PFL Playoffs 2 on ESPN2 draws 126,000 viewers

October 21, 2019

The Professional Fighters’ League drew 126,000 viewers on ESPN2 Thursday night for its second night of playoffs from Las Vegas.

The PFL playoffs last week from the Mandalay Bay featured the quarterfinals of the Featherweight and Lightweight divisions.  Fighters advancing to New York had to fight twice with some fighting on the Prelims and then on the Main Card to allow at least some time in between fights.  Purses for the show can be found here.

The event did slightly better than some of the regular season Prelim cards which aired on ESPN this past summer. Notably, last week, the first set of playoffs on ESPN2 didn’t register in the top 150 of cable programming for the night.

Payout Perspective:

The viewership likely was buried due to MLB Playoff baseball featuring the Yankees and Astros, NFL Thursday night football and then College Football on ESPN.  Still, one would have hoped that the ratings would have been a little more considering PFL is in the thick of its playoffs.

With UFC data, company launches service for sports betting

October 21, 2019

Last week, the UFC announced that it is launching a new in-house product called UFC Event Centre which will give fans a chance to bet on UFC events.

With IMG Arena, the company’s official UFC data feed, sportsbooks and gaming operators will have access to in-round betting, official data delivery in less than two seconds, immediate bet settlement and live betting data points (i.e., knockdowns, submissions, takedown attempts, takedowns landed).  The services will be available via licensing agreements to use IMG Arena according to the data operator.

The new product will allow in-fight wagering and fans will be able to find in-fight props such as takedown attempts, knockdowns, etc. Dana White noted that the new gambling offering will help serve a diehard fan base.

According to betting site, US Bets the UFC has a “statistics problem” as the data are subjective and many casual viewers are not aware of what they are looking for when watching a fight. US Bets notes a potential obstacle to in-round betting is the relatively short five-minute rounds.  Compared to an NBA or NFL quarter or half, the rounds limit the betting handle.  Moreover, the potential for a stoppage may contribute to issues with live betting rounds.

The new tool solicited to the gaming industry hopes to create a bridge for fans to place bets on UFC events.

Payout Perspective:

The push into sports betting looks to capitalize on an industry that is expanding as states decide whether to legalize sports gaming.  The UFC, like most leagues, is cultivating its data to sell to gaming operators and sportsbooks for profit.  Both the UFC and IMG Arena will share in a cut of revenues from those that bet on the fights.  Also, one might infer that both are sharing in the licensing agreements it will broker with the operators.  This business move hopes to make gambling easier for the casual fan and help them understand through the use of the proprietary data it will sell through IMG Arena.

PFL Playoffs 2 Payouts

October 20, 2019

MMA Payout has obtained the payouts from Thursday night’s PFL event in Las Vegas.  Most participants were paid $25,000 to show and most were paid another $25,000 for the win with an alternate being paid $10,000 just in case.

Via NSAC:

Quarterfinals

Christopher Wade  $25,000

Nathan Andrews  $25,000

 

Islam Mamedov  $25,000 (declared a majority draw with Mamedov winning via tiebreaker)

Loik Radzhabov  $25,000

 

Akmed Aliev  $25,000

Rashid Magomedov  $50,000

 

Natan Schulte  $50,000/$25,000 def.

Ramsey Nijem  $25,000

 

Luis Laurentino  $25,000

Jeremy Fitz-Kennedy  $25,000

 

Daniel Pineda  $25,000/$25,000 def.

Movlid  Khaibulaev  $25,000

 

Alex Gilpin $25,000/$25,000 def.

Andre Harrison  $25,000

 

Lance Palmer  $50,000/$25,000 def.

Marcos Almeida  $25,000

Semifinals

Loik Radzhabov  $25,000/$25,000 def.

Chris Wade  $25,000

 

Natan Schulte $25,000 (no win bonus) def.

Akhmet Aliev  $25,000

 

Daniel Pineda $25,000/$25,000 def.

Jeremy Kennedy $25,000

 

Jeremy Kennedy $25,000/$25,000 def.

Luis Laurentino  $25,000

 

Lance Palmer $25,000 (no win bonus) def.

Alex Gilpin $25,000

 

Alternate

Ylies Dijiroun  $10,000

Payout Perspective:

It should be noted that Natan Schulte, Rashid Magomedov and Lance Palmer were paid $50,000 up front plus a win bonus in the quarterfinals but Schulte and Palmer had no win bonus in the semifinal (Magomedov did not advance in quarters).  The lightweight and featherweights advance to New York on December 31st to compete for the $1 million per weight cash prize.

WWE Friday Night Smackdown week 3 reflects another decrease in viewers

October 19, 2019

WWE Friday Night Smackdown drew 2.44 million viewers last night according to Nielsen via Television By Numbers.  The ratings show another week-to-week decrease in overall viewership since the show debuted 3 weeks ago.

The 2-hour telecast did draw a 0.8 rating in the 18-49 adult demo which was the most for the night on the networks and a 4 share which tied for the most on Friday night.  But the overall ratings reflect a drop-in viewership.  Fox was third behind CBS, ABC and NBC in viewership in the time slots.

According to a breakdown from ShowBuzz Daily, the viewership actually gained in the second hour from 9-10pm which shows improvement but still falls behind the big 3 networks.  Fox did do better than the CW Network in these timeslots.

Payout Perspective:

Cause for concern?  Friday night is not the best night for programming and its clear that audiences have yet to gravitate to SmackDown yet.

Conor McGregor faces another sexual assault complaint in Ireland

October 19, 2019

Conor McGregor faces a second complaint of sexual assault in Ireland according to a report by the New York Times.  There had been several reports about the investigation but McGregor’s name had been left out of the reports.

According to the New York Times, last week a woman in her 20s was sexually assaulted in a vehicle parked outside a Dublin pub.  McGregor has yet to be formally charged related to this complaint.  He has yet to hear about a previous allegation that occurred last December.

Per McGregor’s publicist, he is denying the allegations of the second complaint.

This is just the latest of McGregor’s legal troubles while he contemplates a return to the Octagon.  Last week, McGregor appeared in court related to an assault of a man at a pub in April.  He’s also had run-ins with the law in the U.S. with throwing a hand truck at a bus in Brooklyn and breaking a fan’s cell phone in Miami.

Payout Perspective:

McGregor needs MMA more than MMA needs him at this point.  The continued spiraling out of control of the once face of the UFC is disturbing and sad.  Moreover, the reports suggest he is hurting others which could lead to more legal problems.  He needs to have something or someone in his life steer him in the right direction or else he will just be another cautionary tale of combat sports.

UFC Boston attendance, gate and bonuses

October 18, 2019

UFC on ESPN 6 took place on Friday night in Boston with the redux of Yair Rodriguez-Jeremy Stephens taking the Fight of the Night Honors.  The co-feature was the 2nd take of their showdown last month in Mexico City.

Rodriguez earned the unanimous decision victory over Stephens in the end.  In addition, Dominick Reyes made a big move forward in the light heavyweight division with a TKO victory in his matchup with former champ Chris Weidman.  Also, Charles Rosa earned a Performance bonus with a submission over Manny Bermudez.  All received the customary $50,000 apiece.

In addition, the UFC announced post-event that there were 12,066 in attendance at the TD Center for a gate of $1,124,765.

Payout Perspective:

Maycee Barber also had a Performance Bonus-worthy fight with her destruction of Gillian Robertson.  The fight between Rodriguez-Stephens was all that you had wished from their first fight in Mexico City.  As for Reyes, his win over Weidman puts a great W in his resume as he’ll move up in the UFC rankings.

AEW’s third episode draws 1.014M viewers, NXT draws 712K

October 17, 2019

All Elite Wrestling bested NXT Wednesday night for the third straight week although both telecast showed declines in ratings over the previous weeks.

All Elite Wrestling on TNT drew 1.014M viewers, a 0.44 share in the P18-49 demo and a 0.65 in the M18-49 demo.  NXT on USA drew 712,000 viewers, a 020 share in the P18-49 and a 0.27 in the M18-49 demo.

AEW was the 5th highest rated cable show on Wednesday.  Notably only VH1 Network had a higher rating during both the 8pm and 9pm hours with AEW on TNT second.

Lee South/AEW

 

AEW

Week 1: 1.4M viewers

Week 2:  1.018M viewers

Week 3: 1.014M viewers

NXT

Week 1: 1.179M viewers *1 hour

Week 2: 1.006M viewers *1 hour

Week 3: 890,000 viewers

Week 4: 790,000 viewers

Week 6: 712,000 viewers

Combate Americas announces new 3-year deal with Univision and Grupo Televisa

October 16, 2019

Deadline.com reports that Combate Americas has signed a three-year partnership with Univision and Grupo Televisa.  The deal is worth 8 figures according to the report.

Combate Americas is touting the deal as “the first cross-border deal for combat sports, with Univision and Televisa set to deliver live fights via their recently relaunched TUDN sports brands in the U.S. and Mexico.  The report states that the deal expands on Combate’s 2018 agreement with Univision as it will include more live events through the end of 2019 and 35 of them in 2020.

The live shows will air on Fridays as has been the case.  Recently, the promotion announced a PPV in December featuring the Alberto El Patron versus Tito Ortiz which will take place in Hidalgo, Texas.

Payout Perspective:

Combate Americas also has a tie-in with online streaming platform DAZN which helps with its visibility.  Moving into the Spanish-speaking market seems to be a key for the promotion as Televisa owns 49% of Univision and is a huge producer of content for the audience.  Certainly, tapping into the market will bring more of the Spanish speaking demographic and a new audience to MMA.

ONE Championship draws 264,000 viewers

October 16, 2019

ONE Championship’s airing of its big card from Tokyo, Japan on Saturday night drew 264,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The event featured many of the top stars from the promotion including Demetrious Johnson as he won the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix title over Danny Kingad.  The event aired late Saturday night on the east coast (11pm) and after the UFC Fight Night event and Bellator on the Paramount Network.

The event drew a 0.09 share for its 126 minutes on TNT.

Payout Perspective:

The telecast bested Bellator on the Paramount Network earlier in the evening.  It also showcased the best of its roster with the exception of Eddie Alvarez.  While 264,000 viewers might not be a huge audience, one has to believe that it is a baby step in finding inroads into the U.S.

Aspen Ladd loses CSAC appeal as TKO upheld

October 15, 2019

UFC women’s bantamweight had her appeal of her sudden first round KO by Germaine de Randamie denied by the California State Athletic Commission. Ladd attempted to change the loss to a no-contest based on referee Herb Dean’s quick stoppage.

The fight was the main event of a UFC Fight Night in Sacramento this past July.  Ladd, a local to the area, was stopped in the first munite of the fight by a de Randamie punch.  The previously unbeaten Ladd was floored but before she could attempt a defense, Herb Dean called an end to the fight.

Ladd’s manager filed an appeal to the fight claiming that Dean was out of position to make the call that her fighter was in peril.  In further correspondence with the commission, Ladd claimed that the fight was stopped prematurely because she was a woman and if the fight involved men, it would have continued.  Originally, Ladd’s manager filled out the Appeal Form provided by the State of California checking a box that there was collusion involving the referee.  But, it was later changed to another box citing a violation of a rule or regulation.

The referee of the match-up, longtime veteran Herb Dean, stated he did not stop the fight based on gender.

Dean has been criticized for stopping matches too late and/or too soon.  Nevertheless, it appears that this was another judgment call made by Dean.

The below was his official statement sent in to the commission prior to Tuesday’s hearing:

In addition, de Randamie sent her own statement which, as one might expect, supported Dean’s decision to stop the fight.

The Commission entertained the gender discrimination claim citing that it would be a violation of anti-discrimination laws if this were the case.

But the problem with Ladd’s claim as it was presented to the Commission was that it was just anecdotal.  Meaning, she can argue that women fights are stopped quicker than male fights but without valid data proving this theory, its just conjecture.  While the vote was 3-2 in upholding the TKO loss (Ladd’s only blemish), the decision by Dean to stop the fight is a judgment call and unless there was compelling evidence that there was a stoppage based on her gender, there was no evidence suggesting Ladd’s claims were true.  Moreover, there was no rule or regulation cited which would point to evidence that a rule or regulation was not followed.  Simply put, while it may have been a bad referee call, Dean made his decision.  The job of a referee is hard because they are criticized for letting fights go on too long allowing a hurt fighter to suffer unnecessary damage and then, like in this case, they don’t let a fight continue.  In this instance, its likely the right call was made to uphold the appeal.

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