Early estimates of UFC 217 PPV are at 875,000

November 17, 2017

Dave Meltzer of MMA Fighting is reporting that early estimates of the UFC 217 drew 875,000 PPV buys in North America making it the biggest PPV show for 2017 thus far.

UFC 217 featured Georges St Pierre’s return against middleweight champion Michael Bisping in addition to two other championship fights.

Google trends reflected strong interest in the PPV.  There were over 1 million google searches on the Saturday of the PPV for UFC 217.  The UFC Prelims drew 1.276 million viewers despite starting on FS2.

Payout Perspective:

Very good result but if you are gaging success by the 1 million PPV buy threshold, it may disappoint.  There were 3 title fights and the return of GSP.  There was more interest in Canada for this PPV but it wasn’t enough to hit 1 million in North America.  The good news that it’s likely the PPV buys worldwide exceed 1 million and shows that GSP is still a draw.

UFC 215 and UFC 216 PPV buy estimates do not impress

October 14, 2017

Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer estimates UFC 215 this past September drew 100,000 buys.  Also, last week’s UFC 216 likely drew around 120,000 buys.

The last two UFC PPVs have been lackluster.  UFC 215 was marred by Ray Borg needing to pull out of his championship fight with Demetrious Johnson.  Ironically, the main event for UFC 215 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada was Valentina Shevchenko and Amanda Nunes.  In July, Nunes pulled out of her fight due to health issues.  UFC 216 in Vegas featured DJ-Borg and Tony Ferguson versus Kevin Lee.  Last week’s event dealt with the tragedy of the Las Vegas shootings on October 1.  It almost lost its main event as Lee was granted an extra hour to cut a pound.

Only UFC 214, which featured the rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier has drawn significant PPV buys this past summer with an estimated 850,000 PPV buys.  Of course, Jones was flagged once again by USADA which placed an asterisk next to a really good comeback.

UFC 216 – 120,000

UFC 215 – 100,000

UFC 214 – 850,000

UFC 213 – 125,000-150,000

UFC 212 – 167,000

Payout Perspective:

We probably are not surprised by the results of the last two UFC PPV buy estimates as each card had its issues.  The numbers reflect that the casual fan will only come out for big name fighters.  The last several PPV cards have dealt with injuries and last-minute scratches.  These failing will likely come to an end November 4th when GSP returns to fight Michael Bisping in New York.  But, the UFC will need to figure out how it should address some of its PPV cards to address the low buy rates.

Golden Boy says GGG-Canelo drew more than 1.3M buys

September 28, 2017

Golden Boy Promotions has issued a statement in response to the report that the GGG-Canelo PPV drew 1.3 million pay-per-view buys.  It refutes the report stating that it is “north” of the reported number.

Via Dan Rafael of ESPN:

“While everyone at Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions appreciate the media’s recognition that the fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin was an enormous success, the figure that is being cited by some news outlets is simply inaccurate. Not only are satellite operators and cable companies still in the process of compiling data, that number does not include online PPV sales through RingTV.com, Sony Play Station and Sling TV, which far exceeded any previous fight featuring Canelo or Golovkin. The bottom line is that we expect the final numbers to be well north of current reports, and we will make a decision on reporting those numbers when we know they are accurate.”

Payout Perspective:

From the last sentence, it’s not clear if we will ever see the final PPV buys as Golden Boy states it will “make a decision” regarding reporting the final numbers.  Still, the 1.3 million PPV buys is an overwhelming success and I would think that if the number hits 2 million PPV buys we will hear that information.

GGG-Canelo draw 1.2M PPV buys

September 27, 2017

The LA Times’ Larry Pugmire reports that the GGG-Canelo fight taking place on Saturday, September 16th drew 1.2 million PPV buys.  Chris Mannix of SI has also confirmed the number with industry sources.

The fight ended up in a draw which only means that the two fighters should do it again sooner than later.  For Canelo, it’s his second fight this year in which he has been featured and the PPV has gone over 1 million buys.  His fight against Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. this past May drew 1 million PPV buys.

Payout Perspective:

The PPV buys show that GGG-Canelo were not affected by the The Money Fight which took place a couple weeks before.  Thus, the casual boxing fan was willing to purchase this fight regardless of the Mayweather-McGregor fight taking place a couple weeks prior.  The buy rate shows the immense popularity of the fighters especially Canelo who is becoming the PPV boxing king.  GGG has not had great success on PPV prior to this.  But, the two should draw similar numbers for their anticipated rematch.

Canelo-GGG PPV will cost you $79.99

September 15, 2017

For those getting ready to watch GGG versus Canelo Alvarez this Saturday, you will have to pay a premium if ordering on PPV as the suggested retail price point will be $79.99 HD.

The premium price is more than the usual $64.95-$69.99 PPV boxing event.  Coming off of last month’s Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather fight, which cost $99.95, the question of whether that fight would impact this fight was a relevant question.

Certainly, “Supremacy,” as the fight is billed, is a fight that diehard boxing fans have been waiting for, but will casuals dip into their pocketbooks less than a month later to pay another $80 for a PPV?

The PPV buys for The Money Fight have not been made official but the conclusion is that despite the $100 price point, it drew between 4 and 5 million buys.  We aren’t looking at that buy rate for this event, but this has been a fight in the making with two of the biggest-named boxers in the sport today.

Last spring, Canelo’s last PPV appearance against Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. drew 1 million PPV buys.

It would not be out of the realm of possibility for this fight to do the same due to the budding star that is Canelo, the strong Mexican boxing fan base and GGG.  The only concern would be the casual combat sports fan that may have bought The Money Fight and cannot think about paying more for this fight.

Of course, this excess spending on PPVs may have hurt UFC 215, which was sandwiched between the two.  Even with the UFC’s normal PPV price of $59.99, some fans may have sat last week out in order to watch the two boxing events.

White states The Money Fight drew 6.5 million buys

August 31, 2017

6.5 million buys.  This is the amount that Dana White state’s this past Saturday’s Mayweather-McGregor bout.

White stated this while talking to Urijah Faber and Snoop Dogg on Tuesday.  The amount is thought to be a worldwide total and not just limited to North America.  No official announcement had been made by Showtime or Zuffa.

The Los Angeles Times indicated that it should surpass the record 4.6 million buys by Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in 2015 although it was too early to tell.

Payout Perspective:

All signs point to this fight breaking the record.  The Prelims on Fox, which did not have any boxer of note, peaked at 3.1 million viewers and averaged 2.438M viewers.  There were over 10 million searches for “MayweatherVsMcgregor Fight” and “Mayweather” on Saturday night which would suggest that this fight was widely sought after.  6.5 million seems like a worldwide number which would directly correlate with a lofty number of those coming from Europe and Ireland.  The official estimates are said to come out later today.

Mayweather-McGregor Prelims peak at 3.1M and other ratings

August 30, 2017

Nielsen has provided some additional ratings from this past weekend’s Mayweather-McGregor fight.  Notably, the prelims drew 2,568,000 viewers across Fox, Fox Deportes and Fox Sports Go.  The show peaked at 3,110,000 viewers.

The Prelims on Fox drew 2,438,000 from 7-9pm ET.  In the A18-49 category, it drew 1,156,000 viewers and was up over 150% versus the average to date for Fox boxing telecasts.

The first prelim bout on the show drew 2,360,000 viewers.  The show peaked at 3,110,000 from the 8:45-9pm ET quarter hour.  This was during the welterweight fight between Yordenis Ugas and Thomas Dulorme.  Ugas defeated Dulorme.

Other ratings from the telecasts associated with The Money Fight include:

  • Mayweather-McGregor Prefight Show 1,463,000
  • Mayweather-McGregor Postfight Show 368,000
  • Mayweather-McGregor Weigh-In 287,000
  • PBC on FS1 drew 269,000 viewers on Friday night.

Also, a replay of All Access Mayweather/McGregor on FS1 drew 215,000 viewres.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings reflect the immense popularity of The Money Fight.  Ratings were up across the board for the Prelims as well as the pre/post and weigh-in shows.  Despite the technical issues, the marketing and promotion of the fight had people buzzing to watch this fight.

UFC and Showtime face issuing refunds after technical difficulties for Mayweather-McGregor

August 29, 2017

After The Money Fight technical difficulty situation, the UFC and vendor NeuLion must determine how to address the situation.

A lawsuit has been filed related to the technical difficulties which angered many that paid $99.95 to watch the much-hyped Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight.

ESPN reports that Showtime has issued a “limited number” of refunds to those that complained, but only for its direct-to-consumer offerings which include its streaming and app product.  Notably, the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Oregon relates to its lead plaintiff purchasing the PPV on the Showtime App.  He claimed the event was “grainy” buffered and stalled.

The fight was delayed 20 minutes to accommodate for the technical difficulties but those paying $99.95 were shut out of the telecast.  According to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the PPV issues “appeared to come from a surge of late purchase and connectivity issues.”

The UFC issued a statement via Darren Rovell:

After this statement, it has now indicated that it is reviewing PPV Fight Pass refunds on a “case-by-case” basis.

Payout Perspective:

This is as much a public relations issues as it will eventually be a legal issue.  One might understand the UFC would not want to issue blanket refunds but if the technical difficulties occurred from UFC Fight Pass subscribers that made the additional purchase, you’d have to think that at least a credit to the account is necessary.  For Showtime, it is issuing refunds but is also “passing the buck” in referring those that made the PPV purchase through a cable or satellite company to speak with them.  You have to think that UFC is pointing to NeuLion to indemnify them from any potential issues and/or seek reimbursement for any refunds that they may have to issue.  The bottom line is the concern of how much this will affect the bottom line for the UFC and Showtime.

Report: UFC 214 draws 850,000 PPV buys

August 7, 2017

ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that the UFC 214 held July 29th featuring Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier drew 850,000 PPV buys per sources.  The number includes US, Canada, Australia and digital platforms like UFC.TV.

The 850,000 PPV buys bests Jones-Cormier I at UFC 182 in January 2015.  UFC 182 drew 800,000 on PPV.

UFC 214 is the best buy rate since Ronda Rousey’s return against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 in December 2016.  The first round stoppage of Rousey by Nunes drew 1.1 million buys.

UFC 214 also featured Tyron Woodley defending his welterweight title against Demian Maia and Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino winning the Women’s Featherweight title from Tonya Evinger.

Payout Perspective:

Despite the fact that Dana White indicated that the PPV was tracking 1 million PPV buys, 850,000 is a very good number.  While the cynic may claim that it took 3 title fights and a very good Lawler-Cerrone fight to reel in 850,000 buys, the event has to be considered a positive for the new owners.  The first half of 2017 has been sluggish in PPV sales and this event helped create some momentum for the rest of the year.  It also brings up a question as to whether Jon Jones is a major draw or was it the rivalry that stoked fans to purchase the PPV.

UFC 213 and Bellator NYC underwhelm in PPV returns

July 20, 2017

MMA Fighting reports the estimated buy rates for UFC 213 and Bellator NYC.  Both shows did not do well with each not getting close to 200,000 PPV buys.

UFC 213 earlier this month drew in the range between 125-150,000 PPV buys.  Due to a late scratch by Amanda Nunes, the main event was Robert Whittaker taking on Yoel Romero for the interim middleweight title.  Initially, the hope was that this show would be headlined by Georges St. Pierre-Michael Bisping and Cody Garbrandt defending his bantamweight title against T.J. Dillashaw.  Both fights were scratched leaving Nunes to defend against Valentina Shevchenko.

Bellator NYC, which took place late last month and featured Chael Sonnen taking on Wanderlei Silva drew in the 90-130,000 PPV buy range.  Bellator’s previous PPV in 2014 drew 100,000 buys.

Payout Perspective:

For those wondering, according to sources that I have been in touch with UFC 212 (Aldo-Holloway) did better than UFC 213 but only slightly.  The buy rate for UFC 213 is not surprising after the card fell apart although I would have expected it to hit 200,000 PPV buys.  Based on the number of google searches and the ratings from Bellator 180 which preceded the event, the buy rate was expected.  However, it sounds that Bellator is looking to continue to explore more PPV shows.

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