Varner kicks, chokes Phoenix Gorilla in Suns PSA

November 29, 2014

UFC Lightweight Jamie Varner shot a public service announcement for the Phoenix Suns which aired in the arena during a Phoenix Suns game.  As part of the PSA, Varner promoted the UFC’s upcoming UFC on Fox event in Phoenix.

The PSA is the standard general announcement given before most sporting events.  Varner and the Phoenix Gorilla offer some comic relief in the skit as Varner gives the promo in a cage and kicks and chokes out the Gorilla for not following the rules.

Via UFC’s Facebook page:

Post by UFC.

Payout Perspective:

Good exposure for Varner and his gym which is in the Phoenix area. The PSA is a good tie-in to the upcoming UFC on Fox 13 card coming to Phoenix December 13th. Varner is slated to fight Drew Dober on the prelim card of the event.

SBJ survey looks at UFC growth, Fight Pass

November 29, 2014

The Sports Business Journal revealed its annual reader survey on various topics related to sports business.  This year included questions about the UFC, WWE and boxing.

In a survey related to over the top networks, readers indicated that the UFC is the “Fight sport” that will see the biggest growth over the next five years.  Of the 684 readers that responded, the UFC garnered 72% while boxing drew 17% and the WWE had 11%.

It also asked readers which over-the-top service was their favorite.  Of the 818 responses, NFL Now drew the most votes with only 11%, followed by 120 Sports with 9%, WWE Network with 4% and then UFC Fight Pass with just 1%.  Notably, 75% of the respondents stated it did not watch any of them.

On an unrelated, yet interesting note on digital league subscriptions, readers found (22% of the 818 respondents) their favorite followed by NFL Sunday Ticket (18%) with NHL GameCenter Live coming in third (14%).  This is interesting considering the NFL usually takes tops with its coverage.

Payout Perspective:

SBJ indicates it has a readership of over 54,000 with many business executives in sports reading the trade publication.  The UFC is periodically featured in the publication and the UFC and WWE both advertise in it.  Obviously, the survey is not based on anything other than the opinions of the readers.  Still, it’s an interesting viewpoint on the business from those that do not closely follow the UFC.  With the “growth” aspect, it’s clear that the UFC is moving into more global markets and are forging overseas television deals to advance its product.  The WWE is already global and it depends on what organization you look at when looking at boxing.  Certainly, Top Rank is trying to tap into the Chinese market.  As for the over the top networks, it appears that we are still in the “early adopter” stage for the platform.  The WWE has gone all in with its network but the UFC seems to be doing much better with Fight Pass despite the perception from the survey.

UFC offers Fight Pass deal as part of Cyber Monday

November 28, 2014

UFC Fight Pass is offering a Cyber Monday deal which began Friday and ends on Monday, December 1st.  It’s offering UFC Fight Pass for $6.99 per month and a free one-year subscription of UFC: The Official Magazine.

UFC had previous offers for its digital network for $7.99 plus the 1 year magazine subscription as recent as October 30th – the same day that the WWE Network nixed its 6 month commitment and offered November for free.  It normally is offered at $9.99 per month or $8.99 for 6 months with a 6 month commitment.


Payout Perspective:

The Fight Pass deal is a great opportunity for those that have been holding out.  With signing up, I’m told you are charged immediately for the year.  It will renew automatically after the year is up, and most likely a higher rate.  So, if you intend to cancel after a year, you should probably mark it on your calendar.  Frankly, I have had problems with Fight Pass as I did one of those 7 day free trials and still had my credit card charged even though I cancelled on day 5.  The deal is one of many for the holidays.   Certainly, this should boost the subscriber numbers going into 2015 as well as revenue for the platform.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, & Holiday Shopping Guide (2014)

November 28, 2014

In the spirit of the holidays, MMAPayout would like to share some great Black Friday and Holiday deals for our readers who have held off on their shopping to save a couple of bucks. Please feel free to share any other deals you find in the comments section. Enjoy!

EA Sports UFC:


Sony PS Store – $13.99 (with PS+), $19.99 (without PS+) for PS4 – (Digital Copy)

Microsoft Store – $13.20 (with Xbox Live), $39.99 (without Xbox Live) for Xbox One – (Digital Copy)

Amazon – $29.99 for PS4, $33.56 for Xbox One – (Physical Copy)

What makes this a great deal is that EA has not stopped supporting the game since the initial launch back in June. With slow sales and the fact that most video game companies don’t typically continue to update their game after the first few months, it has been a welcomed surprise how much work EA has continued to put into the game.

Not only have they continued to release patch after patch to fix the initial broken game-play, which negatively impacted its critic scores, but they’ve also continued to add more UFC fighters and content.  With that said, EA just recently announced that they will be releasing UFC Legends DLC in December.


WWE 2K15:

Sony PS Store – $39.99 on PS3, $59.99 on PS4 – (Digital Copy)

Microsoft Store – $29.99 on Xbox 360, $59.99 on Xbox One – (Digital Copy)

Amazon – $47.42 for PS4, $59.96 for Xbox One – (Physical Copy)


MMA/Boxing Apparel and Gear:

Coupon Code: BLKFRI15 and BLKFRI20
Discount: 15% off (over $50) and 20% off (over $100)
Duration: Now

Coupon Code: FNF25 on November 24th, none needed on November 26th.
Discount: 30% off Fight Pass and 1 year subscription to UFC Mag w/ purchase of 1 year subscription
Duration: Now through December 1st

Coupon Code: BF25
Discount: 25% off, free shipping orders over $75
Duration: Now

Coupon Code: n/a
Discount: 20% off, free shipping
Duration: Now through December 1st

Coupon Code: BFRI25
Discount: 25% off
Duration: Now

Coupon Code: FRIDAY
Discount: 80% off merchandise, 20% off orders, free shipping on orders over 15$
Duration: Now until Nov 29th

Coupon Code: n/a
Discount: 15%-50% off
Duration: Now through December 1st

Coupon Code: black
Discount: 20% off orders over $30. Free shipping orders over $50
Duration: Now through November 29th

Coupon Code: BPBLACK
Discount: 30% off
Duration: Now through December 1st

Coupon Code: n/a
Discount: Various sales
Duration: Now through December 2nd

Coupon Code: n/a
Discount: 40% off
Duration: Now

Coupon Code: n/a
Discount: Various sales
Duration: Now

Coupon Code: n/a
Discount: 15-65% off
Duration: Now

Coupon Code: n/a
Discount: Various sales
Duration: Now

Coupon Code: 30BFOFF14
Discount: 30% off, free shipping on order over $25
Duration: November 26th through December 1st

Discount: 20% off
Duration: Now until Nov 30th

Payout Perspect: Pacquiao-Algieri Perspective

November 26, 2014

Welcome to a special edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at Manny Pacquiao’s latest fight this past Saturday against Chris Algieri at the Venetian Macao off of mainland China.

Pacquiao posts 6 knockdowns in rout of Algieri

Maybe 2 of the knockdowns were due to slipping in Pacquiao’s corner.  Yet, the other four were legitimate and reflects the fact that Chris Algieri was not in the same class of Manny Pacquiao.  Although Pacquiao’s star may not be as bright in the U.S., the Macao fans were fully behind him. Pacquiao could not end Algieri short of the final bell but showed that he still had the speed and power to score some impressive knockdowns.

So what’s next for Pacquiao?  He is contemplating a move back down to 140 pounds where Roy Jones-trained Jessie Vargas, who was on the undercard, may be an interesting match-up.  Of course, there is that long-awaited fight with Floyd Mayweather looming.  Then again, everyone has heard these rumors for years.

PAC Algieri

Vargas, Lomachenko and Shiming score victories

Jessie Vargas, Vasyl Lomachenko and Zou Shiming scored victories on the undercard of the PPV.  Vargas, now trained by Roy Jones, Jr. defeated Antonio DeMarco, a Freddie Roach fighter, in the opener.  Lomachenko, in his first title defense, defeated Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo and Zou Shiming defeated a Thai Manny Pacquiao doppelganger, Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym.


ESPN reported attendance a sellout at 13,201 at Macao’s Cotai Arena off the coast of mainland China.   Last year for Pacquiao-Rios was a sellout as well.


Conspicuous by its absence, were the HBO 24/7 three part episodes.  Instead, we were given just one 24/7 but it was probably for the best.  While we could have been introduced to Algieri more, I’m sure HBO execs were unsure about how much to invest in the boxer still living with his parents.  Algieri had a good backstory and the first 5 minutes of 24/7 did a good job in drawing parallels between Pacquiao and Algieri. Also, I’m sure it’s becoming harder to find interesting stories for Pacquiao.  This time around they followed him around making the rounds as a politician and captured him playing for a basketball team he now owns.

Although Pacquiao and Algieri made the normal rounds to promote the fight, it felt like this fight did not have the usual Pac Man buzz.


Sponsors in the ring included Tecate, the upcoming Fox series Empire and Philippine paint company Boysen.

Probably the best promotion for this fight was Manny Pacquiao’s Foot Locker commercial which played on the reaction of Manny Pacquiao when he mistakenly believed that Floyd Mayweather had accepted a fight with him.  In that commercial, Pacquiao sported a Nike, “Black Mamba Training” t-shirt.


Pacquiao had his usual sponsors including Nike. Ricoa, Café Puro and mobile app company Viber.

Algieri wore a Nike-sponsored Stony Brook (his alma mater) jersey to the weigh-ins and was sponsored by the swoosh for this fight.  Similar to Tim Bradley, the company made a logo for him.

Cerritos and South Coast Mitshubishi patches were all over boxers and corner men throughout the night.  It is the Dynamic Fastener of boxing.

Odds and ends

Dionesia Pacquiao, Manny Pacquiao’s mother was once again a part of the show. Notably, she was going around the ring post-fight with her rosary.

Having an annual event in Macao appears to be part of the plan for HBO/Top Rank as it seeks growth in the Chinese market.

Busy night for Freddie Roach with multiple fighters including Zou Shiming and Pacquaio on the card.

Possibly the fight of the night was the PPV opener with Jessie Vargas defeating Antonio DeMarco.  Vargas could be someone on the radar for Pacquiao.

Notably, comedian Dave Chapelle, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were all in attendance.  Chappelle had made the trip last year for Pacquiao’s fight.


There were over 500,000 google searches for Manny Pacqiuao Saturday.  Is that good?  Yes, but I am not confident that the amount of searches for Pacquiao would equate to PPV buys.  Pacquiao’s Macao fight last year against Brandon Rios did only 450K-550K PPV buys depending on who you asked.  It felt like there was less promotion done domestically and we may see this hurt the buy rate.  I would expect the same PPV range as the Rios fight last year.

TUF 20 Episode 9 up to 637,000 viewers

November 25, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that the adjusted viewership ratings for last Wednesday’s TUF 20 episode 9 drew the viewership to 637,000.

The adjusted viewership is a 67% increase from the Live + SD rating of 381,000.

TUF 20 Episode 9 DVR

The Live + 3 rating average for this season is793,000.  The average increase from the DVR bump is 283,000 viewers.

Bellator 131 replay: 617,000 viewers

November 25, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that Friday night’s encore presentation of Bellator 131 drew an average viewership of 617,000 viewers peaking with 821,000 viewers.

Bellator 131 featured Tito Ortiz narrowly defeating Stephan Bonnar in the main event.  The event was the largest for the promotion as it drew the highest attendance in franchise history with 8,243. Bellator 131 drew 1.4 million viewers including Live + 3 viewership (1.2M viewers in overnight viewership)

Payout Perspective:

The 617,000 viewers is a very good replay rating considering it was the third on Spike TV.  Still, it shows that the promotion of the event and Tito Ortiz can draw fans to watch an event.

UFC Fight Night 57: 903,000 viewers

November 25, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 57’s main card drew an average of 903,000 viewers.  In addition, the prelims had a considerable jump to 777,000 viewers.

The main card featured a Frankie Edgar-Cub Swanson feature with Edgar getting the submission in the 5th round.  The event peaked with 1,021,000 viewers. It was the most watched show on FS1 on Saturday.  In the adult 18-49 demo, there was an increase of 16% from UFC Fight Night 56 with 582,000 (vs. 503,000 for FN 56) average viewers in this segment.

UFC Fight Night 57

Preceding the main card, the Prelims drew 777,000 viewers which is way above the FS1 Fight Night Prelim average since the launch (468,000).  In the adult 18-49 demo, it drew an average of 445,000 viewers.

Saturday night’s fights were well received as shown through the FOX Sports Live postfight coverage which drew an average of 446,000 viewers for the first 30 minutes after the fights.  This reflects a 137% jump from that show’s normal average.  Notably, there was an overrun of 15 minutes from the fights but still people kept the network on (perhaps hoping to see Paige Van Zant).

Payout Perspective:

The UFC Fight Night main card average for 2014 is at 799,000.  Although Frankie Edgar is not a PPV draw, he did well on Saturday night as it appears that the main event did well and it transitioned over to the postfight programming.  The ratings for the prelims were a big surprise as it appears a lot of people tuned in.  The event did compete with the Pacquiao fight for those that decided to purchase the PPV.

The Wrestling Post – 11.24.14

November 24, 2014

Welcome to another edition of The Wrestling Post.  In this post, TNA finds a new TV deal and New Japan comes to America.

TNA finds its Destination

Last week, TNA Wrestling announced a multi-year TV deal with Destination America. TNA ends it run with Spike TV at the end of the year.

Destination America, which launched in May 2012, is owned by Discovery Communications and is in almost 60 million households.  The question is will most people know they have the channel.  TNA Wrestling will move to Destination America in January 2015.

Via TNA press release:

“Our partnership in this uniquely entertaining franchise with TNA IMPACT WRESTLING provides a significant addition to Destination America’s programming strategy,” said Henry Schleiff, Group President of Destination America, Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel, Discovery Fit & Health and Discovery Family Channel. “The enduring, cross-generational enthusiasm of pro wrestling is felt by millions of fans around the country, from coast-to-coast and throughout the heartland.  We are delighted to bring this beloved American pastime to the one and only network dedicated to celebrating the unique spirit of the U.S., Destination America.”

Payout Take:   TNA goes from being in 98.7 million homes (Spike TV) to 60 million.  The good news is that it found a television home.  We shall see how it will do on its new home and how it will market itself so that viewers will want to find it.

New Japan to AXS TV

New for 2015.  New Japan Wrestling on American television.  AXS TV has acquired 13 episodes from New Japan Pro Wrestling and will air on Friday nights at 9pm ET/6pm PT according to a press release.

More from the press release:

“With this acquisition, AXS TV FIGHTS now offers one of the most diverse combat sports and sports entertainment programming line-ups on television,” said AXS TV FIGHTS CEO Andrew Simon. “There is a strong relationship and influence between professional wrestling and MMA, and with the addition of Josh Barnett and Mauro Ranallo as our commentators, we’re confident this new venture will be a crossover hit with wrestling and MMA fans alike.”AXS TV’s NJPW episodes were produced by and purchased from TV ASAHI CORPORATION.

NJPW will serve as the lead-in to the weekly Friday night live MMA, Muay Thai and/or kickboxing broadcasts.  Josh Barnett and Mauro Ranallo will provide commentary for the series.  It’s an interesting acquisition and will draw the eyes of many wrestling fans that have heard about NJPW but have never seen entire matches.

UFC Fight Night 57 attendance, gate and bonuses

November 23, 2014

MMA Junkie reports the UFC Fight Night 57 attendance, gate and bonuses.  Frankie Edgar, Oleksiy Oliynyk, Paige VanZant and Kailin Curran all earned $50,000 bonuses for their work on Saturday.

VanZant and Curran earned Fight of the Night while Edgar and Oliynyk earned Performance of the Night bonuses.  Edgar won for his late 5th round rear naked choke/neck crank of Cub Swanson and Oliynyk won for his sudden KO of Jared Rosholt.

The event drew 10,131 for a live gate of $670,022 according to the UFC after the event.  The event took place at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. The capacity for the venue ranges from 16,540 for basketball to 17,900 for concerts.

Payout Perspective:

It was a competitive night of fights with Edgar subbing Cub Swanson in the main event.  It was interesting that the VanZant-Curran fight was not pegged for television as it aired on Fight Pass. The attendance was better than its last visit to Austin when it drew 7,724 for a gate of $595,900 in September 2010.  Notably, Austin native Yves Edwards was on that 2010 card.  He was on the card Saturday night too in perhaps his last fight.

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