HBO Boxing After Dark draws 719,000 for Matthysse fight

January 31, 2018

HBO’s Boxing After Dark drew an average of 719,000 viewers on Saturday night for the main event featuring Lucas Matthysse and Tewa Kiram according to Nielsen.

The fight peaked with 769,000 viewers.  Mathysse stopped Kiram in the 8th round. The event drew a 0.26 in the A18-49 demo.

The opening bout of the night saw Jorge Linares’ win against Mercito Gesta.  It drew 659,000 viewers and drew a peak audience of 731,000 viewers.  It also drew a 0.23 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are on par with this past December’s HBO offering which drew 719,000 viewers for the main event between Billy Joe Saunders and David Lemieux.  While Matthysse is on the downside of his career, he still drew for this event.  It fared well as it aired after UFC on Fox earlier in the night.

UFC on Fox 27 Prelims draw 566,000 viewers

January 31, 2018

The UFC on Fox Prelims drew 566,000 viewers on FS1 prior to the event on the Fox network.  The feature fight of the prelims saw Bobby Green defeat Erik Koch.

The 566,000 viewers improves from this past December’s UFC on Fox 26 Prelim event.  According to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

UFC on Fox Prelims – 2017

UFC on Fox 26:  456,000 viewers (FS1)

UFC on Fox 25: 1.137M viewers (Fox)

UFC on Fox 24: 1.105M viewers (Fox)

UFC on Fox 23: 619,000 viewers (FS1)

The event drew 0.18 in the A18-49 demo. The event on Fox adjusted to 0.6 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

The 3 hour event did well however, its clear that putting the prelims on Fox greatly improves its ratings.  With the downturn in Fox ratings, we will see if April’s event on Fox has the prelims on the network or pushes it to FS1.

Miocic tops UFC 220 salaries

January 31, 2018

The Massachusetts State Athletic Commission revealed the salaries for UFC 220.  As expected, the main event competitors made the most on the card.

As compiled by MMA Junkie:

Stipe Miocic $600,000 (no win bonus)
def. Franciso Ngannou $500,000

Daniel Cormier $500,000 (no win bonus)
def. Volkan Oezdemir $350,000

Calvin Kattar $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Shane Burgos $22,000

Gian Villante $100,000 (includes $50,000 win bonus)
def. Francimar Barrosso $27,000

Rob Font $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
def. Thomas Almeida $36,000

Kyle Bochniak $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Brandon Davis $10,000

Abdul Razak Alhassan $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
def. Sabah Homasi $12,000

Dustin Ortiz $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
def. Alexandre Pantoja $14,000

Julio Arce $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Dan Ige $10,000

Enrique Barzola $42,000 (includes $21,000 win bonus)
def. Matt Bessette $12,000

Islam Makhachev $32,000 (includes $16,000 win bonus)
def. Gleison Tibau $50,000

Payout Perspective:

This is the third straight fight where the payout for the Heavyweight champ is $600,000 with no win bonus.  Unless he’s getting an incremental step up in PPV upside this seems like the champ is underpaid.  Miocic drew the top salary on the card with DC and Ngannou right after him followed by Oezdemir.  Ngannou had indicated he’d be making $500,000 for the fight. Gian Villante was the only other fighter to earn six figures from their purse and win bonus.

UFC on Fox 27: 1,770,000 viewers

January 30, 2018

UFC on Fox 27 drew 1,770,000 viewers on Saturday night according to Nielsen making it the lowest-rated UFC on Fox card ever.  The event was headlined by Ronaldo Souza taking on Derek Brunson.

The previous low for the UFC events on the network was August 2016’s UFC on Fox 21 which drew 1,983,000 viewers.  That event had an asterisk as the show was preempted in 15 markets due to preseason football.

The event drew 1.59 million viewers in “fast overnights” and there was a slight increase with the overrun although the first-round stoppage by Souza ended around the top of the hour.

The main event drew 2,224,000 viewers which is the second-lowest rating for a main event since Demian Maia-Carlos Condit at UFC on Fox 21.  But, as we indicated, there was a preemption in certain markets.  This past April, a Demetrious Johnson-Wilson Reis main event drew 2,874,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

You could have expected these ratings based upon the lineup for the event plus the Warriors-Celtics matchup on ABC which pitted two of the more popular teams in the NBA opposite UFC.  With a new television deal to be negotiated, prospective buyers may be concerned with the downturn in ratings.  While live sports are drivers for ad buys, the trend of decreasing ratings for the UFC network cards cannot be good.

The Interview: Jeff Unay

January 30, 2018

I had the opportunity to interview filmmaker Jeff Unay whose debut documentary, “The Cage Fighter,” opens this Friday, February 2nd in select theaters across the country and video on demand.  It’s an interesting interview about the behind the scenes of the independent film-making process and one man’s MMA passion.

For more on the film, visit www.thecagefighterfilm.com

GGG-Canelo set for May 5th

January 29, 2018

Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez have agreed to a rematch on May 5th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  The event hopes to replicate September’s entertaining matchup which ended in a majority draw.

HBO made the announcement on Monday. The first event drew 1 million buys and its anticipated that this rematch would do as well as the first meeting of the middleweights.

The event will be co-promoted by GGG’s promoter Tom Loeffler and Alvarez’s promoter Golden Boy.

Payout Perspective:

The event should be huge considering it is being held on Cinco de Mayo and with Alvarez being from Mexico and GGG being trained by Abel Sanchez and fighting the “Mexican” style, it’s clear that this will be a boon for business.  Canelo is an established PPV draw and the added intrigue of a rematch with GGG should make this fight one of the biggest in PPV boxing history.

Bellator 193 draws 470,000 viewers on Paramount

January 29, 2018

Bellator 193 drew 470,000 viewers on Paramount Television Friday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event featured Lorenz Larkin as he picked up a win over Fernando Gonzalez.

The event drew 0.16 in the A18-49 demo.  Last week Bellator’s tentpole event drew 770,000 viewers on Paramount.

The ratings are the lowest since last month’s Bellator 190 which drew just 394,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Notwithstanding the tentpole events, the Bellator shows are drawing less viewers.  Last year, there were 7 events which drew less than 500,000 viewers.  The year before there was just one.  Two events in, we see one of the two events already south of 500,000 viewers.

PFL finds new TV deal with familiar partner

January 29, 2018

The Professional Fighter’s League is back with NBC Sports Network as part of a one year revenue sharing deal according to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal.

Previously the World Series of Fighting, the organization went through a regime change and renamed itself the PFL.  This year it will offer a league setup with the promise that fighters on its roster will get regular fights and offer a league-style makeup for its six weight divisions culminating with a $10 million prize for fighters at the end of the year.

The article indicates that Jon Miller, NBC Sports Networks’ head of programming reached out to the new PFL heads as he has previously worked with PFL Executive Chairman Russ Ramsey and PFL President of Event Production Carlos Silva. Miller was also fond of CEO Peter Murray, who Miller worked with at the NFL and Under Armour.

In addition to NBC Sports network, Facebook has agreed to pick up the streaming rights for the PFL which include events that are not carried by NBCSN and will carry the first three hours of a PFL event before NBCSN takes over.

Payout Perspective:

The deal appears to be better than the previous WSOF “time buys” in which the organization purchased time from NBCSN.  Although no financial terms were not disclosed, it would seem that revenue sharing would mean that at least a portion of the advertising dollars and sponsorships from the televised event would go back to the network.  This may give a little more incentive for NBCSN to promote PFL.  The online streaming proved to be successful with the organization’s fans with PFL’s one event last year.  We still don’t have a solid date for the PFL to start but with this news, we should expect it happening sooner than later.

Ronda Rousey signs with WWE

January 28, 2018

Ronda Rousey has signed with WWE as she made a surprise appearance at the Royal Rumble Sunday night.  ESPN revealed the news after Rousey came down the ramp wearing a jacket given to her by Rowdy Roddy Piper’s son at the end of the show.

There was much speculation about Rousey’s appearance tonight as she was scheduled to be out of the country to film a moving.  It was an obvious swerve.  Maybe there was some foreshadowing as Rousey’s photographer was in Philadelphia according to a tweet he put out (looking for weed).

Rousey indicates in the Ramona Shelburne story that she will be in WWE full-time despite there are other options for her career-wise.

She has not shut the door on an MMA return as Brock Lesnar has returned from WWE to head back into the Octagon.

Rousey’s last fight was at UFC 207 where she was stopped by Amanda Nunes in the first round.  The PPV drew 1 million PPV buys.

Payout Perspective:

Rousey is a life-long pro wrestling fan and it’s clear that living out her dream of being a wrestler is something that she would like to do.  She made a memorable cameo with the Rock at Wrestlemania a couple years ago.  Her friend Shayna Baszler is on the NXT roster and this past summer there was the hint of a possible feud between Rousey’s Four Horsewomen and the NXT Four Horsewomen of Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Bailey.  All indications point to her wrestling debut this spring at Wrestlemania.

UFC on Fox 27 draws all-time low: 1.59 million viewers

January 28, 2018

UFC on Fox 27 drew 1.59 million viewers on Fox Saturday according to Television By Numbers.  The event is the lowest rating for UFC on Fox since its inception.

The event featured Ronaldo Souza taking on Derek Brunson.  Souza stopped Brunson after a head kick in the first round.

The event drew 0.5 in the A18-49 demo and a 2 share.  The NBA Countdown show (0.7 and 3 share) in the first half-hour of the 8pm time slot and the subsequent NBA game between the Celtics and Warriors (1.2 and 5 share) drew the most in the A18-49 demo for the night.  The countdown show on ABC drew 2.53 million viewers and the game drew 3.7 million viewers.

UFC on Fox had the lowest viewership in terms of overall viewers for the night. An NCIS rerun on CBS drew 4.02 million viewers in the 8pm time slot and Dateline NBC drew 3.96 million viewers in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

It’s unlikely there will be a big overrun boost from the 1.59 million viewers as the Souza-Brunson fight ended at the top of the hour.  The low ratings could be anticipated based on the fights set up for this event.  Also, the NBA game between Boston and Golden State drew a lot of casual sport fans away from the UFC.

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