PVZ takes down controversial ad post

April 30, 2017

Paige VanZant is a Reebok-sponsored athlete and she is receiving some flack for a controversial post on social media.

VanZant took down a video post on her twitter feed where she was promoting Reebok’s newest collection of clothing.  It appears from the video (which has been since taken down) lifting up her shirt to reveal her abs and what we assume is a new Reebok sports bra.  While that might not be controversial, it’s her writing on a white carpet which drew the ire are eye rolls of MMA fighters and fans.

PVZ has since left a photo of a part of the video on her twitter account.

Payout Perspective:

Maybe more controversial than PVZ’s video is the fact that Nike also has a Black and White Collection.  This might lead to some mean letter-writing by lawyers.  But as for PVZ, one must wonder if this was something she thought of herself or something Reebok influenced her to do.  Certainly, Reebok wants her to use her social media platform to promote Reebok to her thousands of followers but the video seems to lack a sense of what her brand should be.  Obviously, if she wants to be thought of as a sex symbol, it would seem there are other ways to do it.

Is Joshua the next big thing in boxing?

April 29, 2017

Anthony Joshua stopped Wladimir Klitschko to unify several Heavyweight belt before 90,000 at Wembley Stadium in London, England.  Joshua’s ascent to boxing superstar should help a sport in continued search of the next big star.

Saturday’s fight aired in the United States on Showtime (live) and HBO (same-day tape).  It was just the third time that both networks aired the same fight.

The Sports Business Journal recently pegged Joshua as one of the rising stars for the sport.  Certainly, sponsors have recognized Joshua.  The former 2012 gold medalist had 13 sponsors going into his fight with Klitschko.  This included Jaguar, Under Armour and Beats By Dre.

One of the big questions is whether Joshua’s popularity in the UK translates to US popularity.  Thus far, Deontay Wilder’s popularity is gaining but with fights in his home state of Alabama, there must be concern that he could not carry an event in Las Vegas let alone a PPV anywhere.

It is expected that Joshua’s popularity becomes PPV success.  Undoubtedly, 90,000 at Wembley is amazing, but his promotion and his broadcast partners will be looking toward potential PPV success in the U.S.

TUF 25 episode 2 ratings improves from debut episode

April 27, 2017

The second episode of TUF 25 drew 372,000 viewers Wednesday night on FS1 according to ShowBuzz Daily.  The event drew 0.17 in the adult 18-49 rating.

The second episode featured a fight between Eddie Gordon and Tom Gallicchio.  The Dan Henderson-trained fighter, Gialicchio bested the former TUF winner Gordon via rear naked choke.  The episode also featured another confrontation between Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw.  Also, in the verbal sparring was Urijah Faber as they argued over Dillashaw’s departure from Team Alpha Male.

The ratings are almost a 25% increase over this season’s debut episode.  In comparison, it did better than the second episode of TUF 24 (347,000) and close to TUF 23’s second episode (387,000).

Payout Perspective:

Gallicchio’s telling his story on the show is the reason why viewers first found why this show was compelling.  A guy with nothing to lose, seeing the end of his career, but willing to give it all he has for his dream.  The viewership was up this week despite going up against the NBA and NHL Playoffs once again.

Zuffa, White and Lesnar seek to stay discovery in Hunt lawsuit pending Motion to Dismiss

April 27, 2017

Zuffa and Dana White have filed a motion to stay discovery in the Mark Hunt case pending the company’s Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit which will be heard on May 15, 2017 in Nevada.  According to the court filings, Brock Lesnar is likely to join the motion.

Joining the motion essentially places the party in the same place as the entity that filed the motion.  Thus, Zuffa and Lesnar (the law firm of Campbell & Williams represents Zuffa and Howard Jacobs represents Lesnar) would seek to stay the discovery sought by Hunt.

Hunt filed this lawsuit in Nevada federal court in early January claiming that Zuffa and Dana White violated the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering, Fraud, False Pretenses, Breach of Contract, Breach of Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Negligence and Unjust Enrichment.  The premise of the Complaint is that the UFC allowed Lesnar to fight at UFC 200 while providing the WWE wrestler with an exemption from the UFC’s anti-doping policy.  Lesnar tested positive for a banned substance in both an out-of-competition and in-competition drug test.  Lesnar had been tested by USADA on several occasions prior to the positive tests.

The current motion argues that the defendants (Zuffa, White and Lesnar) should not have to expend money to conduct discovery until the Court decides the merits of their Motion to Dismiss.  Essentially, why spend money on starting discovery if the lawsuit will be dismissed.  In a conference between the parties, the defendants asserted a request to stay discovery but the plaintiffs opposed a stipulated stay.  Hence, the motion.

Motion to Stay Discovery by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

Similar to the UFC antitrust lawsuit, the company is seeking to stay discovery pending the Court decision.  This makes sense from the defendant’s standpoint.  See if you can save some litigation expense if you can.  From Hunt’s perspective, you need to be as aggressive as you can in starting the process of obtaining discovery.  Thus, you force the Court’s hand to make a decision here.  Hunt wants to obtain discovery because it might obtain information that might aid its claims.  In the alternative, it might obtain information which might need to amend its lawsuit.  MMA Payout will keep you posted.

TUF 25 Episode 1 up to 500K viewers in DVR ratings

April 26, 2017

The first episode of TUF 25 for this season scored 500,000 viewers in DVR +3 ratings on FS1 per Nielsen.  It shows an increase of 74% from its live + same day rating.

The two-hour debut this past Wednesday was the lowest-ever in the series franchise.  The DVR viewership has been an increasing metric used when tracking TUF as it is being deemed more of an episodic series rather than live sporting event.

Payout Perspective:

The increase from the overnight ratings reflects a larger slice of individuals recording the show for viewership than in past seasons.  Also, we do not have the additional information from a replay on Sunday night which I’m sure FS1 execs hope to capture more viewers.  One thing we will try to track this year is to see whether the amount of DVR viewers have increased over seasons.

Porter-Berto fight draws 468,000 on Showtime

April 26, 2017

Showtime Boxing’s Andre Berto-Shawn Porter fight drew 468,000 network subscribers per ShowBuzz daily.

The fight, which Porter won via TKO in the 9th round sets up another big fight with Keith Thurman.

In addition to Berto-Porter, Showtime had two other fights prior to the main event.  The network is on a roll this year and heads into a weekend where it will show Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko live on its network ahead of a replay on HBO.

Payout Perspective:

Showtime had its biggest ratings since 2015 earlier this year with a February fight featuring Adrien Broner.  Berto-Porter was another good matchup and 468,000 network subscribers is pretty good considering Showtime has not produced huge ratings for its events and it was up against UFC, NHL and NBA playoffs.  The CBS Sports Network shoulder programming of prior Berto, Porter fights may have helped with the marketing.

Bellator 178 peaked with over 1M viewers

April 26, 2017

Bellator 178 this past Friday drew 733,000 viewers in DVR+3 ratings per Nielsen.  The main event between Patricio Friere and Daniel Strauss scored 933,000 viewers on Spike TV.

The peak viewership for the event was 1,033,000 viewers.

The ratings improved over the overnight and same day rating of 674,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Not bad numbers for Bellator considering the jump in viewers for the people tuned in for the main event.  Notably, the event ended early so the ratings for the main event reflect the fact that there was likely an increase in viewership as the telecast went on as opposed to people jumping in in the last quarter hour.

Bellator 178 draws 674,000 viewers

April 25, 2017

Bellator 178 on Spike TV Friday night drew 674,000 viewers per Show Buzz Daily.  The event featured another return match between Patricio Freire and Daniel Strauss.

The event drew 674,000 viewers in overnight and SD viewership.  It drew 0.24 in the A18-49 demo.

It brings the 2017 average to 737,000 viewers.  But, if you take away Bellator 170 (which drew over 1.3M viewers) the average goes down to 667,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

We will have more on the peak viewership and DVR ratings for this on Wednesday.  The event ended early as Freire stopped Strauss early in an entertaining matchup.  The viewership did improve over the past two Bellator events which were both held overseas.

UFC Fight Night 108 draws 745,000 viewers, Prelims on FS2 320,000

April 25, 2017

UFC Fight Night 108 drew 745,000 viewers on FS1 Saturday per ShowBuzz Daily.  The prelims which aired on FS2 drew 320,000.

The prelims, which aired on FS2 from 5pm-7pm PT, drew 178,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.  The prelims were moved to FS2 due to MLB on FS1.  The main card which actually started on FS2 due to the MLB overrun started at 7:32pm PT on FS1.  The event drew 415,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

UFC Fight Night 2017
Main Card A18-49 demo Prelims A18-49 demo
UFC Fight Night 103 1,090,000 612,000 824,000 361,000
UFC Fight Night 104 1,158,000 590,000 834,000 420,000
UFC Fight Night 105 907,000 435,000 760,000 330,000
UFC Fight Night 106 946,000 531,000 860,000 379,000
UFC Fight Night 108 745,000 415,000 320,000 178,000

Note that UFC Fight Night 107 was a Fight Pass only card.

Payout Perspective:

Lower ratings than normal although the event had a later start time.  Also, the move to FS2 to accommodate baseball probably hurt the ratings as well as Showtime Boxing, NHL and NBA competing for sports viewing interests.

Iaquinta still not happy with UFC

April 24, 2017

Al Iaquinta is not mincing words when he it comes to the UFC.  In an interview on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, he talked about the UFC bonus system and how it controls everybody.

Despite being on an 8-1 win streak since TUF 15, Iaquinta has spoken out about fighter pay and event contemplated retirement.  He pulled out of UFC 205 due to a dispute over his pay.  Without another UFC post-fight bonus, he tweeted his displeasure with the UFC.

Iaquinta had been banned from post-fight bonuses because of the UFC’s belief that he purposely skipped a UFC fighter summit in Las Vegas.

Iaquinta stated that the $50,000 bonuses is used as a way to control the fighters.

Payout Perspective:

It’s obvious that bonuses are a way to entice fighters.  You hear some fighters (mostly those lower on the pay scale) request in their post-fight interview for the $50K bonus.  The more exciting the fight, the bigger possibility that a fighter may get the $50K.  So, you can see where Iaquinta is coming from.  However, this “carrot and stick” happens in all forms of business and not just the UFC.  The more interesting issue will be what the UFC decides to do with Iaquinta.  Certainly, the easiest thing to do would be to not renew Iaquinta’s deal once it is over and allow him to leave for Bellator.

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