UFC 187 attendance, gate and bonuses

May 24, 2015

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses from Saturday’s UFC 187.  The numbers were announced at the post-fight press conference.

Andre Arlovski, Travis Browne, Chris Weidman and Daniel Cormier earned the $50,000 bonuses.  Arlovski and Browne earned the Fight of the Night for their one round slugfest with Arlovski earning the KO.  Weidman and Cormier earned Performance bonuses of the night after their respective stoppages.

The attendance for UFC 187 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena was 12,615 for a gate of $5,189,167.

Payout Perspective:

The announced gate is very good considering that there were still tickets available at Ticketmaster the day before the event and the secondary market was softening in terms of the “get-in” price.   The attendance and gate numbers exceeded February’s UFC 183 (13,114 attendance/$4.5 million gate) which featured Anderson Silva taking on Nate Diaz Super Bowl weekend.  In fact, it did much better than the heavily promoted UFC 182 (Jones-Cormier).   That event drew 11,575 for a $3.7 million gate.

UFC Fight Night 66 attendance and bonuses

May 17, 2015

MMA Junkie reports the attendance and bonuses from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 66 from Pasay, Philippines.  The long-awaited company debut in the Philippines drew a sold-out crowd.

Jon Delos Reyes, Roldan Sangcha-an, Neil Magny and Jon Tuck earned $50,000 bonuses.  Fight of the Night honors went to Reyes and Sangcha-an while Magny and Tuck received “Performance of the Night.”

The event drew 13,446 from the SM Mall of Asia Arena. The arena serves as a basketball arena most of the time and has a capacity of 16,000-20,000.

Payout Perspective:

Returning from the east coast so that is the reason this info comes a little late.  A rare bonus for a UFC Fight Pass Prelims fight which is good for the fighters.  The attendance was reported as a sell-out so one might guess that the configuration capacity for the UFC was just over 13,000.

Mayweather-Pacquiao destroys PPV, gate records

May 12, 2015

Yahoo! Sports reports that the official PPV buys for the May 2nd fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao drew an astronomical 4.4 million PPV buys that equates to more than $400 million in revenue.  The numbers shatter the old PPV buy rate record set by Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 and the revenue record set by Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez in 2013.

The live gate for the event also drew more than $72 million which also did better than the previous record set by Mayweather-Alvarez.  According to the NSAC, Mayweather-Pacquiao drew 16,219 for a gate of $72,198,500.  May-Alvarez drew 16,146 for a little over $20 million.

The PPV outdid the 2.2 million PPV buys set by Mayweather-De La Hoya in 2007.

Kevin Iole’s Yahoo! article also indicates that May-Pac sold more than 46,000 closed-circuit seats in Clark County, Nevada which pushed total revenue to more than $500 million.

Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe attributed Mayweather’s star power as well as social media as well as the mainstream media push.  Of course, Pacquiao’s presence probably assisted in the interest in the fight too.

Payout Perspective:

It’s clear that despite some negativity surrounding the fight did not diminish any of those wanting to purchase the PPV or watch the fight in person or closed-circuit.  Social and mainstream media probably helped with the promotion of the fight but the pro-active nature of the cable and satellite distributors to push subscribers to purchase the PPV ahead of time also helped with the buy rate.  The revenue records were likely considering the $100 PPV price point for HD or $90 for SD.  Also, the high ticket prices and lack of comps were also factors for the record-setting gate.

UFC Fight Night 65 attendance, gate and bonuses

May 9, 2015

Robert Whittaker, James Vick, Daniel Hooker and Alex Chambers received $50,000 Performances of the Night Bonuses at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 65.  Dana White tweeted out the bonus winners and it was also announced at the post-event press conference.

In addition, UFC Executive Tom Wright announced attendance at 7,984 and $1,051,000 million Australian dollars.  This would equate to $833,810 US dollars per MMA Junkie.

The capacity at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre is 12,000 and 9,300 for netball.

Payout Perspective:

Interesting that Stipe Miocic did not receive a $50,000 for his record breaking dominating performance.  It was the first time for the UFC in Adelaide.  In comparison, the last time the UFC was in the region was this past November with UFC Fight Night 55 in Sydney.  That card drew 9,904 for slightly over $1 million.

Mayweather-Pacquiao Perspective

May 3, 2015

Welcome to a special edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at what was dubbed as the “Fight of the Century” at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada as Floyd Mayweather took on Manny Pacquiao.

Mayweather takes care of Pac Man

It was the likeliest of outcomes despite the wagering line drawing down as many bet with their hearts and not with their heads.  Mayweather muted Pacquiao’s flurries with well-calculated right hands to counter his attacks.  It was a comfortable decision for Mayweather amid many voicing their displeasure for a variety of reasons.  Of course, we could have done without the Pacquiao excuse of injury despite the fact it may have been the truth.

The unholy alliance of Showtime/HBO and Mayweather/Arum will likely never come to pass again.  Yet, the mission was accomplished. Without an official tally, one need only eyeball the dollar amounts with egregious amounts of zeros to know that the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao was the highest grossing boxing event in its history.

Attendance and Gate

The goal was $74 million and with the astronomical prices for seats and the decree that there would be no comps, it likely made it.  Even Pacquiao paid $3-$4 million for tickets for his hefty entourage to attend.


With the 60-40 split of the fight purse, Floyd Mayweather should take in $180 million.  Pacquiao will pocket $120 million.  As we reported, the amount of gross revenue favored the winner between $160-$180 million with 51-49 split.

Promotion of the Fight

The unique co-promotion between rivals was to the benefit of fight fans from one perspective.  It saw a week with past fights from Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao on cable television.  CBS Sports Network replayed most of Mayweather’s fights under his current Showtime contract and it aired the one Pacquiao fight he did with Showtime – a battle with Shane Mosley.

With the co-promotion, both networks worked with distributors in pro-actively targeting satellite and cable customers that had order past PPVs to pre-order this event.  Essentially, making sure that their customers ordered Mayweather-Pacquiao.  The question is how many people actually pay for the PPVs a day or two ahead of the event?  Yet, it appears that the strategy worked.

Although there was no full blown HBO 24/7 or Showtime All Access 360, both networks aired shows to promote the fight.

The Pac-May press conference did better ratings-wise than the second episode of TUF last Wednesday.

Of course, there were tons of media, both sports and mainstream, too numerous to mention.


Pacquiao’s camp reported that he would receive over $2 million in sponsorship money from ad space on his trunks.  The sponsors included Wonderful Pistachio, Smart Communications, Nike and Butterfinger.  Butterfinger leveraged its sponsorship with a social media campaign which included tweets specifically from Pacquiao.  He also had a deal with Samsung which was a reason why Freddie Roach took a selfie with Manny during the walk-out.

Mayweather, who usually has little if any sponsors aside from his TMT clothing brand, had luxury watch-maker Hublot and Fan Duel on his trunks.  He also wore Reeboks. Also of note was the Burger King walking out with Mayweather.

Freddie Roach forged a sponsorship with Geico.  In addition, Buboy Fernandez, Pacquiao’s second, wore a ton of sponsors on his shirt including the use of long sleeves to include the SoCal Mitsubishi sponsors.

Odds and ends

The dual use of ring announcers and the mixed broadcast team was unique and awkward at the same time.

The replay will be aired at the same time on Showtime and HBO on Saturday night May 9th.  It will be interesting to see the ratings for each network.

What are we to make of the Michelle Beadle and Rachel Nichols credential-gate? The fact that Beadle continues her own story by doubling down with stating she no longer supports WWE because Triple H is a fan of Mayweather one must wonder how much Beadle was a fan of WWE. Why was she unaware that Triple H once walked down to the ring with Mayweather and that he was involved in Wrestlemania?

Jimmy Kimmel dressed as Justin Bieber > Burger King dressed as Burger King.

For the first time, fans were charged $10 to attend the weigh-ins and even those were being sold for more on the secondary market.

HBO Sports confirmed that the fight was delayed “about 45 minutes” to help fix PPV issues.

Seems like the first weekend in May (with boxing, Kentucky Derby and NBA and NHL Playoffs) is bound to be the best Saturday of the year in sports.

For those wondering, the PPV buy record is 2.48 million (Oscar de la Hoya-Mayweather) and PPV revenue record is $150 million (Canelo-Mayweather).  These numbers will fall with ease.


For all of the hype and promotion, this was one event that was too big to fail.  Even though PPV distributors experienced some technical difficulties last night, the overarching issue was that people were trying to get in and order the $100(HD) PPV.  We should see this fight eclipse PPV records.

But do you think it goes over 4 million PPV buys as Kevin Iole predicts?

Despite the last minute decrease in prices and hotel rooms in Vegas, this event drew immense attention and the casual viewer was willing to pay the steep price to see it even though they were not keen on heading to Vegas.  I would tend to think this event drew near 4 million PPV buys but would not be surprised if the reports of surpassing 4 million were true.

Klitschko draws 1.63M viewers on HBO

April 28, 2015

HBO’s Saturday night boxing featuring World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko drew the highest rating among its subscribers drawing an average of 1.637 million viewers for the fight with Bryant Jennings.  The overall telecast drew an average of 1.3 million viewers.

It was Klitschko’s first appearance in the U.S. in years and many fight fans tuned in with the fight peaking at 1.742 million viewers.  The undercard featuring Sadam Ali defeating Francisco Santana drew an average of 1 million viewers peaking with 1.134 million.

According to Bad Left Hook, it was the highest rating for HBO Boxing since 2012.

Payout Perspective:

The HBO telecast, which competed with UFC 186, reflects the fact that Heavyweight boxing is still a draw and Wladimir Klitschko should fight stateside more often.  One need only look at the 17,056 fight fans that came to saw him at Madison Square Garden to know that despite Deontay Wilder, Klitschko is the dominant fighter in the Heavyweight division.  Despite PBC’s recent dominance of television, the viewership from Saturday reflects the fact that boxing can still be viable on the premium networks.

UFC 186 attendance, gate and bonuses

April 26, 2015

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses from Saturday’s UFC 186 from Montreal.  Demetrious Johnson led the bonus winners with his last second submission over Kyoji Horiguchi.

In addition to Johnson’s submission bonus, Thomas Almeida, Chad Laprise and Bryan Barberena earned $50,000 bonuses.

The event drew 10,154 fans for a gate of $668,000 according to Dana White in the post-fight press conference.  The event took place at the Bell Centre and multiple reports indicate it was a disappointing turnout largely due to the changes made to the card.

Payout Perspective:

According to the MMA Blue Book, it’s by far the least attended card for a PPV event in the venue.

UFC 158 GSP-Diaz, March 2013 – $3.71M, 20,146

UFC 154 GSP-Condit, November 2012 – $3.143M, 17,249

UFC 124 GSP-Koscheck, December 2010 – $4.6M, 23,152

As you can see, the constant was that GSP headlined the show, so there’s that factor regarding attendance.  The card could have used GSP as this event suffered numerous blows including the shifting of the main event, shuffling of fights due to injury and the Rampage Jackson issues.  You can add in the obstacles in trying to garner more fans for Demetrious Johnson and this card was destined to be one of the least-watched PPVs of this year.

UFC on Fox 15 attendance, gate and bonuses

April 19, 2015

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses from UFC on Fox 15.

The event drew 13,306 fans for a gate of $1.2 million at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.  The last time the UFC visited Newark for UFC 159 (Jones-Sonnen) it drew 15, 227 fans for a gate of $2.7 million.  In comparison, last April’s UFC on Fox 11 from Orlando, Florida drew 17,000 fans for a gate of $1.55 million.  Numbers via MMA Payout Blue Book.

In addition, the bonuses announced last night went to Luke Rockhold, Max Holloway, Gian Villante and Corey Anderson.  Each scored an extra $50,000 for their performances.  Villante-Anderson won Fight of the Night in which Villante won via TKO stoppage.

Payout Perspective:

It was an entertaining night of fights with the main card offering some good performances.  Although she did not win a bonus, Paige Van Zant impressed with two judges scoring 10-8 rounds in her favor.  Max Holloway and Luke Rockhold also earned impressive victories with their dominating wins.

UFC Fight Night 64 attendance

April 12, 2015

MMA Junkie reports the attendance from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 64 from Krakow, Poland.  The announced attendance was of 10,000 for a live gate of $720,000.

The seating capacity of Tauron Arena in Krakow is 15,328 for sporting events.  It was the first event in Poland for the UFC.

Payout Perspective:

Good debut for the UFC in Poland?  Even though it may have not been a sell-out, 10,000 fans for the fight card is a respectable turnout.  One might think that Joanna Jedrzejcyk will headline an event when the UFC returns.

The Interview with Professor Nicholas Watanabe

April 7, 2015

MMA Payout had the opportunity to speak with University of Missouri professor Nicholas Watanabe. His most recent study focuses on research related to the PPV habits of UFC fans as opposed to those that attend live events. The results are interesting.

Notably, his findings suggest that Heavyweights draw more on PPV than other weight classes.  However, those that attend UFC live events are not as picky when it comes to which weight classes are on a particular card. In the interview, we cover his study which is featured in the latest edition of the International Journal of Sport Finance (cite: 2015, Vol 10, No. 1, 26-41). The study is entitled, “Sources of Direct Demand: An Examination of Demand for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.”

We also talk a little Mayweather-Pacquiao as well toward the end of our talk.

Nicholas Watanabe

Nicholas Watanabe

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