Early PPV numbers for UFC 158 point north of 800K buys
March 21, 2013
MMA Fighting reports that early PPV numbers show that UFC 158 should exceed 800,000 buys. The caustic mix of GSP and Nick Diaz proved to be the ingredients for people to buy the PPV.
Although it was expected that this event would be the biggest in terms of PPV buy rate since Silva-Sonnen II, the addition of the unpredictable Nick Diaz benefited the hype for the fight. The viewership for the press conference, weigh-ins and post-fight show reflects the above average interest viewers had for this card. The hype for this card was done without the usual Primetime series which usually precedes a GSP fight.
Via MMA Fighting:
The success of the show is even more impressive since it was achieved without a three-week Primetime series as Penn, Hardy, and Shields had to build up their title challenges. The Ultimate Fighter season with Koscheck and GSP had weekly tension between the coaches.
The centerpiece of the hype was Diaz. From his “wolf tickets” remark at the press conference to his post-fight tax evasion “admission” people tuned in to see what he was going to do or say.
The early indications of the PPV numbers suggest that GSP is still the king of PPV despite not finishing a fight in ages. Secondly, Nick Diaz will not retire. Despite what he said about leaving the sport, he still is a top draw. Also, if it is correct that he owes backtaxes, he will need the money. Overall, the event was a success and once again confirmed the popularity of GSP.