Bellator 124 Live +3 scores over 1.4M

September 18, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that the Live +3 numbers (also known as DVR plus 3) increased Friday’s Bellator ratings to 836,000 viewers with a peak viewership of 1.429 viewers.

23 minutes of the Bellator 124 on Spike TV had an average audience of 1 million viewers.

Bellator 123:  667,000 viewers, peak 979,000; Live +3: 777,000 viewers, peak 1.193 million

Bellator 124:  771,000 viewers, peak —-; Live +3 836,000 viewers, peak 1.429 million

via MMA Payout

via MMA Payout

The increase in ratings reflects a positive uptick for this season.  The 1.4 million viewers is the best viewership its had on SpikeTV.

TUF 20 re-air on Fox Sunday draws 1.735M

September 17, 2014

The Ultimate Fighter 20’s season debut which Fox re-aired on the network Sunday “adjacent” to NFL on Fox game coverage scored a composite of 1.735 million viewers.  Additional re-airs on FS1 and FS2 added 267,000 viewers for a total of 2.54 million according to a company media release.

It was the first time that Fox has aired a TUF episode on Sunday next to NFL games.  The times as to when TUF aired on Fox varied.  For example, some viewers across the country saw TUF prior to the 1pm west coast (4pm east coast) game while others saw it after the early games (10am/1pm respectively).  In Seattle, TUF did not air until 11:30pm on Sunday night.

The 1.753M number comes from the national average of viewers which Nielsen calculates using around 200+ local markets.

In addition, the Live +3 day viewership drew a significant amount more viewers (up 55%) as it added another 295,000 viewers to the initial viewership of 536,000.  Thus, the total amount of viewers that saw TUF 20’s debut (if you included those that saw it on DVR) was 831,000.

Payout Perspective:

The total viewers that have seen TUF 20 is actually 2,538,000 although the media release rounded up.  Airing TUF on Sundays piggybacking on the NFL should help with the visibility of the TUF product as the hope appears to be snagging NFL fans not flipping to the Red Zone channel after/before the games on Fox.  It’s a good more and shows that the UFC/Fox really want to push this season.

Glory releases full fight library on YouTube

September 17, 2014

Glory World Series Kickboxing announced earlier this week that it is unlocking its full fight archive on YouTube.  Glory touts a fight library featuring more than 2,000 videos of its product.

With the announcement, it released its first event, Glory I from Stockholm on its YouTube channel.

It’s been a big year for the organization as it ran its first PPV in June and announced a new CEO.  Also, Glory and Spike TV came to agreement earlier this year that it will kickboxing events will continue to air on the network through 2015.

Glory

Payout Perspective:

The move to release its library for free should benefit Glory as the organization will continue to expand its audience. One might assume that the revenue it may have received from customers for paying to watch the fights in the library were minimal versus the potential for free advertising.  Moreover, at this point, it does not have the following of a WWE and UFC where it could launch an over the top network.  As one can observe, there are many challenges to an OTT as well as the concern of retaining subscribers (something the WWE is having trouble with at this point).  Overall, it appears to be a good, strategic move that should be a nice companion piece as it continues to roll out events on Spike TV.

Bellator 124 peak over 1.2M

September 16, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that the peak viewership for Bellator 124 this past Friday was 1,271,000.

Bellator MMA Live Season 11

Bellator 123:  667,000 viewers, peak 979,000; Live +3: 777,000 viewers, peak 1.193 million

Bellator 124:  771,000 viewers, peak 1,271,000

Bellator 11th Season

Payout Perspective:

According to the information we have the actual peak came at 10:13pm which I believe occurred prior to the main event.  Notably, the live viewership peak is already better than the Live +3 day peak from last week.

WSOF 13: 246,000 viewers

September 16, 2014

MMA Payout has learned that World Series of Fighting13 this past Saturday drew an average of 246,000 viewers on the NBC Sports Network

WSOF Ratings 1-13 

WSOF 1 – 198,000 viewers

WSOF 2 – 210,000 viewers

WSOF 3 – 201,000 viewers

WSOF 4 – 264,000 viewers

WSOF 5 – 227,000 viewers

WSOF 6 – 161,000 viewers

WSOF 7 – 94,000 viewers

WSOF 8 – 212,000 viewers

WSOF 9 – 242,000 viewers

WSOF 10 – 365,000 viewers

WSOF 11 – 781,000 viewers (NBC)

WSOF 12 – 206,000 viewers

WSOF 13 – 246,000 viewers

WSOF 13 graph

 

WSOF 13 featured Marlon Moraes as he defeated Cody Bollinger in the main event.

Payout Perspective:

The overall WSOF average comes to slightly over 262,000 viewers.  It you take out WSOF 11 on NBC, the average comes to just 218,000 viewers.  Of course, you could also take out WSOF 7 which was on tape delay too and you would have an average of it being slightly over 230,000 viewers.  Saturday WSOF was seemingly buried amid college football and those choosing to watch the UFC event on Fight Pass and/or the Mayweather-Maidana fight.

 

Bellator appoints Chief Operating Officer

September 16, 2014

Bellator MMA has announced the appointment of Jason Jordan as Chief Operating Officer for the company.  Jordan will report to Scott Coker per a company press release.

According to the Bellator release, Jordan will oversee all financial and operational aspects of the business, manage corporate strategy and business development efforts, define and evaluate new growth opportunities,

Via Bellator press release:

“As Bellator continues to evolve into a premier mixed martial franchise, we are thrilled to join forces with such a dynamic and strategic leader with an incredibly comprehensive background in major entertainment brands such as Viacom and Disney,” said Coker.

Jordan’s role expands from Senior Vice President, Digital Operations, Strategy & Finance, Viacom Entertainment Group, where he is responsible for the fiscal management of the digital activities of the Viacom Entertainment Group’s portfolio of brands, including Comedy Central, Spike, TV Land and South Park.

Prior to joining Viacom, Jordan was the Chief Financial Officer of IFILM Corp, which was sold to MTVN in 2005.  Before that Jordan ran Business Development at an action sports production company and played an integral role in Corporate Strategic Planning Department of The Walt Disney Company, where he assessed business opportunities in the television, theatrical, music, and online spaces.

Jordan holds a Masters of Science degree in Operations Research and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. Both degrees are from Stanford University. Jordan is an avid athlete and sports fan and competed on the crew team in college.

Payout Perspective:

From what we understand, it’s still too early to tell at this point whether there are new strategic initiatives on the horizon with Jordan’s appointment.  It does appear that Bellator is looking to broaden its base of viewers as Jordan has an extensive entertainment background and it is looking for new input in how to do this.

Bellator 124: 771,000 viewers

September 15, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that the second event in Bellator MMA Live’s season 11 this past Friday received a viewership of 771,000 viewers.

Bellator MMA Live Season 11

Bellator 123:  667,000 viewers, peak 979,000; Live +3: 777,000 viewers, peak 1.193 million

Bellator 124:  771,000 viewers 

Payout Perspective:

If you want to compare this to last season, the second event in Bellator’s 10th season (Bellator 111) did 653,000 viewers. Bellator 124 ratings improved 16% from the season debut which is a promising sign.  It was another spinning back fist which Emmanuel Newton used to put down Joey Beltran in the main event.  The overnight viewership average so far for Season 11 is 719,000 viewers.

Xyience sold, ends sponsorship with UFC

September 15, 2014

Multiple beverage industry trade outlets reported last week that Xyience had been sold to Big Red, Inc. of Austin, Texas.  As a part of the transaction, the Xyience brand will no longer be an official sponsor of the UFC.

MMA Payout has confirmed the sale from two independent sources.

Xyience was established in 2004 in Las Vegas and had become one of the more visible brands within the UFC.  It also sponsored various UFC fighters, notably Ronda Rousey.

Big-Red-Logo3-300x2971XY_XSUFCXYIENCEinOnejpg

Big Red, Inc. is one of the top 10 beverage companies in North America dating back to 1937.  It will look to expand the Xyience demo by targeting other sports including Crossfit, Color Run participants and marathoners according to an interview Big Red CEO Gary Smith did with Bevnet.com.

Payout Perspective:

The acquisition is a blow for the UFC as it will seek to replace Xyience with another “official energy drink sponsor.”   We will see how the UFC will do and how soon it can find a replacement.  It is interesting to note that Big Red apparently will continue to seek out the sports demo but will not continue the sponsorship with the UFC.

Although this went under the radar, this summer it signed Matefit Herbal Tea as its “official herbal tea partner.”  The partnership is only for one year and at this point has far less brand recognition.

MMA Payout will keep you posted on this story as it continues.

Zuffa settles piracy lawsuit with individual that shared 141 PPVs

September 14, 2014

Zuffa has settled with PPV pirate Steven Mussina according to company press release sent out Saturday.  Although terms of the settlement agreement were not disclosed, Mussina, who was accused of pirating at least 141 UFC PPVs, will comply with the wishes of Zuffa and provide information on how he circumvented the pay per view system.

Via UFC press release:

Steven Messina, through his attorney, Michael Heitmann, confessed to his illegal behavior and apologized for his actions that resulted in the illegal sharing of UFC content. As part of the settlement, Messina was penalized by the UFC for an undisclosed amount and forced to surrender his computer hardware and software to UFC representatives. Additionally, Messina will turn over all records and information pertaining to piracy of UFC content and information related to other potential infringers. He must also cooperate with the UFC organization and law enforcement authorities in an effort to prevent others from stealing intellectual property.

When asked about the settlement, Messina said, “I apologize to the UFC for any damages incurred as a result of my actions in illegally distributing copyrighted UFC broadcasts. As a result of my confession for piracy of UFC’s protected content, I fully accept the terms of the settlement with the UFC.”

Messina also states, “I now realize the harm caused by my actions. It is my hope that I can use this difficult period as a learning experience as I move on with my life. I would also like to tell anyone pirating UFC broadcasts, either through illegal downloading or non-authorized streaming, that it is illegal and not worth the risk.”

As part of the settlement, Messina will provide details of his procedures that led to the unauthorized distribution of an estimated 200 hours of UFC content and will offer his records to the UFC to further prevent illegal usage or sharing of the company’s broadcasts.

Payout Perspective:

The settlement is the best possible outcome for the UFC.  Let’s face it, while the initial claim that Zuffa was seeking $32 million from Messina seemed intimidating, it would have never happened.  Messina did not have the money (and who does, unless you just beat Marcos Maidana for the second time).  Even if you obtained a judgment against Messina, one can surmise he does not have any assets that would satisfy the damage Zuffa claims (even if it’s less than $32M).  Here, Zuffa gets an on the record ‘crime doesn’t pay’ statement from Messina plus information on how he was able to obtain UFC PPVs without paying.  This may provide some insight for Zuffa to see how it may better crack down on piracy.

UFC Fight Night 51 attendance and bonuses

September 13, 2014

MMA Junkie reports the attendance and bonuses from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 51 taking place from Brasilla, Brazil.  The numbers were announced during the post-fight press conference.

The attendance reveals that there were 8,822 fans in attendance with 1,173 of those comped tickets.  According to the Junkie report, the UFC “does not typically reveal live gate figures for its Brazilian events.” Thus, there were 7,649 that paid. For those wondering, the Nilson Nelson Gymnasium (where the event was held) holds 16,000 spectators.

The bonuses for the event were as follows:

FOTN:  Piotr Hallman-Greyson Tibau

Performance bonuses:  Godofredo Pepey, Andrei Arlovski

Payout Perspective:

The most notable bonus here is Arlovski who upset Bigfoot Silva.  Arlovski did not look good in his return fight to the UFC this past June at UFC 174, so this KO was a pleasant surprise.  It’s interesting that the article indicates that live gate figures are not released for Brazil shows although no reason was given.

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