Report: UFC 174 lowest buy rate since 2005
July 10, 2014
MMA Fighting reports that last month’s UFC 174 from Vancouver received a lowly PPV buy rate between 95,000 to 115,000 buys. The buy rate is the lowest
Yahoo! Sports reported that the show featuring Demetrious Johnson and Ali Baugitinov received 125,000 PPV buys. Regardless, the PPV buy rate is the lowest in the “modern era” of the UFC. You would have to go back to June 2005 and UFC 53 to find the last UFC PPV with such a low buy rate. UFC 53 which featured Andre Arlovski in the main event drew just 90,000 PPV buys.
Via MMA Fighting:
On Saturday night after UFC 175, Dana White talked about how UFC business is changing to being a worldwide promotion, and that people are going to not be watching every show and he’s accepting of that. He said that the Johnson vs. Bagautinov fight did exactly what they projected and they were not unhappy with the number, saying that the featherweight division is new, praising Johnson as champion and saying he would have no qualms about headlining another pay-per-view show with him.
It marks the third straight June that a UFC PPV has drawn the lowest buy rate of the year.
If not this was bad news for the company, Johnson’s challenger, Bagautinov was found to have taken EPO by the BC Athletic Commission today.
The overarching issue here is that the UFC appears to have resigned itself that there will be PPVs like this. While it’s not ideal for the company, with its strategy for growth, there will be low PPV buy events.
As the MMA Fighting article points out, the UFC has given every chance for Johnson to become a star. He’s been featured on 3 different cards on Fox as well as its shoulder programming to promote the card. Not only did Johnson win those fights, he was dominant in each. Yet, if we are to go by strict PPV returns, Johnson’s in-Octagon success is not translating to a PPV attraction. This goes back to the fact that not one fighter below 170 pounds is a PPV draw (maybe we Rousey is but the point is most are not). It’s not clear what can be done for fighters like Johnson as he’s one of the top fighters in the company but he lacks the following.