January 31, 2014
MMAPayout has learned from Nielsen sources that UFC on FOX 10: Henderson vs Thomson did a 1.9 national rating and an average of 3.2M viewers.
The 3.2 million viewersship number was upgraded greatly from the initial overnight rating of 2.55M viewers, which did not factor in the overrun and West Coast viewership. UFC on FOX 10 ratings are +12% from UFC on FOX 9: Johnson vs Benavidez (1.8 rating, 2.8M) last quarter, but are -21% from UFC on FOX 6: Johnson vs Dodson (2.43 rating, 4.22M), which aired in Q1 of last year.
For the night, UFC on FOX 10 finished second in total viewers to CBS but was first in the A18-49 demo with a 1.47 rating and in the M18-49 demo doing a very healthy 2.05 rating. Winning the A18-49 demo despite only doing a 0.89 rating in the Women 18-49 demo really shows how strong their pull is with the Male 18-49 demographic.
The prelims for UFC on FOX 10, which aired on FS1 before the FOX portion, drew 713,000 average viewers.
UFC on FOX Ratings:
UFC on FOX 1: 5.70M viewers (3.1 rating)
UFC on FOX 2: 4.70M viewers (2.6 rating)
UFC on FOX 3: 2.42M viewers (1.5 rating)
UFC on FOX 4: 2.44M viewers (1.4 rating)
UFC on FOX 5: 4.40M viewers (2.5 rating)
UFC on FOX 6: 4.22M viewers (2.4 rating)
UFC on FOX 7: 3.70M viewers (2.2 rating)
UFC on FOX 8: 2.38M viewers (1.5 rating)
UFC on FOX 9: 2.80M viewers (1.8 rating)
UFC on FOX 10: 3.22M viewers (1.9 rating)
Average UFC on FOX Viewership: 3.6M viewers.
This is now the second lowest rating for an NFL season promoted UFC on FOX event, only edging out the previous UFC on FOX 9. The problem with the last two numbers is that the next couple of shows will not have the benefit of the NFL season promotion from FOX, which historically indicates that the numbers will dip considerably.
The lack of UFC stars due to injury, retirement, or leaving to sign with Bellator has left the UFC with a limited supply of stars, which has recently impaired the booking of headliners. The next UFC on FOX event, UFC on FOX 11, will be held in Orlando, Florida on April 19th. That event will be headlined by a heavyweight bout between Travis Browne and Fabricio Werdum, which indicates that no titles will be on the line but perhaps can be promoted as a #1 contender bout for the UFC HW title.
January 31, 2014
The third episode of The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia on FS1 scored a record low of a 107,000 viewer average on Fox Sports 2. The overnight ratings reflect the network change due to college basketball on FS1.
Episode 1: 371,000 viewers
Episode 2: 253,000 viewers
Episode 3: 107,000 viewers
(H/t: The MMA Report)
The low ratings reflect the fact that this season is for a very specific, niche audience. Also, there has been little promotion for this season other than the first episode which was preceded by a live UFC Fight Night. This week’s episode was hurt by the switch to FS2 which does not draw as big an audience for UFC programming. Also, FS2 is only in 40 million homes versus FS1’s 90 million homes.
January 30, 2014
In a story that seems to repeat itself, MMA advocates were in Albany Tuesday starting its annual bid to legalize mixed martial arts in New York State according to the USA Today.
MMA supporters were in Albany to stress that the sport has “evolved” and state regulation would “ensure safety precautions” would be followed.
Aside from the arguments regarding safety, MMA fighters and promoters argue that the sport would be an economic boon for the state as it estimates “about $135 million a year in additional revenue from fights at major venues.” This includes $67 million from the statewide expansion of UFC Gyms. A study submitted by the UFC in November suggests a $68 million economic impact on the state as a result of anticipated live events from the UFC, Bellator, WSOF and Ring of Combat.
With the lawsuit over the law banning New York matriculating through the court system, the only way the UFC makes it to New York any time soon is through a law legalizing the sport.
Just like spring training in baseball, MMA proponents are getting ready to give it their best efforts again this year. The article suggests the key to persuading legislators is educating them on MMA by dispelling preconceived notions of the sport. Last year, a sexual harassment case in Albany involving a proponent of MMA invoked some of the past stereotypes of the sport. This was one of the reasons for last year’s stall of legalizing the sport. Has anything changed since last year? We will see how this plays out this spring in upstate New York.
January 29, 2014
HBO Boxing almost doubled the television ratings of Showtime Boxing in a head to head face off on Saturday night. Both boxing events ran up against each other and a portion of UFC on Fox 10.
HBO’s Boxing After Dark series featured Mikey Garcia taking on Juan Carlos Burgos taken by Garcia. The broadcast scored an average of 777,000 viewers from its HBO subscriber base. Showtime Boxing featured Lamont Peterson vs. Dierry Jean which averaged just 390,000 viewers from its Showtime subscribers. Peterson took the fight in the Showtime main event.
(H/t: Boxing Scene via Neilsen Media Research)
HBO has more subscribers than Showtime so we might just dismiss the comparison. Yet, it’s an interesting look at a rare head-to-head between boxing programming on the two premium channels. Admittedly, these two shows are for boxing fans as the main events are not mainstream names that would move the dial for the casual viewer. It does show that boxing is becoming more prevalent on television which should be good for fight fans.
January 29, 2014
Dana White appeared on The Arsenio Hall show on Monday night and proceeded to call out the WWE and its new network. White also took a jab at Floyd Mayweather.
Dana on WWE
Dana on Floyd in UFC
White always seems to hold back on the criticism of Vince McMahon despite McMahon taking shots at the UFC and MMA in general. Even here, he doesn’t go after Vince and his business unless you consider him calling followers of WWE fans of “male soap operas.” Certainly, the two organizations will have two competing online services when the WWE Network goes live next month. This may inhibit subscriptions to the UFC Fight Pass. So, we may see a little more animosity between the two although White indicated that they were “cool” in the interview. As for the Mayweather comments, this is nothing out of the ordinary. White had called Mayweather a racist when he had made some comments about Jeremy Lin during the “Linsanity” era.
January 28, 2014
UFC Welterweight contender Johny Hendricks is featured in a recent Reebok commercial with NFL star Knowshon Moreno and 2012 Olympic gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman. With the tag line, “Unnaturally Quick,” the trio show off the new Reebok “ZQuick” shoes which launch February 1st.
Reebok signed a one fight deal with Hendricks at UFC 167 and it looks like it will stick with him going into his upcoming fight against Robbie Lawler at UFC 171. The commercial is a great opportunity for Hendricks and he may be able to do more things outside of the normal realm of MMA sponsorships.
January 28, 2014
The New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that the UFC was turned away at the NFL’s Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday. NFL officials chased down UFC reps trying to obtain pictures of NFL players wearing the UFC Championship belt.
The NFL did not want it around as league officials believe it was “wrestling stuff.” The official for the NFL, Dennis Kayser stated, “we don’t want that associated with us and this event. This is the NFL.”
It was not until Fox’s Jay Glazer explained the UFC-Fox corporate partnership did the NFL back off of the UFC reps. Even then, Kayser clarified not to show the belt on the podium.
Some of the NFL apprehension to the championship belt wearing may stem from various players wearing pro wrestling belts. The WWE has sent players in the NBA (e.g., LeBron James) and MLB (recently Boston Red Sox David Ortiz) replicas of its belts to wear. It could have been that the NFL did not want any non-partner to overshadow the NFL’s “media day.” A little “chickens coming home to roost” situation for the UFC as many complain of the UFC’s stringent media practices. This time, the NFL came down on the UFC for trying to overshadow the league on the day. Of course, NFL “media” day is more of a free-for-all so maybe that’s why the UFC thought it could take its liberties. The other thought is why didn’t the UFC, a Fox partner, not coordinate something with the NFL today or sometime this week for media to promote UFC 169?
January 28, 2014
MMA Payout has learned from Nielsen sources that UFC on Fox 10 held Saturday on FS1 received an average viewership of 713,000 viewers. The ratings are an improvement from the last Fox network card prelims.
UFC Prelims on FS1
UFC 164 809,000
UFC 165 722,000
UFC 166 628,000
UFC 167 998,000
UFC on Fox 9 613,000
UFC 168 1,554,000
UFC on Fox 10 713,000
According to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, Saturday’s prelims were the biggest audience last week for FS1. In comparison, per Ourand, NBC Sports Network’s biggest audience was 669,000 viewers for NHL. The prelims Saturday featured the eventual Fight of the Night of Sergio Pettis versus Alex Caceres. Saturday’s prelims pale in comparison to UFC 168 but improved upon the UFC on Fox 9 ratings of 613,000.
January 27, 2014
The UFC announced that The Ultimate Fighter Brasil: Team Wanderlei vs. Team Sonnen will be exclusively shown on the UFC Fight Pass. The announcement via UFC press release came on the heels of fisticuffs between the two coaches during the taping of the show.
Via UFC press release:
The first episode of TUF Brasil will be available, on demand, on UFC Fight Pass from 7pm PT/10pm ET on Sunday, March 9, just hours after airing on Brazilian television. Each new episode will then be available every Sunday at the same time.
Filming has already begun in Sao Paulo, Brazil and the bad blood between coaches Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva has already resulted in incidents which UFC president Dana White could only describe as “crazy”, “nuts” and “absolute insanity.”
Bad blood has been on the boil between three-time UFC title challenger Sonnen and the legendary “Axe Murderer” for years and now that they are in close proximity to each other day-in, day-out, the pair is struggling to keep their mutual dislike in check.
Via MMA Fighting:
“Wanderlei and Chael fought,” White said. “Just today. They literally fought.”
While details aren’t entirely clear as to how the altercation started, White says the fight went on for awhile before it was broken up, and that one of Silva’s people jumped into the fray.
If we are to connect the dots here, a press release comes out announcing that the season of TUF Brasil featuring the bitter rivals can only be seen on the UFC’s new digital subscription service on the same day that it is revealed that a fight broke out between the two coaches. Public relations at its best? It had been rumored for a while that Wandy-Chael would only be seen on The Fight Pass. This makes sense from the UFC perspective as the free trial ends the end of February and fans continuing to pay to subscribe will get the TUF Brasil season almost immediately. Whether the fight was a staged publicity stunt and/or a fight that could have been prevented but let go to promote the season, it gets those fans excited about these two fighting wanting to season this season of TUF.
January 26, 2014
Television By Numbers reports the overnight ratings for UFC on Fox 10 on Saturday night. The 10th show on Fox scored an overall viewership of 2.55 million with an average of 1.1 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic.
The event which aired in primetime on the east coast slated from 8:00-10:00pm also had about a half hour overrun which is not equated in this rating. UFC on Fox 10 won the overnight ratings battle among the networks.
Saturday night network television was not too competitive as the UFC went up against reruns of Mike and Molly, Two and a Half men and NCIS on CBS, a children’s movie, “Flushed Away” on ABC and a Shaun White special in preparation for the Olympics on NBC.
List of UFC on FOX overnight ratings:
– UFC on FOX 1: 5.7 million average viewers, 3.1 rating in the A18-49 demo. (Q4 2011).
– UFC on FOX 2: 4.57 million average viewers, 2.2 rating in the A18-49 demo. (Q1 2012)
– UFC on FOX 3: 2.25 million average viewers, 1.0 rating in the A18-49 demo. (Q2 2012)
– UFC on FOX 4: 2.36 million average viewers, 0.9 rating in the A18-49 demo. (Q3 2012)
– UFC on FOX 5: 3.41 million average viewers, 1.6 rating in the A18-49 demo. (Q4 2012)
– UFC on FOX 6: 3.77 million average viewers, 1.7 rating in the A18-49 demo. (Q1 2013)
– UFC on FOX 7: 3.3 million average viewers, 1.6 rating in the A18-49 demo. (Q2 2013)
– UFC on FOX 8: 2.08 million average viewers, 0.9 rating in the A18-49 demo. (Q3 2013)
– UFC on FOX 9: 2.41 million average viewers, 1.0 rating in the A18-49 demo. (Q4 2013)
– UFC on FOX 10:2.55 million average viewers, 1.1 rating in the A18-49 demo. (Q1 2014)
Despite a less than stellar card, the UFC chose the right night to run live programming on the network. The overnight numbers outdid the past two UFC on Fox live events. Notably, the last two Fox events featured Demetrious Johnson in the main event. But Benson Henderson, another Fox television favorite, this was the lowest rating for him in the main event (UFC on Fox 5, 3.41M/UFC on Fox 7, 3.3M)
MMA Payout will have more on the ratings as information comes out.