TUF 26 Episode 1 draws 308,000 viewers on FS1

August 31, 2017

The Ultimate Fighter Season 26 drew an overnight rating of 308,000 on FS1 Wednesday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

TUF Talk which aired immediately after the first airing of TUF 26 drew 93,000 viewers on FS1.  There was a replay of TUF 26 episode 1 later that night but it did not register in the top 150 cable telecasts.

TUF 26 coaches are Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez.  They are coaching the new women’s 125 pound division.  The first fight of the season featured TUF/UFC vet Roxanne Modafferi defeating Shana Dobson.

Payout Perspective:

The telecast did slightly less than TUF 24’s debut (370,000) and better than TUF 25’s debut (288,000).  The past two season debuts represent the lowest ratings for the franchise.  The slight uptick from last season may be attributed to the fact this season was just a one-hour debut.  In the past, it had been two years.  The coaches should bring some spark, but we’ll see if there is any interest.

Cotto-Kamegai draws 730,000 on HBO

August 31, 2017

The Saturday night HBO live telecast of Miguel Cotto versus Yoshihiro Kamegai drew 730,000 viewers per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

According to a report from the LA Times, the event peaked at 805,000 viewers which was very good considering all of the hype centered around The Money Fight.  Cotto dominated a spirited fight with Kamegai and earned a unanimous decision.  Notably, the fight ended prior to the start of the Mayweather-McGregor fight.  The Money Fight was delayed due to technical issues with providers but the Cotto fight probably would have ended prior to the anticipated original start time.

The other fight on the HBO telecast was Rey Vargas fighting Ronny Rios.  Vargas defeated Rios in a super bantamweight fight.  The peak audience for the fight was 687,000 viewers and drew an average viewership of 524,000.  The fight competed with the undercard of the PPV telecast.

In addition, the first episode of the 24/7 between Canelo and GGG drew 351,000 viewers and 0.12 in the A18-49 demo.  A portion of the telecast went up against The Money Fight.

Payout Perspective:

It was a strong night of boxing and the HBO telecast did not fall off due to the PPV telecast.  Perhaps boxing fans wanted to find a fight prior to the PPV and I would imagine a lot of fans were flipping back and forth between the HBO telecast and waiting on the Mayweather-McGregor fight.

White states The Money Fight drew 6.5 million buys

August 31, 2017

6.5 million buys.  This is the amount that Dana White state’s this past Saturday’s Mayweather-McGregor bout.

White stated this while talking to Urijah Faber and Snoop Dogg on Tuesday.  The amount is thought to be a worldwide total and not just limited to North America.  No official announcement had been made by Showtime or Zuffa.

The Los Angeles Times indicated that it should surpass the record 4.6 million buys by Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in 2015 although it was too early to tell.

Payout Perspective:

All signs point to this fight breaking the record.  The Prelims on Fox, which did not have any boxer of note, peaked at 3.1 million viewers and averaged 2.438M viewers.  There were over 10 million searches for “MayweatherVsMcgregor Fight” and “Mayweather” on Saturday night which would suggest that this fight was widely sought after.  6.5 million seems like a worldwide number which would directly correlate with a lofty number of those coming from Europe and Ireland.  The official estimates are said to come out later today.

Mayweather-McGregor Prelims peak at 3.1M and other ratings

August 30, 2017

Nielsen has provided some additional ratings from this past weekend’s Mayweather-McGregor fight.  Notably, the prelims drew 2,568,000 viewers across Fox, Fox Deportes and Fox Sports Go.  The show peaked at 3,110,000 viewers.

The Prelims on Fox drew 2,438,000 from 7-9pm ET.  In the A18-49 category, it drew 1,156,000 viewers and was up over 150% versus the average to date for Fox boxing telecasts.

The first prelim bout on the show drew 2,360,000 viewers.  The show peaked at 3,110,000 from the 8:45-9pm ET quarter hour.  This was during the welterweight fight between Yordenis Ugas and Thomas Dulorme.  Ugas defeated Dulorme.

Other ratings from the telecasts associated with The Money Fight include:

  • Mayweather-McGregor Prefight Show 1,463,000
  • Mayweather-McGregor Postfight Show 368,000
  • Mayweather-McGregor Weigh-In 287,000
  • PBC on FS1 drew 269,000 viewers on Friday night.

Also, a replay of All Access Mayweather/McGregor on FS1 drew 215,000 viewres.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings reflect the immense popularity of The Money Fight.  Ratings were up across the board for the Prelims as well as the pre/post and weigh-in shows.  Despite the technical issues, the marketing and promotion of the fight had people buzzing to watch this fight.

Bellator 182 peaks at 825,000 viewers

August 30, 2017

Bellator 182 on Spike TV Friday night drew 481,000 in the overnight ratings and increased to 565,000 in the DVR +3 adjusted viewership.

The peak viewership for the Friday night live event was 825,000 viewers during the main event.  The live telecast featured Andrey Koreshkov defeating Chidi Njokuani via TKO.

Payout Perspective:

With the hype from the Mayweather-McGregor fight going on during this live event, some may have overlooked this card.  The 481,000 was the lowest mark since Bellator 176 in April.

UFC to issue refunds for Mayweather-McGregor

August 30, 2017

The UFC has issued an apology to UFC.tv subscribers and will be issuing refunds.  The statement from the company comes after assessing the issues with NeuLion.

Based on the statement, the UFC still holds NeuLion liable for the issues and not anything related to the UFC’s technology.

Payout Perspective:

The refunds should help quell the potential for lawsuits nationwide resulting from the technical difficulties.  There is a question as to how much/if any, the refunds may cut into the number of PPV buys for the event which may eventually impact the bottom line for Mayweather and McGregor.  This was a good move by the UFC.  Despite losing money, it had to issue refunds to fans that paid for the fight but could not see it.

UFC and Showtime face issuing refunds after technical difficulties for Mayweather-McGregor

August 29, 2017

After The Money Fight technical difficulty situation, the UFC and vendor NeuLion must determine how to address the situation.

A lawsuit has been filed related to the technical difficulties which angered many that paid $99.95 to watch the much-hyped Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight.

ESPN reports that Showtime has issued a “limited number” of refunds to those that complained, but only for its direct-to-consumer offerings which include its streaming and app product.  Notably, the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Oregon relates to its lead plaintiff purchasing the PPV on the Showtime App.  He claimed the event was “grainy” buffered and stalled.

The fight was delayed 20 minutes to accommodate for the technical difficulties but those paying $99.95 were shut out of the telecast.  According to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the PPV issues “appeared to come from a surge of late purchase and connectivity issues.”

The UFC issued a statement via Darren Rovell:

After this statement, it has now indicated that it is reviewing PPV Fight Pass refunds on a “case-by-case” basis.

Payout Perspective:

This is as much a public relations issues as it will eventually be a legal issue.  One might understand the UFC would not want to issue blanket refunds but if the technical difficulties occurred from UFC Fight Pass subscribers that made the additional purchase, you’d have to think that at least a credit to the account is necessary.  For Showtime, it is issuing refunds but is also “passing the buck” in referring those that made the PPV purchase through a cable or satellite company to speak with them.  You have to think that UFC is pointing to NeuLion to indemnify them from any potential issues and/or seek reimbursement for any refunds that they may have to issue.  The bottom line is the concern of how much this will affect the bottom line for the UFC and Showtime.

Report states almost 3 million saw Mayweather-McGregor fight for free

August 29, 2017

According to a report from a digital platform security company, almost 3 million people watched the Floyd Mayweather-Connor McGregor fight illegally.

Irdeto, a digital watchdog with global headquarters in the Netherlands but with U.S. offices noted that there were 239 illegal streams of the fight watched by approximately 2,930,598 people.  165 of those were made available through social media channels such as Facebook, YouTube, Periscope and Twitch.  67 were available through illegal streaming sites.  Kodi had six available as an add-on through the illegal streaming platform.

The report claims that due to clever marketing, consumers may have been fooled into choosing an illegal service over a legitimate service.  This is due to advertisements on e-commerce websites including Amazon.com, eBay and Alibaba.  However, a survey reflects that 52% of the consumers around the world knowingly watch pirated video content.

On Saturday, finding an illegal stream was easy.

Payout Perspective:

 While Showtime made proactive efforts to curb piracy, it could only do so much.  Notably, social media channels had the most available illegal streams which makes it hard for the IP holder to go after individuals that show the content for free.  The huge demand also made it a challenge to stop pirates.  But, with nearly 3 million watching the fight for free Showtime can feasibly say they have lost out on significant revenue.

Top Rank announces ESPN deal including OTT service

August 28, 2017

On Saturday, Top Rank Boxing announced a deal with ESPN that will bring the promotion to the network as well as obtaining the fight library which shall be a part of a streaming service that will launch in 2018.

Taking advantage of the assembled media in Las Vegas for the Mayweather-McGregor fight, the company announced a multi-year deal that will bring boxing to the cable network.

The Hollywood Report reports the deal will create a “direct-to-consumer boxing vertical with international reach.”  It will also get a minimum of 16 fights a year to run on ESPN or ABC primetime “with a minimum of two additional direct-to-consumer live boxing cards exclusive to ESPN’s upcoming multisport digital service that’s set to launch in early 2017.”  There will also be other boxing content including studio shows, documentaries and other boxing programming.  Perhaps one of the jewels of the deal is that ESPN is getting the rights, and archival fights will be available on the ESPN OTT service.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Payout Perspective:

Thus far, Top Rank on ESPN has done well in the ratings and with more talented fighters appearing on the network, ratings should continue to blossom.  It was a matter of time for boxing to take advantage of an OTT service and this deal looks like subscribers will be able to access Top Rank’s vast fight library on ESPN’s upcoming OTT service.  The new deal may mean a shift in the business model of Top Rank as one might imagine that it will pivot from PPV and focus on its deal with ESPN.  The deal will allow for a number of fights it could take to premium cable although ESPN has certain rights to those as well.

First lawsuit due to Mayweather-McGregor streaming issues has been filed

August 28, 2017

A lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court of Oregon as a result of the streaming issues with the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight on Saturday night.

The lawsuit seeks class action status with the lead plaintiff being Zack Bartel who paid $99 to watch the fight via the Showtime App.  The Complaint includes multiple screenshots evidencing payment for the fight and the subsequent issues experienced by many due to what appears to be the high demand for the fight.  The screenshots include “grainy video, error screens, buffer events, and stalls instead” of the advertised HD at 1080p resolution.

The Complaint cites a violation of Oregon law of Unlawful Trade Practices citing that they are entitled to equitable relief and are “entitled to recover actual damages or $200 in statutory damages, whichever is greater, interest and fees and costs…”  They also cite Showtime for Unjust Enrichment in that Bartel and others paid $99 for live HD streaming services “that were never provided or received.”

The Hollywood Reporter has a copy of the Complaint.

Payout Perspective:

This is likely the first of many lawsuits to come due to the issues with the streaming services from Saturday night.  There has yet to be an organized resolution to the matter (i.e., will people be refunded for not being able to see the fight or seeing portions of it).  The lawsuit was filed due to the fact that there is the potential for attorney fees and costs as a prevailing party.  Showtime will need to figure out a legal strategy here as a lot of people will want to partake in this lawsuit.

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