbull, while lightweight world champion Michael Chandler battles former Olympian Rick Hawn in their highly-anticipated Bellator Championship showdown.

The action-packed night also features the Bellator debut of decorated MMA veteran Renato “Babalu” Sobral, who will fight in the quarterfinals of the Light Heavyweight Tournament against Russian submission ace Mikhail Zayats.

“Our Thursday, January 17th premiere on Spike will be an incredible night for MMA fans; two epic world title fights and an amazing collection of tournament fights” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Spike TV is the home for MMA and this event will be a great way to kick off that homecoming.”

Payout Perspective:

With the UFC announcing TUF’s move to Tuesday nights on FX, Bellator made its departure from Fridays official.  It will be interesting to see how each does on its new nights. TNA’s Impact Wrestling will be the lead-in for Bellator.  We’ll see how the new network and new time slot does for ratings for Bellator.

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