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.

Payout Perspective:

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.

31 Responses to “Report: UFC 174 lowest buy rate since 2005”

  1. D on July 10th, 2014 4:22 PM

    155lbers can be a ppv draw, but below that it is going to take a while. Penn for a long time was a draw and Pettis will be when he gets more wins and exposure.

  2. The Greatest on July 10th, 2014 5:28 PM

    Pfff.That sucks major ass. 125k?
    Terrible

  3. MMA and UFC live news | Report: UFC 174 PPV buys 'worst in modern era' - on July 10th, 2014 5:53 PM

    […] That’s because UFC 174 only did 95,000 to 115,000 PPV buys, according to MMAFighting.com, which makes it the lowest level of PPV interest for a UFC event in the “modern era,” according to MMAPayout.com. […]

  4. Diego on July 10th, 2014 6:07 PM

    I don’t believe that this is what was expected and that Dana is happy with it. If they thought it was going to do so poorly they would not have done it as a PPV. They can’t possibly be setting the bar so low.

  5. Diego on July 10th, 2014 6:07 PM

    And the featherweight division isn’t that new.

  6. Logical on July 10th, 2014 7:00 PM

    “He said that the Johnson vs. Bagautinov fight did exactly what they projected and they were not unhappy with the number”

    Bulls**t, if they had projected and are happy with those numbers then i guess they are happy with losing money. There are many costs that need to be covered with PPV cards, they need around 150k buys just to break even. There is a reason why not everyone can just go ahead and jump into PPV.

    Just because the UFC is throwing out a belt in there doesn’t mean that it will immediately do business, those days are long gone. The moment they started handing out belts & interim belts like they were nothing was when they lost all credibility. Being a UFC champion meant something back when they were running 5 weight classes with PPV cards that had strong co-main events and sometimes even a third fight that had everyone excited. They’ve f***ed up their PPV structure & are either too stupid or too proud to admit it.

  7. D on July 10th, 2014 7:46 PM

    The Gayest is back!!

  8. D on July 10th, 2014 7:54 PM

    Logical, you are talking out of your ass.

    You have no idea what their break even point was for that card.

    They may have lost money on that fight, I can’t say for sure, but you don’t lose money by having fights specifically on ppv, unless you have a tv contract for the fight that would pay more. So, it would only be on lost opportunity, it isn’t as if the pay per view itself costs more production money than tv. They have a revenue split with the cable companies.

    By the way, I find it funny that you are saying the belt used to mean something back when they had 5 weight classes seeing how the ufc’s hw division was nothing compared to Pride’s and for years the lw and mw belts didn’t exist.

  9. Saldathief on July 10th, 2014 8:06 PM

    Yes Diego, Dana is a lying sack of dog shit, unfortunately only a small amount of people realize this. And this number is high imo, 95k to 125K? What they cant count 30k worth of buys? aprox a difference of 33% yea complete bullshit. Well what number is exactly what you projected Dana? 95k or 33% more?? Rubbish! Its too bad UFC fans can digest great fighters and usually go for more of the fad or wwe type stars. This main event should have been an under card or free tv fight imo. I doubt 150k is there break even mark. I’m sure in the future they will lower costs to get a lower ppv break even point. Zuffa employees must be crapping in their pants.

  10. tops E on July 10th, 2014 9:25 PM

    Hahahahahahaha….finally…some numbers with that small number cant they give the exact number? 95 to 115k….?

  11. D on July 10th, 2014 9:28 PM

    Tops/sampson/pink pig, etc. just came in his vagina.

  12. Report: UFC 174 PPV buys 'worst in modern era' — Pro All Stars on July 10th, 2014 10:07 PM

    […] That’s because UFC 174 only did 95,000 to 115,000 PPV buys, according to MMAFighting.com, which makes it the lowest level of PPV interest for a UFC event in the “modern era,” according to MMAPayout.com. […]

  13. tops E on July 10th, 2014 10:18 PM

    D cant handle the truth hahahahaha credit rating downgrade for sure

  14. The Greatest on July 10th, 2014 10:26 PM

    First UFC 175 estimations are in and they are pegging it around 340k-450k ppv buys.

    UFC might not get a ppv over 500k.

    D what happen to you a couple months ago claiming the UFC was going to kill boxing in ppv numbers?

  15. D on July 10th, 2014 10:31 PM

    The Gayest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Report: UFC 174 PPV buys were worst in modern era | Distinct Athlete on July 10th, 2014 10:49 PM

    […] From MMAPayout.com: […]

  17. UFC 174 PPV buys were worst in modern era on July 10th, 2014 10:51 PM

    […] From MMAPayout.com: […]

  18. tops E on July 10th, 2014 11:03 PM

    Forget about 174 lets all look forward to 176 hahaha

  19. Report: UFC 174 PPV buys 'worst in modern era' | Fighter Code on July 11th, 2014 2:57 AM

    […] That’s because UFC 174 only did 95,000 to 115,000 PPV buys, according to MMAFighting.com, which makes it the lowest level of PPV interest for a UFC event in the “modern era,” according to MMAPayout.com. […]

  20. jesse on July 11th, 2014 3:18 AM

    @The Greatest Where’s your source? I’ve heard they got well over 1 million i just dont have a source

  21. Truth on July 11th, 2014 5:43 AM

    Guys, this whole idea you have that it would be more profitable on TV is ridiculous. They have to establish PPVs and book venues well in advance. Cancelling a PPV can NEVER be more profitable than having a PPV. Millions are lost on a cancelled PPV. Even one PPV buy is $55 less lost. They may very well have lost money on one event but they would’ve lost more if they had to cancel the PPV. Also keep in mind that they did $1.7 million on the gate alone. I do not know what their all in cost for an event.

  22. D on July 11th, 2014 6:16 AM

    Jesse, don’t try to rationalize with that guy. He is severely mentally ill. He makes things up all the time because he is completely crazy.

  23. D on July 11th, 2014 6:53 AM

    Jesse, the numbers aren’t fully in yet, but Meltzer is estimating it did around 500k buys which is a pretty good number if you look at the fact that Machida has never been a big draw.

  24. Diego on July 11th, 2014 8:21 AM

    Salda,

    Most promoters are lying sacks of dogshit. I think most people realize that, but as fans we can say that at least they’re our lying sacks of dogshit.

  25. Pink Pig on July 11th, 2014 12:07 PM

    520,000 buys needed for UFC 175 to match revenue from Froch-Groves 2.

  26. Report: UFC 174 PPV buys 'worst in modern era' | MMA and UFC News on July 11th, 2014 12:42 PM

    […] That’s because UFC 174 only did 95,000 to 115,000 PPV buys, according to MMAFighting.com, which makes it the lowest level of PPV interest for a UFC event in the “modern era,” according to MMAPayout.com. […]

  27. tops E on July 11th, 2014 4:49 PM

    Hahaha

  28. tops E on July 11th, 2014 4:53 PM

    Ronda is ufc’s savior…hahahaha

  29. jimjams on July 13th, 2014 3:34 AM

    White is probably right they expected thus obe to pull low numbers given the card and the time of year. But, if these low numbers continue i wouldn’t be surprised if ppv is on fight pass within a year. Not for free, obviously, but with a $10 discount effectively meaning you get fight pass for free. Would increase ppv revenue by 40% for the buys from fight pass, give the fans something and increase fight pass subscriber base. Sure some providers like Direct TV might be pissed off but not as much as with WWE Network.

    UFC does seem to be shifting away from ppv with Lorenzo estimating international revenue to overtake domestic by 2015. But there’s a lot they can still do with it. And will probably never leave it completely.

  30. jimjams on July 13th, 2014 3:37 AM

    *”White is probably right they expected this ppv”

  31. UFC 174 PPV Buyrate: UGLY, UGLY, UGLY!!! | MMA Manifesto on July 23rd, 2014 6:55 PM

    […] reports the event did in the 115,000-95,000 range!!  You can’t get uglier than that.  It is the lowest sales for a UFC PPV since UFC 53 in […]

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