Report: UFC 235 initial estimates between 520K-650K based on last-minute buys

March 8, 2019

The Wrestling Observer reports that UFC 235 initial estimates have Saturday night’s PPV in a range between 520,000 to 650,000 buys.

According to the Observer, the reported buy rate blew away initial projections of 350,000-400,000 (and our 450K projection) due to last minute buys which likely were aided by the UFC Prelims on ESPN.  The prelims charged up to a 1.4 million viewership rising again on the strength of the UFC’s new partnership with ESPN.  Also, its clear that fans have deemed Jones a PPV “must-buy” as his December fight drew 700K PPV buys.

Payout Perspective:

Two things can be deduced from this successful buy rate.  ESPN’s reach is helping the UFC grab casuals as the initial projections were based on the dedicated UFC base and the last-minute buys (which is the reason the Prelims are put in that slot) are from consumers that were drawn to the fights by watching them on the network.  Also, Jon Jones, no matter how polarizing, falls into the GSP slot as a fighter that casual fans know and buy a PPV to see.  While Usman-Woodley is secondary here, Jones was the main driver for this card.

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