Bellator 120 to air on Spike TV

June 25, 2014

Bellator MMA officially announced that it will replay its inaugural PPV from May on Friday, July 18th according to a press release.

Via Bellator press release:

Spike TV will telecast an encore presentation of one of MMA’s most memorable events of 2014, “BELLATOR MMA: RAMPAGE vs KING MO” on Friday, July 18 at 9:00pm ET/PT.

For the first time on free television, fans that missed Bellator’s first-ever pay-per-view event can witness the highly-anticipated grudge match between Rampage Jackson and King Mo plus epic upset victories for Will Brooks and Tito Ortiz.

Fans can also decide for themselves whether the judges had it right in the controversial decision victories that went to Rampage and Brooks. Also featured will be the Russian heavyweight clash between Alexander Volkov and Blagoi Ivanov and an exciting and entertaining performance from rising star Michael Page.

Payout Perspective:

Commercials for the replay aired during the Glory prelim on Spike TV Saturday night.  The replay gives those that passed on the PPV a chance to see it and it sells the product in time for the following week’s event on July 25th.

NY Senator vows to continue support of MMA bill

June 25, 2014

As most expected, including the UFC, the New York State Assembly failed to vote on a bill to legalize professional Mixed Martial Arts in the state.  Despite another year without any movement, the bill’s sponsor intends to continue on next year.

The lead sponsor to the MMA bill set to legalize professional MMA in the state, Senator Joseph Griffo told MMA Payout the following:

I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that my bill to legalize MMA did not come to the Assembly floor for a vote before session ended.  We’ve tried to address opponents’ concerns in crafting our legislation. This sport is much more organized and more regulated than when it first became popular. Everyone besides New York has allowed professional matches to be held in their state. The latest economic analysis, done by HR&A advisors, reports that legally sanctioned MMA would generate $67 million in annual spending and create 525 jobs in New York. I thank Assemblyman Joe Morelle for his effort to get a vote for the bill. It’s my hope that Assembly leadership reconsiders their position before the year is over. Regardless, I will carry this bill every year until it passes or I leave office.

Senator Griffo also sponsored the bill that would have allowed regulation of amateur MMA in the state of New York.  That bill was not voted on either by the state Assembly prior to the end of this year’s session.

MMA Payout has reached out to Assemblyman Morelle for additional comment but his office has not responded at the time of this writing.

Payout Perspective:

Another year, another missed opportunity for the legalization of professional MMA in the state.  Perhaps we may see some movement with this bill next year as the lawsuit filed by Zuffa in the state appears to come down to the filing of Summary Judgment motions.  The Court’s decision on these motions may coincide with next year’s legislative session which could facilitate a vote in the state Assembly.

This past Sunday we participated in a discussion on legal issues in MMA including the continued effort to legalize pro MMA in the state.  You can find the Sports Law Chat tweetup here.

Showtime scores Wheaties opportunity

June 24, 2014

Despite being sidelined with an injury, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis will be a part of Team Wheaties.  The announcement came through the cereal company.

Via Wheaties twitter:

On his Instagram account, it appeared as though Pettis was shooting a commercial for Wheaties. 

Pettis has a page on the company’s web site as a part of Team Wheaties.

Payout Perspective:

It appears that Pettis is a part of a broader marketing campaign by the company.  No word if Pettis will have his own image on the face of a Wheaties box.  What the sponsorship shows is that Showtime’s reps are doing their job in keeping his presence known.  Even with the injuries and being out of the cage, Pettis still has sponsorship opportunities outside of just logos on his fight gear.  The cynical may say he’s still living off of the “Showtime Kick.”  But, Pettis has the look and the style that would make him appealing to a mainstream sponsor.

Glory 17: 487,000 viewers

June 24, 2014

The prelim bouts for Glory 17 on Spike TV this Saturday scored 487,000 viewers which is off slightly from Glory 16.  The two hour card was lead-in to Glory’s first ever PPV.

Glory Ratings on Spike TV:

Glory 11: 381,000 viewers

Glory 12: 476,000 viewers

Glory 13: 659,000 viewers

Glory 14: 495,000 viewers

Glory 15: 354,000 viewers

Glory 16: 498,000 viewers

Glory 17: 487,000 viewers

Glory Ratings through 17

Payout Perspective:

We cannot conclude that the ratings reflect how the PPV did but the fact it was slightly off from its last outing could be a concern.  Mirko Cro Cop appeared on the prelim portion here which provided name recognition to hopefully garner viewers.  Glory had promoted the PPV very well but we shall see how it actually did on Saturday.

WSOF 10 scores highest rated show: 365K viewers

June 24, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that Saturday’s WSOF 10 on NBC Sports Network received its largest viewing audience ever with 365,000 tuning in to see David Branch defeat Jesse Taylor in the main event.

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

WSOF 9 – 242,000 viewers

WSOF 10 – 365,000 viewers

Payout Perspective:

I found it interesting that NBCSN decided to air boxing as a lead-in to WSOF instead of its prelims which aired on the NBCSN App.  The 365,000 viewer average is a good sign that the organization is growing.  There were two other options on Saturday night for combat sports fans (Glory PPV, Boxing on Showtime) and WSOF had its best night without really top names in the company.  This bodes well for its debut on NBC on July 5th.

Branch, Aguilar top WSOF 10 payouts

June 23, 2014

MMA Junkie reports the payouts from the World Series of Fighting 10 which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada.  David Branch and Jessica Aguilar ended up the top earners on Saturday night.

The $231,000 payroll was disclosed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Via MMA Junkie:

David Branch: $36,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus)
def. Jesse Taylor: $9,000

Rick Glenn: $14,000 (includes $7,000 win bonus)
def. Georgi Karakhanyan: $20,000

Jessica Aguilar: $35,000 (includes $17,500 win bonus)
def. Emi Fujino: $6,000

Luiz Firmino: $14,000 (includes $7,000 win bonus)
def. Tyson Griffin: $8,000

Lance Palmer: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
def. Nick LoBosco: $4,000

Derrick Mehmen: $14,000 (includes $7,000 win bonus)
def. Dave Huckaba: $8,000

Timur Valiev: $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus)
def. Adam Acquaviva: $1,000

Krasimir Mladenov: $4,000 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
def. Angel DeAnda: $4,000

Ashlee Evans-Smith: $6,200 (includes $3,000 win bonus)*
def. Marciea Allen: $800 (penalized for not making weight)

Jimmy Spicuzza: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
def. Justin Jaynes: $1,000

A.J. Williams: $2,000 (includes $1,000 win bonus)
def. Tanner Cowan: $1,000

Payout Perspective:

Modest payouts for WSOF fighters but that is standard at this point for the company.  Allen was docked for not making weight and thus made only $800 instead of her scheduled $1,000.  Branch was the highest paid on the card thanks to an $18K/$18K payday.  Aguilar was second highest as she was at $17.5K/$17.5K.  Hard times for Tyson Griffin as he made $25,500 in a loss at UFC 137 (and he gave up 20% of his purse for not making weight) and now made only $8,000 in a losing effort.

Court sets schedule for Summary Judgment Motions in New York

June 22, 2014

With the New York Assembly not voting on a bill to legalize pro MMA in the state, the focus turns to Zuffa’s lawsuit against the state.  A court order issued late last week will allow the parties to file Motions for Summary Judgment by July 3rd.

The remaining cause of action left from Zuffa’s lawsuit filed back in November 2011 is the claim that the present law banning MMA in the state is unconstitutionally vague.  The Court dismissed the previous claims upon New York’s Motion to Dismiss.

The parties have until July 3rd to file a motion which would dismiss the final claim and end the lawsuit if filed by New York.  Zuffa has the option of filing its own motion which may leave an opening for a possible settlement.

Responses to the initial Summary Judgment Motions are due on July 17th with Replies to those Response Motions by July 31st.

H/t:  Jim Genia

Payout Perspective:

Spoiler Alert.  There will be a Motion for Summary Judgment.  The end to this lawsuit could be near.  Or, we could be hunkering down for more briefing.  Discovery has closed for all intents and purposes and if the Court is not persuaded to dismiss the lawsuit on New York’s Summary Judgment motion, we will be getting ready for a trial.

If you were wondering how long after the Court receives the papers will the Judge make a decision.  The lawyerly answer to that is: it depends.  But if you want some guidance.  New York filed its Motion to Dismiss in October 2012, a hearing did not take place until February 2013 and the ruling was not issued until late September 2013.  Thus, we could wait almost a year for a ruling.  Hopefully, it may happen sooner.  But, we may be through another legislative session in New York before a ruling.

MMA Payout will keep you posted.

OneFC to hold events in China

June 21, 2014

MMA Fighting reports that OneFC has signed a deal with AMC Live Group which will have the MMA promotion holding events in mainland China.  The Singapore-based MMA Company had focused its efforts on other parts of Asia prior to last week’s announcement.

Currently, OneFC plans to hold 4 events in China in the second half of 2014 and another 10 in 2015.  It plans to hold the events in various cities in China.  AMC Live Group is a Chinese event planner which had mainly dealt with concerts in the past.

No announcements have been made as to when the 2014 events will take place.

Payout Perspective:

While most of us in North America may not readily comprehend the impact this move has, it is an important step for the growth of the sport of MMA and its business.  The NBA saw the opportunity the Chinese market had and it continues to cater to this market.  The UFC hopes to one day have cards in mainland China.  The huge population and the economic impact it can have on MMA business would be great (read: there a lot of people that have money to spend).  OneFC has been a mainstay in the Asian market for a while; it has solid sponsors and a solid stable of fighters.  Making inroads into mainland China should help its business greatly.  We will see if the casual Chinese fan will be excited for OneFC’s brand of MMA.

Condit tattoo missing from UFC video game

June 20, 2014

Earlier this week, EA Sports released the latest UFC video game which includes many of your favorite UFC fighters including Carlos Condit.  However, gamers may notice that Condit will not have the lion tattoo that is on the side of his body for legal reasons.

As  the Wall Street Journal reports, the tattoo was removed from the video game as a precaution from infringing on any copyright issue that Condit’s tattoo artist may have with its use.  Previously, Condit’s tattoo artist sued defunct video game maker THQ for the unauthorized use of the tattoo in UFC Undisputed.  Long story short, Escobedo asked for millions, the Bankruptcy Court quantified the use to the sum of $22,500 (the amount Condit was paid for the use of his likeness).

Condit tattoo

The move to digitally airbrush Condit of his tattoo underscores a big issue the National Football League Players’ Association (and likely other leagues) is facing when it comes to player tattoos and digital rights.  One of the ways to protect itself from lawsuits is to have players get their tattoo artists sign releases.

Payout Perspective:

Authenticity is something that sports video games have and the inclusion of fighters’ facial features, hair style, mannerisms and even their tattoos are important. College football games have come under fire for similar issues and we may see the elimination of any identifiable feature your favorite college player may have in a game.   But that issue is a little different from the one here.  However, it is clear that If you are Carlos Condit, you might be concerned with the fact that your likeness is not exact, which may impact your overall future brand. That argument is a little far-fetched but the issue of re-imaging personas due to concerns about being sued is a slippery slope we may see in future video games.

TUF 19 Episode 10: 597,000 viewers

June 20, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from Nielsen sources that Wednesday’s episode of TUF was the second highest rated episode this season with a Live + SD rating of 597,000 viewers.

In the 10th episode of the season, Eddie Gordon defeated Catha Pendred by decision.  Gordon moves on to the TUF Finale on July 6th.

Wednesday’s episode was second to the 5/21 episode of TUF (Episode 6) which was the controversial decision win by Roger Zapata.  The 10th episode was 25% above the season average of 476,000 viewers.

TUF 19 Episode 10 Graph

Payout Perspective:

We shall see if this slight momentum in ratings will mean a strong ending for the season.  It’s clear the live plus same day viewing is down but it appears that the replays have helped.

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