13 for 13: No. 9 UFC continues globalization of brand
December 22, 2013
The UFC continued its expansion outside of the U.S. with 13 events abroad. Of the 13 events, 6 were held in Brazil while the UFC returned to Japan for the second year in a row and had two shows in the United Kingdom.
Most of the live events were part of the Fuel TV/FX/FS1/FS2 group for fans to watch for free. There were
two three PPV events in Canada this year. The dismal PPV ratings (150K PPV buys) for UFC 161 were aided by a nice live attendance and big gate of $3.1 million.
UFC Events Outside of the U.S.
UFC on FX 7: 01/19/13, San Paulo, Brazil – Attendance - 9,115
UFC on Fuel TV 7: 02/16/13, London, England – Attendance 10,349 $1.3M gate
UFC 158: 03/16/13, Montreal, Canada – Attendance 20,145 $3.7M gate
UFC on Fuel TV 8: 03/03/13, Saitama, Japan – Attendance 14,682
UFC on Fuel TV 9: 04/06/13, Stockholm, Sweden – Attendance 14,506 – $2.7M gate
UFC on FX 8: 05/18/13, Jaragua do Sul, Brazil – Attendance 7,642
UFC 161: 06/15/13, Winnepeg, Ontario, Canada – Attendance 14,754 – $3.1million , 150K PPV buys
UFC on Fuel TV 10: 06/08/13, Fortaleza, Brazil – Attendance 13 6,286
UFC Fight Night 28: 09/04/13, Belo Horizonte, Brazil– Attendance 5,126
UFC 165 09/21/13 :Air Canada Center Toronto, Canada – Attendance 15,504 – $1.9M 325K PPV Buys
UFC Fight Night 29: 10/09/13 Baruen, Brazil – Attenance 6,621
UFC Fight Night 30: 10/26/13 Manchester, UK – Attendance 10,355 $1.5M gate
UFC Fight Night 32: 11/09/13 Goiania, Brazil – Attendance 10,565
UFC Fight Night 33:12/07/13 Brisbane, Australia – Attendance 11,393 $1.7M gate
The UFC started its TUF Franchise in China in December with Cung Le as the chief coach and also featuring UFC fighter Tiequan Zhang. The finals for TUF: China will occur in March 2014 from Macau, China. Prior to March 2014, the UFC will visit Singapore in January and that event will be the first on the UFC Digital Network
Brazil had its second season of TUF culminating with Fabricio Werdum defeating Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the Finale which was part of UFC on Fuel TV 10. It was announced that TUF: Brazil 3 would be coached by Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva.
In May, the UFC brokered a television deal with Televisa Networks which will give it exclusive an exclusive distribution agreement to air UFC programming in 20 Spanish speaking countries in Latin America. It also revealed plans to launch a subscription-based channel that would have access to over 35 live events per year as well as original UFC programming broadcast in Spanish. Although the mid-year announcement indicated that the subscription network would be available in late 2013, I have yet to hear news of this launch. If this has happened, let me know.
As we’ve remarked over the last couple years, the UFC sees globalization of its product as a way to expand business. The UFC has announced potential locations for UFC events in 2014 including Poland, Ireland, Sweden, Germany and Turkey (via MMA Junkie). The events overseas will be more focused on the region by including local fighters while having the event at times convenient for the location rather than gearing it toward North American audiences. With the news of a subscriber-based Digital Network which will air overseas UFC fights, we are seeing the game plan.