UFC on Fox 10 attendance, gate and bonuses

January 26, 2014

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses for Saturday night’s UFC on Fox 10 from The United Center in Chicago.

The event drew 10,895 for a live gate of $863,655 according to the announcement at the post-fight news conference. The attendance is the lowest in the past three Januarys.

Via MMA Junkie:

The UFC has visited Chicago’s United Center for three straight Januarys the weekend prior to the NFL’s Super Bowl, which also airs on FOX. UFC on FOX 2 in January 2012 drew an official attendance of 16,963 for a $1,270,960 gate. Only 1,091 (6.4 percent) of the tickets issued for that event were distributed as comps. UFC on FOX 6 in January 2013 drew an announced attendance of 16,091 for a live gate of $1.27 million, strikingly similar to UFC on FOX 2 the year prior.

In addition the bonuses were announced for last night event with the bonus winner receiving $50,000 each.

Fight of the Night:  Sergio Pettis-Alex Caceres

KO of the Night:  Donald Cerrone

Submission of the Night: Alex Caceres

Bruce Leeroy scored a double bonus for his last round sub of Pettis.

Payout Perspective:

The attendance figures for Saturday was somewhat expected considering the lack of star power for this event.  While Benson Henderson is a top lightweight in the division, Dana White, by his own admission considers Bendo a “grinder” which infers not an exciting fighter.  The rest of the television card was good from the hardcore UFC fight fan perspective but not something a casual viewer would tune in and stay on Fox to watch.

Pacquiao-Bradley II set for April

January 26, 2014

ESPN reports that Manny Pacquiao will face Timothy Bradley in a rematch of their first bout in June 2012.  Notably, Pacquiao will receive a pay cut and Bradley a modest pay raise for the second fight scheduled for April 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Top Rank’s Bob Arum stated that Pacquiao will be guaranteed $20 million which is $6 million less than their first fight.  Bradley will receive $6 million which is $1 million more than their first fight.  Both fighters will receive a cut of the PPV although it was not reported how much either will receive.  Their first fight received 890K PPV buys per HBO.

Bradley defeated Pacquiao in a controversial decision which saw Arum lobby for an investigation by the Nevada Attorney General.  The investigation found no wrongdoing but it began a crossroads for both fighters.  Pacquiao, not seeking an immediate rematch, fought Juan Manuel Marquez and was KO’d by his old foe.  In November, he defeated Brandon Rios although the buy rate was a mediocre 475K PPV buys.  Since the Pacquiao fight, Bradley defeated Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez.

Notably, Bradley entered into a one year sponsorship deal with Nike right before their first fight.  He has been sponsored by the swoosh ever since.

Payout Perspective:

Despite receiving less for this rematch, Pacquiao does get $2 million more from his last fight in November.  The fight should do better than their first encounter based on the story line of what transpired in their first fight.  Realistically, Bradley winning their first fight has aided Top Rank as it helped them promote Bradley while Pacquiao was out.  And frankly, he’s a better fighter now than he was in June 2012.  For Pacquiao, it’s a chance to avenge a loss he doesn’t believe should be a loss.

Contingency plans announced for UFC 169

January 25, 2014

MMA Junkie reports that UFC 169 could be moved to Sunday night instead of Saturday due to the possibility of winter weather impacting the region for Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday.

The announcement comes as only a precautionary measure in the instance that the weather for Super Bowl Sunday would be so bad the game would have to be moved a day ahead of time.  UFC 169 takes place at Newark’s Prudential Center and features two title fights including Jose Aldo facing Ricardo Lamas and Renae Barao taking on Urijah Faber.

Payout Perspective:

Moving the Super Bowl to Saturday would be the worst possible scenario for everyone.  Not only would the move impact NFL fans but the UFC would have to move accordingly.  Traditionally, Sunday night is not a good night for PPVs.  It’s the biggest night on television and although much “must see” programming will not occur until after the Super Bowl, many people may forget that the UFC event moved to Sunday.  Plus, the logistical issues surrounding moving the event would take a toll on the actual in attendance and those purchasing (or intending to purchase) the PPV.  The other issue is the lack of drawing power for this event.  Although we have two title fights, the fighters lack drawing power.

For those wondering, the last UFC PPV not held on Saturday was UFC 141 featuring Brock Lesnar as he faced Alistair Overeem.  It was held on Friday, December 30th to accommodate those going out on Saturday, December 31st.  That event did 550K PPV buys and was the lowest of Lesnar fights in the UFC.

The Wrestling Post – 01.25.14

January 25, 2014

Welcome to another edition of The Wrestling Post.  In this edition we talk about WWE stock and an actual WWE Hall of Fame.

WWE stock hits 52 week high

On a day in which the Dow Jones U.S. Media Index fell nearly 2 %, the WWE stock hit a 52 week high and was up slightly at the close of trading on Friday.  WWE stock was as high as $21.05 and fell off slightly to $20.84.  Even at a company high, it is still listed as “Buy” by several research firms. Its current market cap is at 1.57B.

Payout Take:  Remember when you could have bought WWE stock for $12?  The positive press from the WWE’s upcoming network has helped raise the company profile.  But the stock gains may be attributed to the upcoming rights fee deal that will likely happen by the end of February.

NBCU sweetens deal with WWE Hall of Fame

Speaking of the WWE rights fee deal, NBCUniversal, seeking to retain the WWE is offering the company a Hall of Fame at its Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, Florida.  According to the New York Post, the Hall of Fame is part of a “final pitch” to Vince McMahon as its exclusive negotiating period ends February 1.

Payout Take:  The WWE rights fee deal will be something to watch next month.  While a Hall of Fame is nice, it will not substitute for the monetary value the WWE seeks for its signature franchises (i.e., Raw and Smackdown).

Askren will make $50K/$50K in One FC

January 24, 2014

Ben Askren recently opened up to SI.com about his choice to sign with One FC.  He also revealed his contract with the organization based out of Singapore and his fight pay.

Askren signed a six fight deal with One FC where he will make $50K to show and $50K for a win. As with most fight deals, his pay would escalate should he continue to win.  According to the article, Askren will not move to Asia citing the fact that his family and his two wrestling schools are here.  He indicated that he will train at Evolve MMA in Singapore immediately before any of his One FC fights.

Askren spurned WSOF for Victor Cui’s organization citing more money and the opportunity for him and his family to travel worldwide.

Payout Perspective:

Money is likely the driving factor for Askren to jump to One FC.  Certainly the “see the world” opportunity is enticing for Askren’s family but couldn’t they go on family vacations while staying near home?  According to One FC, its events are well-received in the regions it promotes so we will see how receptive the Asian fans are with Askren.  The organization also boasts a major television deal and blue chip sponsors in Asia which Askren may attempt to solicit for endorsement deals.  One would think that Askren will be promoted heavily and the center of any card he fights on for One FC.

For One FC, it’s an opportunity for the company to make inroads into the American market via streaming.

Dana White’s “The Fighters” Discovery Debut – 347,000 viewers

January 24, 2014

MMAPayout has learned through Nielsen sources that Dana White’s “The Fighters” debut last night on the Discovery Channel drew an average of 347,000 viewers.

The 347,000 viewer average was not good enough to place it in the top 100 cable shows for the day. In fact, there were 9 telecasts on Discovery alone that had a larger audience yesterday.


Payout Perspective:

Simply put, “The Fighters”, whos executive producer is UFC President Dana White, is off to a very rocky start. In terms of competition, History Channel’s Pawn Stars had the highest cable TV viewership last night with 5.17M. In terms of sport & entertainment competition, TNA on Spike TV last night drew 1.56M viewers while NBA on TNT drew 2.65M viewers.

Why the UFC is currently investing time in a Boxing reality TV show is not clear, but there has been quite a bit of talk recently of the UFC perhaps promoting boxing PPVs. There has been constant talk of Roy Jones Jr wanting to box either Anderson Silva or Nick Diaz since last year and even Dana White saying that promoting a boxing PPV is not out of the question.  Jumping into the Boxing reality TV venture may be one of trying to take yet another slice of the PPV pie by trying to recreate the magic TUF created for Zuffa’s MMA venture. With recent retirement talk from GSP, Anderson Silva, and many of the UFC’s biggest PPV stars,  diversifying their PPV portfolio may not seem like such a big stretch as we head to a rough 2014.

Johnson tops WSOF 8 Salaries

January 23, 2014

The MMA Report reports the salaries for the World Series of Fighting 8 as disclosed by the Florida Boxing Commission.  Anthony Johnson topped the overall payroll for this past Saturday’s event.

Johnson made a reported $75,000 ($40,000 show/$35,000 win) for his KO victory over Mike Kyle ($10,000).  The second highest paid fighters for the night was Justin Gaethje who made $30,000 ($15,000 show/$15,000 win) as he defeated Rich Patishnock ($6,000) and Jessica Aguliar ($15K/$15K) as she defeated Alida Gray ($5,000).

The rest of the card pay is as follows:

Cody Bollinger: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)

Tyson Nam: $6,000

Luis Palomino: $14,000 (includes $7,000 win bonus)

Jorge Patino: $8,000

Tyler Stinson: $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus)

Valdir Araujo: $10,000

Derrick Mehman: $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus)

Scott Barrett: $5,000

Alexis Vila: $7,000 (includes $4,000 win bonus)

Sidemar Honorio: $2,000

Freddy Assuncao: $6,000 (includes $3,000 win bonus)

Brenson Hansen: $6,000

Anderson Melo: $2,000 (includes $1,000 win bonus)

Jose Caceres: $2,000

Payout Perspective:

Decent pay for Johnson as the ex-UFC welterweight is getting paid like one of the top fighters in the organization.  The mid-card fighters made adequate pay with the lower tier fighters make minimal.

WSOF 8 – 212,000 viewers

January 22, 2014

MMAPayout has learned through Nielsen sources that World Series of Fighting’s event on Saturday night rebounded with 212,000 viewers.  WSOF 8 took place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida and was headlined by Gaethje vs. Patishnock  and Anthony Johnson vs. Mike Kyle.

WSOF 1 – 198,000 viewers

WSOF 2 – 210,000 viewers

WSOF 3 – 201,000 viewers

WSOF 4 – 264,000 viewers

WSOF 5 – 227,000 viewers

WSOF 6 – 161,000 viewers

WSOF 7 – 94,000 viewers

WSOF 8 – 212,000 viewers

The 212,000 viewer average is a substantial gain from the history low of 94,000 average viewers back in December and stops the skid of three consecutive cards with decreasing viewership.


Payout Perspective:

It was a good night for WSOF to shine as there were no MMA events to compete with and only the Lucian Bute vs. Jean Pascal boxing bout on HBO in terms of combat sports, but even that aired later on in the night.  The most watched sporting event on Saturday was College Basketball on ESPN with 2.1M viewers. It was a pretty low key night in terms of competition. The big NFL Playoff games between the Seahawks vs 49ers (FOX) and Broncos vs Pats (CBS), which did incredible viewership numbers, took place on Sunday.

As the WSOF heads into 2014, it will have an opportunity to be on NBC twice.  Hopefully, it can sufficiently build interest in its product before both events on the network.  Also, let’s hope for WSOF’s sake that the dates do not coincide with other major sporting events.

Bellator Prelims to NBC Sports Network could have happened

January 22, 2014

The MMA Report reveals that its sources have discovered that NBC Sports Network reached out to Bellator MMA about the possibility of airing its preliminary fights on the network.  However, a deal could not be reached which means the prelim cards will remain online at Spike.com.

Via The MMA Report:

The NBCSN ended up offering a multi-year deal to Bellator MMA that would pay the California based mixed martial arts organization a rights fee in the millions for the ability to broadcast the Bellator MMA preliminary cards.

However, according to the report, the two sides could not come to an agreement which would have had Bellator air its prelim fights for the upcoming 10th season on NBC Sports Network.

The MMA Report also indicates that the WSOF has stated that its deal with NBCSN is no longer a time buy but NBCSN pays a rights fee to the WSOF.  But, this was refuted by sources of The MMA Report stating that NBCSN does not pay a rights licensing fee.  The WSOF has yet to comment on this but intends to do so “in the next two weeks.”

Payout Perspective:

The news presents an interesting potential shakeup between the two organizations.  WSOF has issued a challenge to Bellator to an interpromotional card which the latter has not responded to at this time.  There’s no word on what Spike TV thought about this potential move by Bellator.  Recently, NBCSN upped its number of households the network is available to as it  can be seen in 85 million homes starting in February.  Spike TV is in approximately 98.7 million homes.  The move into more homes could be attractive for Bellator as it may want to expand its brand.  It would seem that airing prelims would not be an enormous move, but it can be seen as moving in on WSOF’s territory.  Plus, it could have led to confusion of brands.  What does this mean for WSOF and programming on NBCSN?

UFC Fight Night 38 in March heads to Sunday

January 21, 2014

Mike Chiapetta of FoxSports.com reports that UFC Fight Night 38 will be held on Sunday, March 23 instead of Saturday night.  According to Chiappetta, the move to Sundays was not due to a scheduling conflict but a choice by the UFC and Fox.

UFC/Fox “wanted to try a Sunday, the most-watched TV night of the week,” according to the tweet from Chiappetta.  Although there is a motorcross event on FS1 on Saturday, March 22nd, the conflict had nothing to do with the UFC’s choice of nights.

UFC Fight Night 38 features Shogun Rua vs. Dan Henderson in the main event from Brazil.

Payout Perspective:

Looking ahead, UFC Fight Night on Sunday will be competing with March Madness as the NCAA men’s basketball tournament will be having its third round of games (winners go to the Sweet Sixteen).  Not only that, Sunday is the most-watched night of the week averaging 124.2 million viewers watching television during prime time according to the New York Times.  It’s the night that HBO, Showtime and the networks have its big shows that are destination television for many.  Will Sunday night TV viewers have enough room in their DVRs to schedule another show?  Is Sunday night a good night for the UFC?

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