Sports Business Journal lists UFC’s top PPV draws

October 6, 2014

Bill King of The Sports Business Journal reports on the UFC’s need for its next PPV star.  It has compiled a list of the top PPV draws in its history and the top of the list may (or may not) surprise you.

Although we cannot produce the entire list and/or article, it can be seen in this week’s Sports Business Journal’s issue which is through subscription only.

The list compiled by the SBJ factors in fighters’ PPV draws based on them fighting as one of the top two fights on a card dating back to January 2006.  Per the SBJ process, the list includes only fighters who were co-featured in at least three bouts and looks at their PPV averages as the headliner.

The top of the list has Brock Lesnar, GSP and Rampage Jackson who narrowly edged Chuck Liddell for the third spot.  To show how significant Lesnar was as a PPV draw, his average as a headliner (which can also be found at MMA Payout’s Blue Book), is at 1,021,000.  GSP, who ranked second, averaged slightly over 688,000 PPV buys.  Jackson averaged 613,000 and Chuck Liddell placed 4th and averaged 605,000.

The rest of the top 10 in order goes Tito Ortiz, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, Randy Couture, Anderson Silva and B.J. Penn.

Cain Velasquez, Jon Jones and Ronda Rousey missed out on the top 10 spot.

One interesting fact from the article:  UFC PPV business went from 45% of the UFC’s revenue in 2009 to 30 % in 2013 but the overall business grew by about 50% driven by international TV rights.

Payout Perspective:

The article is a very good analysis of what the UFC is facing with more shows and less draws for its PPVs.  If you are to look at the top 10, only Lyoto Machida may be considered as active on the UFC roster (hard to think Evans will be a headline on a PPV in the future).  The UFC has to hope (and think) that Cain, Jones and Rousey will surpass some of those names in the top 10s as they continue to star on PPV.  One ominous point shown from the SBJ article is that Demetrious Johnson’s 3 main events on PPV had him pull in an average of only 175,000.

15 Responses to “Sports Business Journal lists UFC’s top PPV draws”

  1. LeonThePro on October 6th, 2014 9:45 AM

    Makes a lot of sense, the UFC has to focus on international growth, as we already see a decline in North-America. One has to wonder though if North-America’s rise and decline will create a ripple effect for the rest of the world. MMA was hot in 2008-2011 but what a difference now. Will the UFC be able to retain some sort of small fanbase, internationally, 15 years from now – that’s the big question.

  2. Pink Pig on October 6th, 2014 11:21 AM

    The Globo deal in Brazil and the FOX deal definitely pushes up the revenue percentage for non PPV. Debt time is coming soon…

  3. Logical on October 6th, 2014 2:34 PM

    The UFC’s lack of vision is appalling, they are in it for the short term and it wouldn’t surprised me if the owners/partners are already thinking about selling. You only have to look at the declining interest in the U.S. to get a glimpse of how things will eventually end up everywhere else.

    The UFC property is basically a ticking time bomb–It won’t be long before you are dealing with all the elephants in the room; Blatant use of PED’s, Brain damage, Fighter lawsuits, Unionized talks, huge debt. You would have to be crazy to buy this property or want to stick around for the long run, might as well make a lot of money now, water down and shove your product down people’s throats, make it an “attractive” tv property, sell and let somebody else worry about it.

  4. d on October 6th, 2014 4:25 PM

    “One interesting fact from the article: UFC PPV business went from 45% of the UFC’s revenue in 2009 to 30 % in 2013 but the overall business grew by about 50% driven by international TV rights.”

    This statement destroys Sal’s life. HAHAHA!!!

  5. d on October 6th, 2014 4:28 PM

    Leon, way off base. The popularity has not declined in North America for anything other than this year due to all of the injuries and losing their two biggest stars. The only difference is obviously the expansion and things being spread out. If you factor in the FOX deal, merchandise, etc. they are doing more revenue now in North America than they were when their ppv was at an all time high a few years ago. The difference is they have far more revenue streams as opposed to back then where it was very few and primarily based off of ppv.

  6. d on October 6th, 2014 4:32 PM

    Another illogical post by logical. Yeah, they are in it for the short term, that is why they are investing in the international market by expanding. Have any of you trolls taken a business 101 class in your life. The shit you guys come up with is so stupid it is unreal.

    Also, blatant use of PEDs has been going on and there have been no major consequences(I notice you ignore the fact that all of the major sports have this issue and it hasn’t been much of a problem for them), but it is about to end with random blood testing.

  7. Saldathief on October 6th, 2014 5:02 PM

    bahajajajaja international TV rights? are you fucking kidding me!!!! Too who and to what? People who have no money and dont buy advertised products bahahaha.
    Its a joke! Even the fox deal is a fucking joke. The UFc miscalculated their entire business. They tried to expand thinking they would grow their USA ppv market, they had no idea it would collapse. Now they have a flattened usa market and a very small international market that they spent half a billion on!!!! Only a fucktard like D would think they are better off. The so called 100 mil fox deal is the biggest load of dog shit!! Only a fool who has no idea how media and TV promote and sells a product would believe that they actually just handed the UFC a check, what Ignorance bahahahah
    The UFC has a nice little niche of fans NOTHING MORE AND NOTHING LESS! Unfortunately is far far far from being worth the half a billion plus, yes plus! that has been spent on promoting the sport! As far a selling? bahahahah selling what? a bunch of contracts? a bunch of old merchandise that no one bought? The rights to the name “Octagon? bahahahaha its a paper tiger of nothing! Once a buyer sees the books they will laugh and then run! Belllator is growing and just waiting, The ufc needs to seriously restructure, hey if you want to be in all the third world homes and a few in the UK and other euro counties and maybe Aus, you diddnt need to spend half a billion to do it. D is such an IDIOT bahahahaha excuse after excuse after excuse D sounds like a little kid who still pees his pants bahahahaha

  8. d on October 6th, 2014 5:11 PM

    HAHAHAHA!!! Reality sets in and Sal lies on top of lying because he is a gay geriatric boxing welfare troll.

    Yeah, the FOX deal for 100m plus per year is a joke, that or maybe the autistic 50 year old who trolls mma websites and fabricates everything he can think is the joke. They never tried to expand their ppv market since the years prior to TUF where they were only doing a few per year.

    Funny how delusional Sal is- he says something so idiotic it is unreal, I prove him statistically and factually to be incorrect, he comes back and just rants incoherently like he does above, and the cycle continues. One must wonder when this retard will realize he is beyond a pathetic fag for boxing and accept the reality that mma is here to stay as the number 1 combat sport and continues to grow.

  9. Saldathief on October 6th, 2014 5:12 PM

    Also if you look at the PPV numbers in the story they are average at best! compared to boxing bahahaha also in reality NO ONE KNOWS HOW MUCH OF ANYTHING THE UFC HAS FINANCIALLY NO ONE KNOWS EXCEPT WHAT ZUFFA SAYS. imagine trading your huge ppv empire in the usa to a bunch of tv rights in some shit countries bahahahahha yea great business plan bahahaha

  10. Saldathief on October 6th, 2014 5:25 PM

    Yea not trying to expand PPV thats why they still do 13 a year bahahaha you are an idiot!! Fox deal is under performing so bad. The 100 mil number was a made up number based on a huge viewership, like 5 times what they are getting!! The deal is losing money and funny how the ufc has lost ppv numbers while being on network tv. the whole idea was to boost ppv you tard! both tv ratings and ppv are in the toilet], advertisers dont pay for toilet shit number you idiot! UFC figured the fox deal would boost ppv over the top, then they would expand and grow all over the world. Fact! they have shit tv numbers, advertisers are un impressed, ppv is way way off, and the failed to make any serious inroads abroad other then a few, very few small markets. They spread their foundation to far apart and the whole building is falling. But I hear mexico is the new NY bahahahahahaha

  11. d on October 6th, 2014 6:16 PM

    HAHAHAHA!! Yeah the ppv numbers are average at best, that is why they blew boxing out of the water and dominated the ppv market for the past 7 years. It took boxing a year where the UFC had nearly every major fight cancelled due to injury, the loss of the two biggest stars in mma, and boxing loading up on ppvs just to finally eclipse them one year, HAHAHAHA!!! Not to mention of course, that the last ppv to do over a million buys was a ufc, not a boxing ppv.


    No, you stupid fucking idiot. They have been audited by public accounting agencies like Moody’s who have graded their credit as good. That means they have audited their books and came to those conclusions. The reason they did this is because that openness allows for higher loans. You are a colossal moron and I can’t wait to watch you squirm back with another one of your homosexually laced spins on why this isn’t true. You are such a pathetic idiot.

    So apparently Sal is so retarded he also doesn’t know what the word expansion is and he obviously can’t add. The UFC are going to do no more than 12 ppvs this year, which was the same exact number they did back in 2008.

    FOX deal is going great, they are going to eventually extend the contract. The UFC and NASCAR are the only things holding FS1 afloat. The 100 million was the actual deal and only faggot trolls who make shit up out of thin air believe otherwise. The deal is making money and some queen who likes sucking Arum’s nuts hates it. The idea behind the network deal was not to boost ppv numbers, my god you are retarded. The idea was to grow on tv, which is why White continually makes statements about being as big as the NFL or bigger all the time. Last time I checked the NFL wasn’t on there for ppv buys idiot.

    It is amazing how much of a shameless homo you are. Go take another insulin shot you geriatric diabetic.

  12. anti trolls on October 6th, 2014 7:06 PM

    Sal is a pile of crap that pink pigs eats

  13. Paul Fontaine on October 7th, 2014 6:13 AM

    I recently did a study on the top PPV and TV draws in MMA (which is essentially UFC but I didn’t want to ignore other companies and the list is very similar to what they came up with). The difference seems to be that they just take the number that the show did and assign all of the buys to the people in the main event, or in some cases the co-main event. My metrics break it down further so that portions of the buyrate or TV number are assigned to each fighter on the card.

    I’m in the process of tweaking everything as I recently expanded the analysis to include Japaneese promotions and some other promotions around the world that hadn’t been included before. The entire analysis can be found here

    The top 10 on my list were:
    Jon Jones

    Those are overall numbers so it rewards longevity and that’s why Brock isn’t higher.

  14. The Greatest on October 11th, 2014 6:49 AM

    D claims International tv rights and expanding.
    Yet the arguments I had with him around a year ago, he told me that only North American viewership and money matters.
    Funny how its a different tune.

    Sal and all of you, if you look, D will never address what I say because he knows that I can verbally smash him and have done it in the past.

  15. d on October 19th, 2014 4:46 AM

    THE GAYEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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