14 for 14: No. 9 UFC PPVs down

December 27, 2014

UFC PPV buy rates are down from 2013 as an increase in the number of events, injuries and lack of star power have contributed to find the company’s prime business in decline.  This year’s average is at a lowly 256,000.

Standard & Poor’s downgraded Zuffa’s credit rating and its financial outlook this past fall citing in part the PPV business decline as a reason.  Dana White acknowledged the decline of PPV business in 2014 at the NeuLion Sports Media Technology Conference in November.  While the PPV model is a big part of the UFC business model, White stressed in November that the UFC was “much more” than PPV.  The promoter that he is, White stated that when “big events happen, the pay-per-view numbers will come back.”

As all of the PPVs for 2014 have occurred, the biggest event this year was UFC 175 in July which drew 540,000 PPV buys.  There were 4 events in 2013 that exceeded 540,000 PPV buys.  The previous high was UFC 168 in December 2013 with 1,025,000 PPV buys.  Outside of UFC 175, no 2014 PPV drew over 400,000 PPV buys.  It also had to cancel UFC 176 in August due to injuries.  Although there is a lot of hope for UFC 182 in January, it’s unlikely that event would eclipse UFC 168’s number or even UFC 175.

UFC PPVs in 2014 (main event in parentheses)

UFC 169 (Barao vs. Faber II) 230,000

UFC 170 (Rousey vs. McMann) 340,000

UFC 171 (Hendricks vs. Lawler) 300,000

UFC 172 (Jones vs. Teixeira) 350,000

UFC 173 (Barao vs. Dillashaw) 215,000

UFC 174 (Johnson vs. Bagautinov) 115,000

UFC 175 (Weidman vs. Machida) 545,000

UFC 177 (Dillashaw vs. Soto) 125,000

UFC 178 (Johnson vs. Cariaso) 205,000

UFC 179 (Also vs. Mendes II) 160,000

UFC 180 (Werdum vs. Hunt) 185,000

UFC 181 (Hendricks vs. Lawler II) 380,000

UFC 2014 PPVs

UFC PPVs averaged 256,000 PPV buys which is off from 2013’s PPV buy rate average of 468,000.  2013 did see two appearances by UFC PPV bell cow Georges St. Pierre.  It also benefited from UFC 168 which featured the dual main event of Rousey-Tate and Silva-Weidman II.  2013 had one more PPV due to the cancelled one this year.

UFC 2013 PPVs

2014 did not do as well as 2012 (448K PPV avg over 13 events) or 2011 (413K PPV avg over 14 events).

Payout Perspective:

 One may argue what’s been the cause for the poor PPV buy rates this past year.  On the one hand, there is the amount of UFC events which allows the fight fan to pick and choose which PPV events to purchase.  On the other, there are the many injuries which cause fighters and fights to be re-shuffled.  Then, there’s the lack of star power (i.e. GSP).  There’s not an easy answer to the PPV issues unless the UFC decides to pull back on the number of PPV events (which does not look likely).   With three big PPV events in 2015, we will see if the PPV buy rates increase from 2014’s dismal average.

14 Responses to “14 for 14: No. 9 UFC PPVs down”

  1. d on December 27th, 2014 4:52 PM

    You guys better go do some better research if you think the Jones-Cormier fight is unlikely to beat UFC 175.

  2. jjjjjj_ffffff on December 27th, 2014 5:26 PM

    Jones-Cormier is not going to do more than 545,000 buys… I’ll put that fight in the 400K range.

  3. jjjjjj_ffffff on December 27th, 2014 5:27 PM

    UFC PPV business died with Anderson Silva’s leg.

  4. FightBusiness on December 27th, 2014 7:44 PM

    UFC began dying once the UFC became gentrified. There whole fan base was based on white dudes who wore tatoos and felt like the toughest guys in the world. Now that blacks and latino’s know about the sport they will dominate and there biggest demo will decline.

  5. Logical on December 27th, 2014 8:19 PM

    Great countdown my friend, very informative articles on the biggest stories of 2014.

  6. LeonThePro on December 28th, 2014 7:03 AM

    Smells like desperation from D – how predictable. I agree with Jason – 182 will be equal or less than 175.

    It’s getting harder and harder to find people to watch the UFC with. Need some drastic changes, and fast, before they fade into obscurity.

  7. LeonThePro on December 28th, 2014 7:08 AM
  8. saldathief on December 28th, 2014 10:59 AM

    Amateur mistake to book a show in early Jan, especially 3 days after NYE. Everyone in the entire entertainment business knows its a dead weekend. This show would have done much better in feb. But hey they can comp the shit out of it lol

  9. d on December 29th, 2014 11:09 PM

    jjjjfffffff, you are very wrong and you may be retarded if you think no one can see this is one of your many aliases.

  10. d on December 29th, 2014 11:12 PM

    Fightbusiness, you are an idiot, you don’t know what you are talking about at all. Whites hold titles in 3 out of the 8 weight classes. There are 2 hispanic champs. 2 black champs. 1 ethnic Brazilian champ. So whites hold more titles than any other ethnicity. You are just a total idiot. Also, even if that was the case, that minorities were better fighters, which they are not, it would not mean that it would lose its base. Look at boxing/football/basketball. The majority of the pros are not white and whites watch those sports more than anything.

  11. d on December 29th, 2014 11:14 PM

    Leon the Schmo is scrambling to do some math because this moron knows he is going to have to call himself the schmo by the end of the year. Hahaha.

  12. d on December 29th, 2014 11:15 PM

    Sal, I how is that portfolio of yours doing? Hahahaha. This guy doesn’t know what a dividend tax is.

  13. saldathief on December 31st, 2014 4:13 PM

    Whats the dividend tax on loosing 40% of your business? haha D sounds like a middle school teacher trying to add some academic stupidity to a situation that he can only read about and never experience haha down down down hahahahahah

  14. d on January 1st, 2015 11:29 AM

    Spell check = Sal’s nemesis.

    You just used an analogy that compares apples to leprechauns, once again proving you don’t know anything about what a corporation is. Talk about a lack of experience.

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