UFC on Fox 15 Prelims and final overnight ratings for main card

April 24, 2015

Before we enter the weekend, via a Nielsen source we report that the Prelims from this past Saturday’s UFC on Fox 15 airing prior to the Fox network drew 1.4 million viewers.  In addition, the UFC on Fox main card rating came up to 2.7 million from 2.43 million.

The only other time that the UFC on Fox Prelims aired on Fox was in July 2014 when UFC on Fox 12 drew 1.3 million viewers.

This past Saturday’s Prelims event featured Beneil Dariush defeating Jim Miller by unanimous decision.  The 2 hour Prelim event aired from 6:00pm to 8:00pm ET.

Payout Perspective:

Prelims improved from its last airing on the network and we shall if it has another opportunity to do the same in July with what looks to be a stacked card.  The Prelims went up against the NBA and NHL Playoffs.  The final numbers for the main card fell short of the last two UFC on Fox cards but did better than last April’s UFC on Fox 11 event which drew 2.5 million viewers.

UFC on Fox 15 draws 2.43 million viewers in overnight ratings

April 19, 2015

Televison By Numbers reports that the UFC on Fox 15 event on Fox Saturday night drew an average of 2.43 million viewers which narrowly edged out the New York Rangers-Pittsburgh Penguins NHL game on NBC.

UFC on Fox 15 scored 2.43 million viewers, a 0.9 rating among the 18-49 demo and a 4 share.  The event ran from 8:00pm-10:00pm.  There was little, if any overrun as Luke Rockhold stopped Lyoto Machida in the main event.  The NHL on NBC (8:00pm-11:00pm) drew similar ratings with 2.41 million viewers, a similar 0.9 rating in the 18-49 category and a 3 share.

The UFC event was also up against the NBA Playoffs which aired on cable.

UFC on Fox 11 event which aired about the same time last year drew an initial overnight rating of 1.99 million viewers and was adjusted up to 2.5 million viewers.

In terms of overall viewership for the night, TV By Numbers is reporting that 48 Hours on CBS drew 6.25 million viewers in the 10pm slot Saturday

UFC on Fox 15 ratings

Payout Perspective:

This is a very good rating for the UFC considering it went up against the NHL Playoffs.  While it’s only the first round, one would think that the New York-Pittsburgh matchup would draw considerable interest from the two of the biggest television markets.  MMA Payout will have more on the ratings as they come in.

 UFC on Fox Ratings
UFC on Fox 1 5,700,000
UFC on Fox 2 4,570,000
UFC on Fox 3 2,250,000
UFC on Fox 4 2,360,000
UFC on Fox 5 3,410,000
UFC on Fox 6 4,220,000
UFC on Fox 7 3,300,000
UFC on Fox 8 2,380,000
UFC on Fox 9 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 10 3,220,000
UFC on Fox 11 1,980,000
UFC on Fox 12 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 13 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 14 2,820,000
UFC on Fox 15 2,430,000

UFC 183 Prelims draw 1.546M viewer average

February 4, 2015

MMA Payout has learned from Nielsen that Saturday’s UFC 183 Prelims on FS1 drew 1.546 million viewers which makes it the second straight card over 1 million viewers.

The headliner on the FS1 prelims featured Miesha Tate versus Sara McMann.

The peak almost drew 2 million viewers plateauing at 1,992,000 in the 9:30-9:45pm quarter hour. It also drew 925,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

Its the second highest overnight rating for the UFC prelims since on FS1 second to only UFC 168 in December 2013 (1.554M viewer average).

UFC Prelims 183

In addition, the UFC Postfight show on FS1 drew the second highest viewership with 318,000 viewers.  UFC 182 drew 459,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

A good start to the year ratings-wise on FS1 as the Prelims scored over 1 million viewers for the second straight PPV.  Its also the fourth straight PPV where the ratings have been up over the previous PPV prelim.  The ratings were probably aided by the Miesha Tate-Sara McMann fight, a fight Tate says she requested to be on the Prelims rather than the PPV.

The ratings for the UFC on FS1 has helped the network increase its viewership from last January by 21% and 37% in primetime viewing.

UFC on Fox 14 draws 2.82M, wins time slot

January 25, 2015

Television By Numbers reports that UFC on Fox 14 on Saturday drew an overnight rating of 2.82 million viewers, 1.1 rating (18-49 year olds) and 4 share.  It won its time slot on Saturday night.

UFC on Fox 14 aired on Fox from 8:00-10:00pm ET and due to the first round stoppage in the main event, there was no overrun.  UFC won its network time slot on Saturday night.  It went up against an ABC kid’s movie, “Mirror/Mirror,” a rerun of CSI on CBS and Figure Skating on NBC.

UFC on Fox Ratings

UFC on Fox 1: 5.7 million

UFC on Fox 2: 4.57 million

UFC on Fox 3: 2.25 million

UFC on Fox 4: 2.36 million

UFC on Fox 5: 3.41 million

UFC on Fox 6: 4.22 million

UFC on Fox 7: 3.3 million

UFC on Fox 8: 2.38 million

UFC on Fox 9: 2.9 million

UFC on Fox 10: 3.22 million

UFC on Fox 11: 1.98 million

UFC on Fox 12: 2.5 million

UFC on Fox 13: 2.27 million

UFC on Fox 14: 2.82 million

UFC on Fox 14 ratings

Payout Perspective:

The good news is that the UFC won its time slot against less than stiff competition.  It is also up 22 percent from UFC on Fox 13 in the 18-49 demo.  The 2 hour show featured 3 stoppages so there was no overrun this time around.  Thus, the ratings will likely see a big increase.  The bad news is that the ratings are off from last year’s UFC on Fox 10 which aired last January.  That show which featured Benson Henderson vs. Josh Thopmson drew 3.2 million viewers. In 2013, January’s UFC on Fox 6 drew 4.2 million viewers which featured Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson.  The first January UFC drew 4.57 million viewers.  MMA Payout will have more on the ratings in the days to come.

Jones offers his side of story in Fox Sports interview

January 21, 2015

Jon Jones conducted an interview with Charissa Thompson of Fox Sports Live which aired Monday night to explain himself about failing a December 4th drug test.  The interview attempts to provide some answers about Jones and the reasons why he tested positive for cocaine.

Jones stated he “messed up” when asked about why he would do cocaine so close to his big fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 182.

Jones also explains why his stint in drug rehab only lasted a night.  Jones stated that doctors evaluated him and determined that he could be treated on an “outpatient” basis which meant he did not have to stay in the facility.

Payout Perspective:

Essentially the interview is a form of damage control for the UFC and Fox as it tries to form the narrative for Jones in the days to come.  Obviously cocaine use is not what you want from your top star.  It’s clear that the UFC needs him and wants him active since he was only fined $25,000 for violation of the company’s code of conduct and not also suspended or stripped of his light heavyweight title.  Thompson was likely picked to do the interview over another Fox Sports personality because she adds a professional, yet softer tone than others.

These types of “mea culpa” interviews attempt to paint the individual in a positive light.  The interview made Jones look serious, contrite and as someone that was sorry for his actions.  Did the interview make Jones seem more like he made an honest mistake?

A point in the interview Jones states he did not know if the drug test results found him positive for cocaine use when he was at UFC 182 weigh-ins.  Its also interesting that Jones never attempted to withdraw from the fight after he was told by Dana White that he had failed the December 4th drug test.

It is interesting that he is positive that he is not addicted to cocaine, yet made the decision to do it, knowing he would have to take a drug test for his fight at UFC 182.  Even if he did not believe he would be tested for narcotics, you would think Jones would have to be concerned with the possibility that it could show up.  So, why would a professional athlete that only used cocaine recreationally in college do it now?

One of the underlying issues to keep an eye on in the future is whether Jones will seek any legal action for the release of the test results.  He was noncommittal about this during the interview.

McGregor hosts Saturday afternoon movies on FX

January 15, 2015

In addition to all of the hype and promotion for Conor McGregor in lead-up to this Sunday’s UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver, McGregor will be hosting a Saturday afternoon fix of movies on FX featuring Irishmen.

On Saturday afternoon, January 17th, FX will play Gangs of New York, The Fighter and Taken 2.  McGregor will host the afternoon of movies as he will be interjected during breaks offering his own commentary.  An example of this is below:

Additionally, Fox is running a promo across its digital and social media properties with McGregor offering “Conorisms.”  Note that the promo indicates McGregor-Siver occurs after the AFC Championship game.

Payout Perspective:

This is a unique investment in McGregor.  Not only is McGregor hosting an afternoon of movies on FX, which is a bigger and broader audience than FS1, it has provided a slate of Irish-themed movies to tie-in with the UFC Featherweight.  We will see if this support from FS1 sister property will help with the viewership.

UFC on Fox 13 draws 2.27M in overnight ratings

December 14, 2014

Television By Numbers reports that UFC on Fox 13 drew 2.27 million viewers in overnight ratings Saturday night.  It drew a 3 share and 0.9 rating.  It placed second in network viewing with the old holiday classic of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer drawing over 5 million viewers opposing the UFC.

UFC on Fox Ratings

UFC on Fox 1: 5.7 million

UFC on Fox 2: 4.57 million

UFC on Fox 3: 2.25 million

UFC on Fox 4: 2.36 million

UFC on Fox 5: 3.41 million

UFC on Fox 6: 4.22 million

UFC on Fox 7: 3.3 million

UFC on Fox 8: 2.38 million

UFC on Fox 9: 2.9 million

UFC on Fox 10: 3.22 million

UFC on Fox 11: 1.98 million

UFC on Fox 12: 2.5 million

UFC on Fox 13: 2.27 million

UFC on Fox 13

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are off 10% from last December.  The 2.27 million viewers do not account for the overrun from 7PT/10pm ET-7:30PT/10:30pm ET. The main event aired during the overrun so one might expect this number to rise here.  Coming in second to the holiday classic cartoons on network TV is not out of the ordinary since this happened last year too.  MMA Payout will have more on the complete ratings for the event as we get it.

TUF 19 Episode 12: 586,000 viewers

July 10, 2014

MMA Payout has learned that the season finale of TUF last Wednesday received 586,000 viewers which was the third highest in the season.  Overall, the season average was 477,000 viewers.

TUF 19 Episode 12 Graph

Payout Perspective:

We will be trying to obtain the DVR number to round out the graph.

Unfortunately for UFC fans, this was one of the more disappointing seasons in the TUF franchise. The fights were boring, not a lot of characters were drawn out and even the coach’s challenge wasn’t that fun.  With the exception of a scoring controversy, there was nothing remarkable about season 19.  The irony is that both finals were action-packed first round finishes.

So what do we make of the ratings.  One thing that stands out was episode 11 registered one of the lowest (if not the lowest) rating ever on TUF.   However, it was the highest rated show on FS1 for that day.  This tells us that despite the decline that MMA fans have seen over the years, Fox execs are still pleased with its performance.  One of the things that Fox has been pleased with is the amount of people watching on the DVR as DVR +3 ratings have gone up gaining 278,000 viewers compared to TUF 18’s DVR +3 average of 250,000 viewers.

It will be interesting to see how TUF 20 is received with it being the all women house. One thing seems to be certain, TUF is here to stay.

UFC-Fox sever ties with Sonnen

June 30, 2014

MMA Junkie reports that the UFC and Fox are severing ties with Chael Sonnen after he failed a second drug test.  Sonnen will no longer serve as analyst for Fox and MMA Junkie confirmed with the UFC that he is no longer under contract with the company.

MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani first reported that Sonnen failed another drug test after his initial drug test revealed he had taken banned substances.  After the first failed drug test earlier this month, Sonnen immediately defended his position on FS1 television.  Later that week, on the show he served as co-host, he announced his retirement on FS1’s “UFC Tonight.”

In his second test, it was discovered that there was presence of human growth hormone (HGH) and recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO).

Via MMA Junkie:

“The UFC and FOX Sports organizations announced today the termination of their respective broadcasting services agreements with analyst Chael Sonnen,” the statement read. “This decision comes in light of Sonnen failing a second test conducted by the Nevada Athletic Commission for banned substances in June. Sonnen was previously under temporary suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission for failing an initial test conducted in May.”

Payout Perspective:

It will be interesting to see how Fox handles this news.  FS1 did not mention it on Saturday night during UFC Fight Night.  Certainly, something will have to be said when UFC Tonight returns.  Although we could point to ex-athletes that have been in trouble still having studio jobs, this one is different.  Severing ties with Sonnen was the only thing to do in this instance especially with the use of HGH and EPO.  MMA is a sport that many mainstream people are not comfortable with due to the perceptions of it being extremely violent.  The news that its fighters are taking PEDs would only confirm to some that the sport is dirty.  Having Sonnen continue on air on FS1 or with the UFC would tacitly convey that the UFC and Fox are ok with Sonnen taking PEDs.

Even if the UFC wanted to continue working with Sonnen, its working relationship with Fox compelled them to make the decision.

UFC on Fox 11 ratings adjusted up to 2.5 million viewers

April 22, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Fox source that the Live plus Same Day ratings for Saturday’s UFC on Fox 11 event raised the initial overnight of 1.99 million to 2.5 million viewers.  The peak of 3.3 million viewers occurred during the main event between Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne.

The main event received a 2.0 rating with a 4 share and averaged 1.4 for Men 18-34 and a 2.0 with Men 18-49.  Per the Fox source, “[T]o put those demo ratings in better perspective, Saturday night’s Fox UFC Saturday Main Event would have placed within the Top Five Primetime programs of the week among the Broadcast Networks on Men 18-34 and within the Top 10 with Men 18-49.”

Saturday’s show drove Fox to win the male demos (Men 25-54 and Adults 18-49) in primetime among the networks and second to ESPN’s NBA coverage on cable.

In terms of the overall event it drew a 1.6 rating and a 3 share based on the adjusted ratings.  The Live plus Same Day includes the time slot overrun and the number of viewers who watched the event the same day but not live (i.e., via DVR).  The DVR +3 numbers will not be out until later this week.

Payout Perspective:

The significant bump was due to factoring in the overrun for the main event.  The numbers may not be pleasing overall but Fox likely is interested in how it is doing among its key demos (i.e., males and adults 18-49).  Dave Meltzer of MMA Fighting pointed out that Fox events outside of the NFL and college football season have not done as well as those within football season due to the promotional push during football.  While the numbers are still at the bottom of the curve for UFC on Fox shows, it’s unlikely that network executives are going to pull the plug.

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