UFC 206 replay on Fox scores big Christmas Eve

December 26, 2016

The replay of selected fights from UFC 206 earlier this month drew 4.7 million viewers on Christmas Eve according to Television By Numbers.  It also drew a 1.6 rating and a 6 share in the Adult 18-49 rating making it the second highest viewed UFC show on Fox since UFC on Fox 1.

The replay was the most-viewed show Saturday night and drew the biggest share among adults 18-49 across the board on the network.

The fights on the 2-hour replay Saturday included Lando Vannata versus John Makdessi, Cub Swanson versus Doo Ho Choi, Donald Cerrone versus Matt Brown and Max Holloway versus Anthony Pettis.

Nielsen reports that the peak viewership occurred during the Swanson-Choi fight which many consider a Fight of the Year frontrunner for 2016.

Only the November 2011 fight featuring Cain Velasquez-Junior dos Santos scored more viewers when the company’s debut on Fox drew 5.7 million viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The obvious takeaway here is that the UFC has found a niche and its likely Fox will be open for this slot for next Christmas Eve.  Even on a night when many people were doing holiday activities and spending time with family, many people tuned in.  This is great for the UFC as the actual card only did 150,000 PPV buys.

Fox to air UFC 206 Christmas Eve

December 23, 2016

The UFC announced that it will air a special presentation of UFC 206 on Fox on Christmas Eve Saturday night at 8pm PT/ET.

The two-hour special on the network will feature Lando Vannata’s KO on John Makdessi, a fight of the year candidate of Cub Swanson vs. Doo Ho Choi, Donald Cerrone-Matt Brown and the main event of Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis.

Payout Perspective:

Dave Meltzer pointed out that strings were pulled to air the PPV within 30 days of its original airing date as distributors have rights to this window.  But, it’s unlikely that anyone would purchase this PPV as initial estimates had it at just 150,000 buys.  The move is very good strategy despite the fact it’s a Saturday night on Christmas Eve.  There is still some leftover from NFL viewers earlier in the evening as most games have been moved to Saturday.  It also gets one of the better quality PPVs on network television with UFC 207 coming up on Friday.  Also, it can introduce the casual viewers to the likes of Cerrone and Hollway.  We will see if it can continue the momentum of last week’s UFC on Fox 22 ratings.

UFC on Fox 22 draws 2.69M viewers

December 18, 2016

UFC on Fox 22 drew 2.69 million viewers on Fox Saturday night per TV By Numbers.  It improves upon last December’s UFC on Fox event.

In the main event, Paige VanZant faced Michelle Waterson.  “The Karate Hottie” upset PVZ via rear naked choke.  In the co-main event Mickey Gall defeated Sage Northcutt.

Last December’s UFC on Fox event featured a world title defense by then lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos against Donald Cerrone.  RDA stopped Cerrone.  Also, Alistair Overeem upset Junior dos Anjos in the co-main event.

The event Saturday night drew a 0.9 rating and a 4 share in the adult 18-49 demo.  It won its timeslot in that demo.  Overall, a two Holiday specials on NBC won the overall ratings during that time slots.

UFC on Fox Ratings
Overnights Live + SD
UFC on Fox 1 5,700,000
UFC on Fox 2 4,570,000
UFC on Fox 3 2,250,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 4 2,360,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 5 3,410,000 4,400,000
UFC on Fox 6 3,770,000 4,220,000
UFC on Fox 7 3,300,000 3,700,000
UFC on Fox 8 2,040,000 2,380,000
UFC on Fox 9 2,410,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 10 2,550,000 3,220,000
UFC on Fox 11 1,990,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 12 2,020,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 13 2,270,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 14 2,820,000 3,049,000
UFC on Fox 15 2,430,000 2,745,000
UFC on Fox 16 2,290,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 17 2,280,000 2,781,000
UFC on Fox 18 2,430,000 2,685,000
UFC on Fox 19 2,130,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 20 2,440,000 2,975,000
UFC on Fox 21 2,200,000 1,983,000
UFC on Fox 22 2,690,000

You’ll notice that UFC on Fox 21 decreased from the overnight rating.  This was due to preemptions in certain markets due to NFL preseason football.  Once the ratings recalibrated for UFC, it saw a decrease.

Payout Perspective:

Saturday night’s ratings should increase as the PVZ-MW fight did not start until after 7pm (PT) which is not factored into the overnights at this point.  It did appear that the broadcast intended for the overrun as there was a lot of filler during the 5-7pm (PT) broadcast window.  UFC on Fox 22 went up against an special Saturday night NFL game.

UFC looking for $450M per year for 10 years in next media rights deal

November 28, 2016

The Sports Business Journal reports that the UFC is angling to ask potential buyers for $450 million per year over 10 years in its next round of media rights fees.  The company’s current deal, which ends at the end of 2018 is for $115 million for 7 years.

The article also states that the deal will seek to have the successful bidder to produce the UFC events.  In the past, the UFC had produced its shows in-house.  One of the under-the-radar things about Zuffa was the control of the brand for the UFC which included the production of the events.  You might argue that it’s this control that gave it such a strong brand awareness which may have gone to the eventual sales price for the company.

Via Sports Business Journal:

The package the UFC will take to market will include the rights to four annual broadcast windows that Fox now holds, six annual cable events and weekly programming on Fox Sports 1, plus the UFC’s over-the-top Fight Pass service. It is not expected to include the UFC’s lucrative pay-per-view business, which will likely be retained by WME-IMG. But some media executives believe any winning bidder will have more of a say in what matches will be part of the UFC’s pay-per-view events. Whether a network will share in some of the PPV revenue is a deal point that will be negotiated, sources said.

Payout Perspective:

Despite the retraction in spending by networks such as ESPN and the lukewarm ratings for Fox events this past year, the UFC is banking on the allure that its demo of young males with disposable income and the somewhat DVR-proof live sporting event will give it leverage in the new negotiations. But will the UFC be able to broker a 75% increase over its first media rights deal.  The deal would include additional cost to the network that purchases the rights as it will need to provide production costs for the events.  However, the article indicates that the network may have more influence on what events it may have.  This might provide some incentive for potential buyers.  I am surprised that Fight Pass will likely be included in the deal as there might have been opportunity to sell those rights on its own as is contemplated by the NBA’s LA Clippers.

UFC bullish in presentation for upcoming rights fee deal

October 30, 2016

MMA Junkie reports on the positive outlook for the UFC’s broadcast rights after its current deal expires in 2018.  The article states that NBC, ESPN, Turner and Fox will all vie for the rights which will bolster the value.

According to information included in an investor presentation obtained by Junkie, indicates that the UFC will have increased leverage due to the lack of other sports rights fees coming due until 2021.  MLB, PGA and NHL will not be up until 2021.  It also will seek to unbundle US and Hispanic rights that were previously bundled in the Fox deal.

The interesting financial numbers state that in 2015, the UFC generated $462 million in revenue for “content.”  Of that amount 28% ($129M) was from domestic television deals and 18% ($83M) from international deals.  51% ($236M) of the $462 million was from domestic and commercial PPV.  Notably, and perhaps a surprise to some, UFC Fight Pass provided just 3% with $14 million in revenue.

The investor presentation notes “escalators” within the UFC Fox deal which would grow the payout to $168 million by 2018 when the existing right deal ends.

Payout Perspective:

The UFC is still a PPV-based business and its reflected in the money it reportedly generates from fights.  Obviously, the presentation is bullish on the UFC as it is trying to sell the idea that it will increase its current deal in 2018.  The upcoming television rights fees deal will be a major event for the company as it is predicting a huge increase in its rights fee.  You may also see it hoping to sell its digital rights in addition to the broadcast rights as a way to further monetize its content.  It is notable that for as bullish as consumers were with UFC Fight Pass, it does not generate much in revenue for the company.

UFC on Fox 21 draws 2.22M viewers

August 28, 2016

Television By Numbers reports UFC on Fox 21 drew 2.22 million viewers last night on Fox.  The event is down from July’s Fox event as it went up against NFL Preseason on CBS.

The event featured Demian Maia taking on Carlos Condit in the main event.  Maia submitted Condit in the first round.  There was no overrun since the event ended in the first two minutes of round 1.  Also on the card was Paige VanZant return to the octagon as she got the TKO against Bec Rawling in the first round.

Last month, UFC on Fox 20 received 2.44 million overnight viewers and was a surprising success as Holly Holm was featured in the main event.

UFC on Fox Ratings
Overnights Live + SD
UFC on Fox 1 5,700,000
UFC on Fox 2 4,570,000
UFC on Fox 3 2,250,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 4 2,360,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 5 3,410,000 4,400,000
UFC on Fox 6 3,770,000 4,220,000
UFC on Fox 7 3,300,000 3,700,000
UFC on Fox 8 2,040,000 2,380,000
UFC on Fox 9 2,410,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 10 2,550,000 3,220,000
UFC on Fox 11 1,990,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 12 2,020,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 13 2,270,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 14 2,820,000 3,049,000
UFC on Fox 15 2,430,000 2,745,000
UFC on Fox 16 2,290,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 17 2,280,000 2,781,000
UFC on Fox 18 2,430,000 2,685,000
UFC on Fox 19 2,130,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 20 2,440,000 2,975,000
UFC on Fox 21 2,220,000

UFC on Fox 21 Ratings

According to TV By Numbers it drew 0.8 in the adult 18-49 demo and a 3 share.  The NFL on CBS drew 4.28M viewers (1.0 rating A18-49/4 share).  Overall, UFC on Fox drew the less overall in total viewers but was second behind the NFL in A18-49 demo and overall market share.

Payout Perspective:

Not a huge bump for PVZ’s return.  The NFL Preseason games caused for the lower number.  Despite exhibition, NFL Football is still a draw.  There was a PBC on Spike TV card on as well although that likely had no effect on the UFC viewership.  This was the first time that a Fox show has been held in late August, so we might see them stick to mid-July and then again during NFL season.

UFC on Fox 21 attendance, gate and bonuses

August 27, 2016

UFC on Fox 21 drew 10,533 for a gate of $995,624 Canadian dollar which equates to $765,482 US dollars.  The event saw all bonuses going to fighters on the main card.

UFC on Fox 21 bonuses went to Joe Lauzon, Jim Miller, Paige VanZant and Demian Maia.  Lauzon and Miller earned Fight of the Night while VanZant and Maia earned Performance bonuses for their work in stopping their opponents.

Of course, Anthony Pettis could have earned a bonus for his guillotine choke stoppage of Charles Oliviera.  It was the other fight on the card.

The numbers were announced post-fight by UFC executive Tom Wright.

Of the 4 events at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, it ranks fourth among the four.  We note that the first 3 were PPV events.

  1. UFC 115: Liddell v. Franklin – 17,669 ($4,221,787)
  2. UFC 131: Dos Santos v. Carwin – 14,685 ($2,800,000)
  3. UFC 174: Johnson v. Bagautinov – 13,506 ($1,140,000)
  4. UFC on Fox 21: Maia v. Condit – 10,533 ($995,624)

Payout Perspective:

The attendance was considerably down as compared to the other events at Rogers Center.  However, the main card produced some great fights.  The ratings will depend on how many people were interested in seeing Paige VanZant fight after returning from her stint on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.  You might recall last month’s Fox show pulled surprisingly good numbers on the strength of Holly Holm.  Could PVZ do the same for this card to help bolster ratings?

UFC on Fox 20 attendance, gate and bonuses

July 23, 2016

UFC on Fox 20 held another event in Chicago Saturday night.  The bonuses included Eddie Wineland, Felice Herrig, Jason Knight and Jim Alers.

In addition to the bonuses, UFC on Fox 20 at the United Center drew 10,287 for a live gate of $1 million.  The attendance and gate were announced at the post-fight press conference.

Wineland and Herrig drew the Performances of the Night while Knight and Alers drew the Fight of the Night.  All earned $50,000 bonuses.

The event ranked fourth out of 5 events at the United Center in Chicago.

  1. UFC on Fox 2: 17,245, $1,270,960 gate
  2. UFC on Fox 6: 16,091, $1,270,000 gate
  3. UFC on Fox 16: 11,663, $1,200,000 gate
  4. UFC on Fox 20: 10,287, $1,000,000 gate
  5. UFC on Fox 10: 10,895, $863,655 gate

Payout Perspective:

A $1 million gate is very good for this event considering that the co-main of Anthony Johnson and Glover Teixeira was pulled off the card leaving Holm as your real main attraction.  The bonuses were fair although I thought that they could have given a bonus to Francis Ngannou.

PBC on Fox 3 draws 1.45M viewers

July 17, 2016

PBC on Fox drew 1.45 million viewers on Saturday night per Television By Numbers.  The event, which aired from 8pm to sometime past 10:30pm ET does not factor in the overrun.

The event drew a 0.4 rating in the 18-49 demo and a 2 share.

According to Nielsen, the Nitro Games on NBC drew 1.52 million viewers for its 3 hour telecast.  PBC on Fox ran over its 2 hour times slot with the main event not starting until past 10pm.

Notably, both PBC and the Nitro Games were behind programming on ABC and CBS.

PBC on Fox drew 2.24 million viewers for its Fox network debut in January.  In April, PBC on Fox drew 1.51 million viewers.

The event featured Deontay Wilder as he defended his WBC heavyweight title against Chris Arreola.  Wilder stopped Arreola after corner stoppage before the 9th round.

Payout Perspective:

I’m not sure what it says that an extreme sports telecast outdrew boxing but it happened.  The ratings are on par with April’s event on Fox.  But, we may see an uptick in adjusted ratings since the main event occurred after the time slot.

PBC on NBC draws 1.32M viewers in overnight ratings

June 19, 2016

Premier Boxing Champions on Saturday night on NBC drew 1.32 million viewers per Television By Numbers.  The rating slightly improves upon its lowest rating on the network this past April.

The event, which aired on the network from 8:30-11:00pm ET featured Andrzez Fonfara and Joe Smith, Jr.  Smith scored an upset over Fonfara with a first round knockout.  Previously, Fonfara was best known to the casual fan as stopping Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.  He would have been the next in line for Adonis Stevenson.

According to TV By Numbers, the PBC drew 0.3 rating in the adult 18-49 demo and a 1 share.

Payout Perspective:

April 2016’s PBC event drew 1.24 million so this rating improves upon its last showing.  The event went up against other live sports on cable TV including the UFC, the U.S. Open Golf Championships and soccer.  Major League Baseball on Fox which featured the Cubs-Pirates drew 2.78 million viewers on Fox from 8-10pm ET.  A rerun of 48 Hours on CBS drew the most viewers on network TV Saturday night with 3.40 million tuning in to the 10pm ET show.

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