WSOF 9 salaries: Champs top payrolls

March 31, 2014

MMA Junkie reports the salaries for Saturday’s World Series of Fighting 9 event obtained from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.  The new champs, Rousimar Palhares and Marlon Moraes topped the fighter payroll.

The total disclosed payroll was $251,500.

Champ Rousimar Palhares: $50,000 (includes $25,000 win bonus)
def. Steve Carl: $20,000

Champ Marlon Moraes: $50,000 (includes $25,000 win bonus)
def. Josh Rettinghouse: $4,000

Josh Burkman: $25,000 (no win bonus)
def. Tyler Stinson: $7,000

Yushin Okami: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
def. Svetlozar Savov: $4,000

Johnny Nunez: $4,000 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
def. Ozzy Dugulubgov: $6,000

Mike Corey: $8,000 (includes $4,000 win bonus)
def. Shane Kruchten: $3,000

Bryson Hansen: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
def. Sean Cantor: $500

Chris Gruetzemacher: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
def. John Gunderson: $2,000

Brenson Hansen: $6,000 (includes $3,000 win bonus)
def. Boostayre Nefarios: $1,000

Danny Davis: $2,000 (includes $1,000 win bonus)
def. Phil Dace: $1,000

Gil Guardado: $2,000 (includes $1,000 win bonus)
def. Jimmy Spicuzza: $1,000

Payout Perspective:

Palhares had a base of $25K (with $25K to win) which was tops on the payroll for Saturday. Notably, Yushin Okami made $20K.  His last officially reported salary in the UFC was a win over Alan Belcher at UFC 155 when he made $84K ($42K/$42K).  He did make $50K flat when he challenged Anderson Silva at UFC 134.  It’s a definite salary cut for the former UFC fighters now in the WSOF.

TUF Nations Episode 11: 267,000 viewers

March 31, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from Fox sources that the 11th episode of TUF Nations: Canada vs. Australia scored an average viewership of 267,000 viewers.  The overnight rating from this past Wednesday was the best overall rating on either FS1 or FS2 for that day.

TUF Nations was the most watched show on FS1 last Wednesday.

The 11th episode shows an increase from its 195,000 average viewership of the week prior.  It is the best episode rating since Episode 4 which registered 384,000 viewers.

TUF Nations: Australia vs. Canada

Episode 1:  371,000 viewers

Episode 2:  253,000 viewers

Episode 3:  107,000 viewers

Episode 4:  384,000 viewers

Episode 5: 187,000 viewers

Episode 6: 78,000 viewers

Episode 7: 161,000 viewers

Episode 8:  202,000 viewers

Episode 9:  220,00 viewers

Episode 10: 195,000 viewers

Episode 11:  267,000 viewers

Payout Perspective:

Wednesday’s episode featured the exit of Tyler Manawaroa as he lost a decision to Elias Thodorou.  Thodorou now moves on to the Middleweight Final.  Manawaroa was the fighter that would have been precluded from competing in the UFC due to his racially insensitive Instagram posting.  So, it would have been odd if he would have made it to the Finale.

Recent Court ruling may impact Zuffa anti-piracy litigation

March 30, 2014

A recent federal court ruling could pose a problem for Zuffa in its legal strategy to go after end users that steal its pay per views.  A federal judge in a Florida court has thrown out a lawsuit by adult film company Malibu Media due to lack of jurisdiction.

Malibu Media sues hundreds of people claiming that they have illegally downloaded its product. It employs a strategy of finding the alleged illegal users through tracking of individuals’ IP addresses.  Essentially, it files lawsuits all over the country in venues where it has tracked down where the alleged infringer is living.  But, the basis for the filing of the lawsuit is premised upon its location of the plaintiff via IP address.  Malibu argued that the reliability that the plaintiff is located in the venue where the lawsuit is filed is reliable due to the time of the use and the location of the address.  The IP addresses were obtained from Comcast Cable.  However, the Court, on its own accord, determined that Malibu Media must show good cause why the Court should rely on its geolocation of the defendants (alleged infringers). Notably, Malibu Media had sued the individuals as “John Doe” with only an IP address to identify the individual.

Based on the IP address would Malibu Media then request that it obtain the name of the individual with the account that is linked with the IP address.   The Court ruled that Malibu Media could not provide sufficient evidence for the Court to rely on to show that the actual infringer of the company’s copyright.  Thus, without the alleged infringer providing a response, the Court threw out the lawsuit.

Zuffa has taken down web sites illegally streaming UFC PPVs and has obtained user information such as usernames and IP addresses in order to track down the individuals for possible lawsuits.

Payout Perspective:

Even before evaluating the merits of the lawsuit, the party filing suit must establish that it is in the correct jurisdiction.  The Malibu Media ruling in Florida may be either an isolated or persuasive ruling for other venues to follow suit.  In general, in order for Zuffa to sue in a particular court, the person it must sue must reside in that district.  The viewership of the illegal stream must occur in the place where it happened.  But, the ruling states that despite the location of the IP address, Malibu Media could not establish the actual person that is purportedly watching the illegal stream.

Zuffa indicated that more than 50% of the individuals targeted for allegedly illegal streaming UFC events settle out of court according to MMA Junkie. And while the issue that it loses millions of dollars from illegal streaming is a reality, the legal procedure that it seeks to recoup its losses may be taken into question.  While Zuffa has been able to shut down illegal streaming sites and have gone after end users which has resulted in either out of court settlements or default judgments, the Malibu Media ruling in Florida may be an impediment to suing claimed infringers.  If a Court does not rely on an IP address to establish the jurisdiction of the claim, then it becomes harder to sue.

MMAPayout Blue Book Update: Live Gate & Attendance

March 30, 2014

For those who have requested a much needed MMAPayout Blue Book update in the past, we finally have some good news.  The Blue Book’s “Live Gate & Attendance” is now updated and live.

If you notice any issues or errors, please send an email and I will make sure it gets taken care of. The next step in this update effort is to tackle the ratings and sponsorship sections, which we will do ASAP.

Thanks again,

New study suggests brain injury more prevalent in MMA than boxing

March 29, 2014 reports on a new study released in the American Journal of Sports Medicine which cites UFC records in concluding that MMA brain injury is more susceptible than that in boxing and other martial arts.

The new information is being released in time for the legislative session in Albany, New York where the UFC will once again try to legalize the sport of MMA in the state of New York.  The UFC has unsurprisingly indicated that the new research is “somewhat flawed,” according to chief operating officer, of the UFC, Lawrence Epstein.

The study, conducted by University of Toronto researchers looked at 844 UFC bouts from 2006 to 2012.  The conclusion showed that 13 percent of the fights ended in KOs and another 21 percent ended in TKOs (ref stoppage).  These TKOs occur “usually after a combatant was hit in the head five to 10 times in the last 10 seconds before the fight was stopped” according to the Brett Okamoto article.

Payout Perspective:

The UFC’s response cites the Cleveland Clinic study as its commitment to the safety of athletes.  Boxing and MMA organizations are joining together in that study in contributing to the ongoing medical study of early stage signs of brain injury.  The latest study from these Toronto researchers, based on how it’s described, appears to make a conclusion only on one source of research (records and video evidence).  There appears to be no other source for the study (e.g., interviews with fighters, evaluating medical literature, comparisons with boxing, etc.).  What it does is give opponents of MMA in New York evidence to point to in its arguments for the preventing the sport from legalization in the state.

Rousey-Fight Tribe arbitrate dispute

March 28, 2014

MMA Junkie reports that Ronda Rousey and her estranged management group, Fight Tribe Management, are in an arbitration hearing today (Friday) before the California State Athletic Commission to determine the validity of Fight Tribe’s representation agreement with the UFC bantamweight champion.

Two weeks ago, Fight Tribe Management filed a petition for arbitration in Los Angeles Superior Court to determine the validity of the representation agreement.  Under California Business and Professions Code §18640 CSAC has the “sole direction, management, control of and jurisdiction” of mixed martial arts and can hear disputes such as these.

According to the Junkie article, Foster, along with assistance from the California attorney general, will review the briefing submitted by both parties, hear testimony from witnesses at the arbitration hearing and render a decision.

There appears to be a dispute on the validity of the contract and it’s not clear whether the CSAC ruling will end this dispute.

In its filing with the Court on March 7th, Fight Tribe indicated that it wanted the issues concerning the dispute confidential based on the terms of the contract entered into by Rousey and Fight Tribe.

Payout Perspective:

From its initial filing on March 7th, the disputed contract issue has not been made public although the commission’s decision will be public record.  So, it may be that we will not hear about the contractual issues in dispute until the CSAC renders its opinion sometime next week.  Even with the CSAC decision, the legal wrangling behind this dispute may not be over.  MMA Payout will keep you posted.

FS1 doc on Rousey nominated for Sports Emmy

March 27, 2014

The Fox Sports 1 documentary UFC Presents: Breaking Ground, Ronda Rousey has been nominated for a Sports Emmy for Best Sports Documentary.  It is just 1 of 3 Sports Emmys that the network has been nominated for in its first year in existence.

The one hour documentary which originally aired in September 2013 featured the UFC’s women’s bantamweight champion.  “The program examines the remarkable rise of the first female champion in UFC, detailing her childhood trauma and the complicated relationship with her mother that fueled her athletic endeavors,” is how the documentary is described by a Fox Sports release.

Breaking Ground Ronda Rousey

The Ronda Rousey documentary is up against 3 other documentaries.

–  First: The Official Film of the London Olympic Games NBC

–  LT. The Life and Times (Lawrence Taylor) Showtime

–  The Doctor (Julius Erving)

–  UFC Present Ronda Rousey:  Breaking Ground FS1

Payout Perspective:

ESPN (30) led the way in Sports Emmy nominations.  The awards will be handed out on Tuesday, May 6th. The UFC should try to do more of these types of documentaries despite the fact that they can be pricey.  It’s a revealing look at an athlete and can attract a broader audience due to the human interest part of the story. As one of only three nominations for the network, it shows that the UFC is a valuable part of the network.

Bellator 113 DVR+3: 567,000 viewers

March 27, 2014

MMA Payout has learned that the DVR +3 data for Friday’s Bellator MMA Live 113 raised the average viewership slightly to 567,000 viewers.  Its peak viewership did go up to 970,000 viewers.

We reported the overnight viewer numbers taking a dip to 507,000 viewers which was a considerable drop from the positive signs of growth for this 10th season.  Some of the decline could be attributed to the first week of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Bellator Graph

Payout Perspective:

The slight rise in ratings from DVR viewers was expected due in part to the basketball games.  The positive news is that the peak viewership times (which we assume occurs during the main event) are still relatively around the 1 million viewer range.

McMahon featured in Forbes

March 26, 2014 posted an article which features WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon.  The article boasts the achievements of McMahon while cautioning about the risks of the WWE Network.

The article, written by Lifestyle editor Michael Solomon, is an overall positive piece on the McMahon success story.  The piece highlights the company’s big investment in the network which is underscored by the fact that revenues “have barely budged (remaining at $500 million since 08) over the last few years.”  This may be due to the $75 million it has reportedly spent on setting up the WWE Network.  It also writes about the company’s failed attempt to establish its network as a “premium” channel to be distributed on the network. The piece spins this in the positive for the WWE and mostly everyone has bought into the“over the top” strategy of the network.

As it is currently set up, the network needs 1 million subscribers to break even.  At 2 million subscribers, it projects adding $50 million to its EBITDA.  The first numbers on the network will come out after Wrestlemania.

Due to the network, the WWE has cannibalized its PPV business which will change how the company will do business.  The shift has drawn the ire of DirecTV and Dish Network.  DirecTV had some harsh words for the WWE and Dish Network actually told its subscribers that it would not carry Wrestlemania XXX this April 6th.  However, it has since backtracked on its stance and will now carry the show.

The article will be published in the print edition of Forbes the week leading up to Wrestlemania Sunday giving it a prime PR piece leading up to its biggest event of the year.

Quick strikes…

Television by Numbers reports the second episode of Total Divas (9pm ET/6pm PT) scored a viewer average of 1.28 million viewers on Sunday night.  Thus, it did better than the last hour (936K average) of UFC Fight Night 36 although the last quarter hour featuring Rua-Hendo did 1.25 million.

Last week the WWE and Mattel, Inc. announced new kids property called WWE Slam City.  In addition to merchandise, the WWE has launched a series featuring WWE characters which appears on, YouTube and its Network. The obvious hope is that this property will facilitate continued growth in its consumer products division.

Hendricks gets Times slide show

March 26, 2014

The NY Times did a feature on new welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.  The story is a personal feature on Hendricks, his training and family as he prepared for his fight with Robbie Lawler.

Entitled, “U.F.C’s Big Daddy: A Fighter’s Training Pays Off.” the feature is more slideshow pictorial than actual story but it focuses on his training regimen as well as a look at his home life with his kids.

The piece comes off good for Hendricks as he appears as a simple family man working out at his nearby gym and swimming pool in preparation for the biggest fight of his life.

Johnny Reebok

Payout Perspective:

Coming off of his big win at UFC 171, this is a great mainstream placement for the UFC.  It shows that the UFC (waiting on the AP style ruling on whether it is U.F.C.) is hoping that Hendricks can be the next big star for the UFC.  Without Anderson Silva and GSP, the UFC needs faces for the company and they hope that it gets one with a guy who is as tough a guy in the Octagon as he is nice outside of it.

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