Bellator 112 DVR +3: 748,000 viewers

March 19, 2014

MMA Payout has learned through a Nielsen source that the DVR plus 3 ratings for Bellator 112 last Friday raised the overall viewership to 748,000 viewers.  The additional numbers drew the peak viewership up to 1,220,000 viewers.

The peak occurred twice according to the Nielsen source, both (10:57pm and 11:01pm) during the Curran-Straus main event.

Bellator MMA 110 – Overnight: 880K; DVR +3: 1 million

Bellator MMA 111 – Overnight: 653K; DVR +3: 718K

Bellator MMA 112 – Overnight: 699K; DVR +3: 748K

Payout Perspective:

This week’s DVR bump is a little less than last week’s increase but the peak exceeded Bellator 111’s peak of 964K.  The ratings should be pleasing to Bellator as we are seeing the peak going over 1 million and the DVR ratings going over 700K.

Canelo and Garcia produce for Showtime-Golden Boy

March 19, 2014

Showtime and Golden Boy Promotions should be happy with the past two weeks as its promotion has produced good numbers on PPV and on Showtime.

Canelo Alvarez’s first time headlining a boxing PPV has produced “well over 350,000 buys” according to Showtime and Golden Boy Promotions.  Alvarez stopped Alfredo Angulo in the 10th round of their fight March 8th.  The 350,000 buys is a good number if you consider the Timothy Bradley-Juan Manuel Marquez fight last October produced 375,000 PPV buys.

This past Saturday night Showtime showed the replay of the Alvarez-Angulo fight as a lead-in to Danny Garcia versus Mauricio Herrera.  The show peaked at 1.1 million viewers and averaged 972,000 viewers of its Showtime subscribers.  The event was a 26% raise in viewership from Garcia’s last appearance on Showtime when he defeated Zab Judah in April 2013.

(H/t:  Bad Left Hook and ESPN)

Payout Perspective:

According to ESPN, the PPV generated at least $20 million.  This would be roughly based on the number of buys (350K) multiplied by $54.95, the HD price point for the fight.  The PPV buys are a good indicator that Alvarez has bounced back from his loss to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in September and it did nothing to diminish his image as the most popular active boxer in Mexico.  At only 23 years old, he has a bright future ahead of him.

As for the Garcia fight, a part of the rating might be attributed to those wanting to see the Alvarez fight.  But, Garcia, who was also on the Mayweather undercard, is beginning to garner a following which may equate to a bump in viewership since his last time on the network.  The Showtime fight also competed with UFC 171 Saturday night.  So, despite the average viewership being below 1 million, it still did well for a card with Garcia as the feature.

UFC 171 Prelims: 305,000 on FS2

March 18, 2014

MMA Payout has learned that the UFC 171 Prelims on Fox Sports 2 received an average viewership of 305,000.  The prelims were moved to FS2 to compensate for the Pac 12 and Big East tournament Finals which were held during the same time as the event.

The prelims on Saturdays received a 0.56 rating in the adult 18-49 rating and 0.90 in the male 18-49 demo.

UFC PPV Prelims on FS1 or FS2

UFC 164                             809,000

UFC 165                             722,000

UFC 166                             628,000

UFC 167                             998,000

UFC 168                          1,554,000

UFC 169                             933,000

UFC 170                             936,000

UFC 171                             305,000

Notably, the Big East tournament final featuring Providence and Creighton was the highest rated college basketball game on FS1 averaging 702,000 viewers and the Pac 12 tournament final featuring Arizona and UCLA become the second highest viewed college game on the network with 680,000 viewers.  The Pac 12 tournament preceded the Big East tournament on FS1 although both games were on at the same time as the UFC 171 Prelims.

FoxSports2

Fox Sports 2 is roughly in 37 million homes as opposed to the 85 million homes that have Fox Sports 1.

Payout Perspective:

Unfortunately one of the better prelim cards in recent memory was seen by approximately 1/3 less of the potential audience.  Certainly more people would have seen the prelims on FS1 which featured one of the better fights on the card as Kevin Gastelum defeated Rick Story.  The ratings for the basketball games which were aired instead of the UFC Prelims did not fair substantially better than if the UFC took that spot.

Bellator MMA signs Bamboo Nutra as sponsor

March 18, 2014

Bellator MMA has signed on with global health supplement and lifestyle company Bamboo Nutra as its “Official Nutrition and Supplement Partner” for the promotion.  According to a Bellator press release the partnership will begin on April 4th on Spike TV at Bellator 115.

Via Bellator press release:

Bamboo Nutra will be strategically integrated throughout all live Bellator broadcasts on Spike in addition to activating a host of consumer touch points on-site and in-market during the coming years.

“In addition to the wide-ranging in the cage and on broadcast integrations with our new partners at Bamboo Nutra, we’ll also be working with our new partners to go into local communities to empower and inspire kids to be the best they can be,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney.

Bellator and Bamboo Nutra are launching a community outreach program called the “Champions Challenge” by going into local schools and jointly talking to kids about awakening the champion within.

According to Leighton Dean, VP of Bamboo Nutra, “We want to challenge the kids to step out of their own comfort zone and do something good for others. With that we are challenging the kids to post videos or write letters with what they are doing differently in their communities, including, and most importantly, showing compassion for others.”

Bellator-BambooN

Payout Perspective:

Today’s news follows Bellator’s string of announcements of new official partners with the promotion. The partnership follows the UFC footprint of targeting certain industries where the MMA demo match.  The press release indicates community outreach which should help with getting Bellator fighters out in the public so that people can identify with them.

UFC 171: Payout Perspective

March 17, 2014

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time well be taking a look at UFC 171 at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas.

Hendricks wins vacant title

A scare with not making weight did not matter for Johny Hendricks as he defeated Robbie Lawler in the Fight of the Night.  For Hendricks, it was redemption from a controversial loss to GSP last time out.  Lawler was impressive in defeat but just didn’t have enough to win the title.

Hendricks was the top welterweight of the night as he will now look to a smorgasbord of challengers to the title which may include a couple fighters (Lombard, Woodley) on the card and one (Nick Diaz) that was in attendance.

UFC_171_event_poster

Woodley upsets Condit

Tyron Woodley may have moved to the top of the contender’s list for the welterweight division with his victory over Carlos Condit.  While the knee injury to Condit caused the stoppage, it should not take away from the fact that Woodley was impressive and can argue he is next in line for a title shot at Hendricks.

Attendance and Gate

As we reported on Sunday, the UFC announced its attendance at 19,324 for a live gate of $2.6 million.  The numbers reflect the largest U.S. crowd to see a UFC event.  The numbers bested the UFC’s last event in Dallas which did 17,428 for a $2.4 million gate at UFC 103.

There were no information yet on comps and the Texas Department of Licensing will confirm the numbers later this week.

Bonuses

The bonuses were awarded to Hendricks-Lawler, Ovince St. Preux and Dennis Bermudez.

Fight of the Night – Hendricks-Lawler

Performance of the Night – OSP (Von Flue!) and Bermudez.

Each fighter earned an extra $50K.  In addition, Harley Davidson ran a promotion in which one of the bonus winners could win a Harley Davidson based upon a fan vote on the UFC’s Facebook page.  Hendricks won the fan vote and a new motorcycle.

Sponsors

The usual suspects were in the Octagon including the official UFC sponsors of MetroPCS, Harley Davidson, Toyo Tires, Harley Davidson, Alienware, Corn Nuts as well as Bud Light taking the center of the Octagon.  Fram Auto Filters was the latest addition to Octagon signage.  In addition, Robbie Lawler’s sponsor, the Air Force Reserve also had signage in the Octagon.

The most notable sponsor for Hendricks was Reebok. Hendricks wore a shirt with the hashtag Reebokzquick.  Hendricks co-starred in a commercial featuring the Reebok fitness line in a recent commercial It was the second time that the clothing brand has sponsored him in the Octagon.  With Hendricks as champ, we can expect that Reebok will extend its sponsorship deal.  Hendricks was also sponsored by two official UFC sponsors: Corn Nuts and Alienware.

reebok-johny-hendricks-ufc-171-shirt

Diego Sanchez had a product tie-in where he wore a Training Mask during his workouts on the UFC Countdown show.

Myles Jury was sponsored by a Panini America and Dee Zee truck accessories on the front of his shorts.  According to its web site, Jury will be making an appearance for his Panini sponsor.

mylesjury_headshot

Tyron Woodley signed on with Affliction Clothing prior to UFC 171 (via FighterxFashion).  He also snagged a deal with Monster Headphones.

You don’t f*ck with #TheChosenOne Tyron Woodley (<href=”https://twitter.com/TWooodley”>@TWooodley)! Let’s get that title shot, eh? #UFC171 #MonsterOctagon pic.twitter.com/c1VZnFJSLV

— Monster Products (@MonsterProducts) March 17, 2014

The UFC had a “Vote for the T” Contest where fans had a chance to design a t-shirt for the UFC to market and sell for $30.

Post-UFC171 Headlines

Who’s next for Johny Hendricks?  A lot of debate swirling that Woodley, Hector Lombard or even Nick Diaz should face Hendricks next.  Diaz, who flew to Dallas courtesy of the UFC, was featured on the company’s Instagram account mocking Hendricks when it appeared he had missed weight and needed to retry.  Despite the showings of the other welterweights on the card, the appeal of Diaz is that he can sell a fight without even trying (i.e. we’re not talking Wolf Tickets).  But, the bottom line is that the show revealed that the welterweight is a very competitive division with many challengers to face Hendricks.

Odds and Ends

Unfortunately, the UFC 171 Prelims were on FS2 due to college basketball tournament action as the prelim fights were probably the best in recent memory.

The Von Flue Choke will be the most demonstrated move in BJJ gyms across the nation this week.

Hendricks marketed “BeardHeads” riffing off of his trademark facial hair. There was a sponsor giveaway associated with the gimmick as well.

I am not clear why Diego Sanchez was eating quail egg and steak tartare before a fight.  It seems very suspect.

The top cities that searched the name Johny Hendricks on Google were Oklahoma City and Montreal.

Google trends revealed that Johny Hendricks was not getting as many searches as when he fought Georges St. Pierre but UFC 171 was getting significant traffic.

If GSP does come back against Hendricks, it could be the Cowboy Stadium show that the UFC wants and a 1 million PPV buy event.

Conclusion

While the attendance and gate numbers are impressive for a show not featuring GSP/Anderson Silva or Cain Velasquez (note we excluded Ronda Rousey based on her last outing), it’s hard to conclude a big buy rate.  There was nothing that stood out in the promotion of this event despite it being for the vacant welterweight title.  Still, the Hendricks win puts him in a position to be groomed to be the next big draw for the UFC.  With the lack of a big name at the top, and the minimal buzz for the event, a buy rate of 300,000 would be solid.

Bellator MMA 112: 699,000 viewers

March 17, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that the third event of Bellator MMA’s 10th season scored an average viewership of 699,000 viewers.  Its peak viewership remains impressive this season with a peak of 1,037,000 during the show’s overrun and 1,035,000 during the last quarter hour.

In the main event, where the show peak took place, Daniel Straus lost his featherweight title to Pat Curran via submission in one of the best fights of this season.

Bellator MMA – 110  880,000, overnight; 1.1M Peak

Bellator MMA – 111  653,000, overnight; 964K Peak

Bellator MMA – 112  699,000, overnight; 1.037 Peak

Payout Perspective:

Bellator appears pleased with the current state of ratings as its focusing on its peak viewership surpassing 1 million viewers in 2 of the 3 first shows of its 10th season.  The current overnight average for the three shows is 744,000 viewers and its average peak viewership hovers around 1.03 million.  The consistency has to be something that Bellator was looking for when it moved to Spike.

UFC 171 attendance, gate and bonuses

March 16, 2014

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses from Saturday’s UFC 171 from Dallas, Texas.  The attendance was the largest in U.S. UFC history.

The attendance and gate announced at the post-fight press conference was 19,324 for a live gate of $2.6 million.  The numbers will be verified by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation later this week.  The figures represent an increase from UFC 103 when the promotion was last at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.  It did 17,428 for a gate of $2.4 million with Rich Franklin-Vitor Belfort and Cro Cop-Junior dos Santos as the headliners.

In addition, the Performance Bonuses were handed at and were as follows:

Fight of the Night:  Hendricks-Lawler

Performance Bonuses:  Ovince St. Preux-Dennis Bermudez

Each received $50,000 for their respective performances.

Payout Perspective:

The attendance and gate reflect a reported sellout for this event.  With Hendricks as the hometown favorite, many came to support him in the main event.  Earlier in the week secondary market ticket seller Seat Geek reported that the average ticket on the secondary market was $260 which was up 28% from UFC 170.  Thus, there was quite a demand for this fight which is a positive sign that Hendricks is someone that the UFC can start to market around and get ready for a potential rematch with Georges St. Pierre if and when he returns.

MMA Payout will have more on the event in its Payout Perspective.

Boxing-Bellator PPV compete on same night

March 14, 2014

It was announced today that Juan Manuel Marquez will face Mike Alvardo on HBO on Saturday, May 17th.  This will be the same night as Bellator MMA’s inaugural PPV.

The fight between Marquez and Alvarado will take place at The Forum in Inglewood, California and it will be sure to draw a sell-out.  The fight will be at the catchweight of 143 pounds.  More intriguing was the announcement that the winner would face the winner of the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight on April 12th.

Payout Perspective:

This spring is a big one for Top Rank/HBO as it has Pacquiao-Bradley II, Marquez-Alvarado and Cotto-Martinez.  The fan interest for Marquez-Alvarado will also be peaked by the knowledge that one will face the winner of Pacquiao-Bradley.  Certainly, the name brand appeal would go for Pacquiao-Marquez V although the rematch of Marquez-Bradley would be entertaining as well.

But what does this mean for Bellator’s PPV?  With the Marquez-Alvarado fight on HBO, subscribers may be compelled to tune into the boxing match and skip the MMA PPV.  Of course, we’ll get the hardcore Bellator fans purchasing the PPV but if you are a combat sports fan you may be tempted to skip paying for Bellator and tune into HBO.  We will see in the coming weeks how each markets its show on May 17th.

Hendo has design contest for next walkout shirt

March 13, 2014

Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports writes about Dan Henderson’s latest walkout shirt he will wear on March 23rd.  It’s not because of a new sponsor but of a creative contest he ran to come up with his gear.

Henderson held a contest to let fans design his walkout shirt for his fight against Shogun Rua in Natal, Brazil.  Using his Facebook page in which he would sell the shirt, fans submitted designs to be judged by Henderson.

Henderson liked the idea as he told Iole:

“The sponsorship money that was being offered wasn’t great anyway, but this seemed like a pretty good idea and a way to get the fans involved,” he said. “When I looked at the other deals and the amount of money that was there, I said, ‘You know what, I’d rather have the fans do this and have some fun with it. I don’t need to make a lot of money off of it.’ We’ll sell it, but as I said, the point isn’t money.

Henderson requested that the theme of the shirt be Patriotic USA.  The winner would receive signed replica fight shorts and a walkout shirt signed by Henderson.

The winner of the design contest was Robert Davis, a Marine from Oklahoma.  Henderson also liked fan designs from two other contestants and those are on sale at his online store.

Payout Perspective:

Henderson’s t-shirt contest is an interesting way in getting fan interaction as well as turning the lack of sponsorship dollars into an opportunity.  Also, fans had the chance to design a t-shirt for a fighter.  The one question that was not explained from the piece was whether the fans received a benefit (i.e., part of the sales), aside from “replica” shorts and t-shirt from winning the design contest.  Hendo indicated the shirts are selling well (at $30 a piece). It’s not clear if the profits from the sales are being donated to a charity.  So, while sponsors are not offering enough money to Henderson, he’s gaining some revenue back from the t-shirt sales.

Rousey’s management requests arbitration over undisclosed contract issue

March 13, 2014

MMA Payout has obtained documents which shows that Ronda Rousey and her management team are in a dispute over its representation of the UFC women’s bantamweight champion.  Darin Harvey, President of Fight Tribe Management filed a Petition to Compel Arbitration in LA Superior Court last Friday against Rousey.

The documents filed by Fight Tribe Management, LLC request that the Court Compel Arbitration and seek that the briefing in this matter be sealed.  If the Court grants the Application to seal, the documents will unlikely be available to the public.  In his Declaration in Support of the “Application to Seal Briefing,” Darin Harvey states that the terms of the Representation Agreement with Rousey are confidential and cites two clauses in their agreement which support his request.  He indicates the contract states financial disclosure of their agreement is to remain confidential “without the prior written consent of the other Party” unless it is required by law.  It further cites a clause indicating that any dispute over the agreement should also be confidential in its attempt to resolve it.

Sherdog’s Mike Whitman spoke with Rousey’s legal representation in this matter and indicated that there may be an issue as to whether a private arbitrator can resolve the matter or whether the California State Athletic Commission should be in charge of resolving this dispute.  Rousey’s attorney, Steven Bash indicated that the dispute is governed by the California State Athletic Commission and the California Business and Professions Code.  Bash stated that he has yet to file a response and could not give specifics on the nature of what it would be.

Payout Perspective:

This will be an interesting legal fight that we will follow.  Rousey’s lawyer states that the dispute should be resolved under the rules of the California State Athletic Commission while Fight Tribe Management has filed to compel arbitration in Superior Court.  We might see an initial dispute over that procedural issue.  There are rules for managers and fighters under the CSAC but whether they apply to this situation is not known due to the confidentiality of the dispute at this point.

There are arbitration provisions under Article 3, §227 of the California Code of Regulations which relate to contractual issues.  These relate to boxers but we might assume that MMA fighters would fall under this provision.  However, it does not look as though there are rules which would seal briefing (unless the parties agree pursuant to the terms in the agreement in dispute).  The rules state that the parties would have to furnish the contracts that are in dispute at the arbitration hearing.

MMA Payout will keep you posted.

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