TUF 21 Episode 11 draws 433,000 viewers

July 2, 2015

The 11th episode of TUF airing on FS1 Wednesday drew an average viewership of 433,000 according to Sports TV Ratings.  A replay of the episode the same night drew an additional 74,000 viewers on Wednesday.

The episode featured a controversial ending to the fight of the show as Michael Graves of ATT defeated Jason Jackson of The Blackzilians via 1st round submission.  It also featured the competition between coaches as they participated in a relay race.

In addition to this week’s episode ratings, the DVR ratings from last week’s Episode 10 increased to 613,000 viewers reflecting an increase of 163,00 viewers.  The average increase per episode is now 180,000 viewers and the DVR rating is 566,000.  It should be noted that the DVR rating only covers the first-run of TUF and not the replays throughout the week.

TUF 21 Ratings
Live + SD Live +3 Increase
Episode 1 490,000 704,000 214,000
Episode 2 454,000 646,000 192,000
Episode 3 364,000 524,000 160,000
Episode 4 286,000 415,000 129,000
Episode 5 340,000 512,000 172,000
Episode 6 350,000 586,000 236,000
Episode 7 371,000 625,000 254,000
Episode 8 425,000 566,000 141,000
Episode 9 332,000 467,000 135,000
Episode 10 450,000 613,000 163,000
Episode 11 433,000

TUF 21 Ratings through Ep 11

Payout Perspective:

Despite having a strong lead-in from FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal between Japan and England which drew 2.3 million in the 6:41-8:56pmET time slot and Fox Sports Live 8:56pm-10:00pm ET time slot which drew 876,000 viewers per Sports TV Ratings, there was considerable drop off when TUF came on at 10:00pm.  The TUF average is 391,000 for this season.

UFC Fight Night 70 draws 909K on FS1; Prelims 223K on FS2

July 1, 2015

UFC Fight Night 70 drew a viewership of 909,000 viewers for its live event Saturday night on FS1 per Sports TV Ratings.  The prelims which aired on FS2 drew 223,000 viewers.

In addition, the replay featuring Yoel Romero and Lyoto Machida in the main event drew another 276,000 viewers on Monday night on FS1.

UFC Fight Night 70 which aired from 10:00-12:49pm ET on FS1 was to be preceded by a portion of the prelims was pre-empted due to the FIFA Women’s World Cup overrun of the England/Canada game.  The 25 minutes on FS1 before UFC Fight Night drew 966,000 viewers.

UFC Fight Nights through 70

Payout Perspective:

If you do not include the FOX Fight Night which featured Conor McGregor, the televised Fight Night average is 796,000 viewers.  The Fight Night did well considering the card shuffling and the fact that the card was comprised of prospects but for Machida.  The event competed with HBO’s boxing event featuring Timothy Bradley which drew 1.12 million HBO subscribers and its post-fight (of about 20 minutes) drew another 1 million.

Aldo pulls out of UFC 189 main event

June 30, 2015

Jose Aldo is out and Chad Mendes is in as he now faces Conor McGregror for the interim Featherweight title in the main event of UFC 189.  Dana White made the announcement on ESPN’s Sportscenter with Conor McGregor by his side.

It was an interesting announcement.  Not because Aldo was pulling out but because it was made with the “challenger” McGregor.  Obviously we are reading into the comments, but White’s decision to make it for the interim title and his statement that Aldo has pulled out of 5 title fights seemed to reflect the fact he believed it was Aldo’s fault for not going through with the fight.

Mendes now will be fighting on very short notice against McGregor who has had a full training camp.

Payout Perspective:

Clearly this was the necessary outcome if Aldo’s injuries limited him.  McGregor seemed to indicate that he was cleared to fight but chose not to.  If Aldo was to go through with the fight, it would have brought scrutiny to the athletic commission.  In light of the Manny Pacquiao situation, the public would look closely as to whether Aldo would have been cleared to fight.  Even if he were cleared, Aldo would have been fighting with a known injury that McGregor would have likely taken advantage of during their fight.

The UFC has to be upset due to the fact they spent so much money for this fight and it will go by the wayside.  A huge Embedded series as well as other shoulder programming leading up to the fight will likely not produce a huge PPV buy rate.  Add the fact that Aldo has publicly spoken out about the Reebok deal and one would think that the now former Featherweight Champion may have to work his way back to a title fight.

With Mendes coming in on short notice, the odds favor a McGregor win considering this is a five round fight.  Prior to the injury, White was bullish on the PPV stating that it would have over $1 million PPV buys.  It already projected to have a $7M gate.  A lot of the marketing was centered on the feud between Aldo and McGregor with McGregor doing much of the promoting.  Now, the marketing will center solely on McGregor to sell this PPV.  The card is still very strong as it has a very good fight for the welterweight title between Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald.  But that fight has not been promoted.   It’s a very disappointing ending to what would have been a huge PPV.

UFC-Reebok unveils uniforms

June 30, 2015

The UFC unveiled its Reebok fighter “kits” in a glitzy press conference in New York City Tuesday morning.  Many UFC stars were on hand to model the new uniforms which go into effect starting at UFC 189 next week.

The unveiling included many fighters based on home country and then the champions of each division (except Jose Aldo as he is training in Brazil).  The UFC and Reebok stressed “performance and customization” and fighters that were interviewed talked about how the new uniforms were specified for combat sports.  The uniforms had differing color variations although the design was mainly the same.  Champions in each division wore black uniforms.  Fighter names are on the back of the jersey and country patches are on the sleeves.

During the unveiling, Reebok officials talked about three types of kits: the country kit, a universal kit and a champion kit.  The country kit are specific to the country that the fighter is from including design elements specific to that nation.  The champion kits are the aforementioned black and also have gold and red trim.

There are also walkout wear including hooded sweatshirts, t-shirts, jerseys and sports bras available which will be made available for retail to the public.

Reebok already has UFC apparel on sale on its web site.  Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre Reebok gear are available in addition to UFC fighters.  Replica jerseys go for $70-$95 while Reebok t-shirts range from $30-$35.

The uniforms are already finding criticism as there are glaring misspellings and errors on the jerseys.

Payout Perspective:

It was an interesting debut for the kits and we shall see how soon fighters and fans adopt to the new Reebok-branded uniforms.  The country design is an interesting idea as it leverages fans with their loyalty to their country.  Also, the champion uniforms are a nice touch to make them stand out.  While we might debate the design issues, the overaching issue with the Reebok deal is the dent in sponsorship money that many of the UFC fighters will take.  Obviously, it’s something that many fighters have talked about but I’m sure most will not do anything more than this.

Despite loss, Machida tops UFC Fight Night salaries

June 29, 2015

MMA Junkie reports the disclosed salaries from Saturday night UFC Fight Night 70.  Lyoto Machida earned 1/3 of the total reported payouts drawing $200,000 in his loss to Yoel Romero.

Via MMA Junkie:

Yoel Romero: $66,000 (includes $33,000 win bonus)
def. Lyoto Machida: $200,000

Lorenz Larkin: $66,000 (includes $33,000 win bonus)
def. Santiago Ponzinibbio: $10,000

Antonio Carlos Junior: $34,000 (includes $17,000 win bonus)
def. Eddie Gordon: $15,000

Thiago “Marreta” Santos: $32,000 (includes $16,000 win bonus)
def. Steve Bosse: $10,000

Hacran Dias: $26,000 (includes $13,000 win bonus)
def. Levan Makashvili: $12,000

Alex Oliveira: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Joe Merritt: $10,000

Leandro Silva: $28,000 (includes $13,000 win bonus)*
def. Lewis Gonzalez: $8,000

Tony Sims: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Steve Montgomery: $10,000

Sirwan Kakai: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Danny Martinez : $10,000

The total disclosed payroll was $601,000

Payout Perspective:

Gonzalez was docked 20% of his fight purse for not making weight.  Machida’s payout is on par what he has been receiving although the 37-year old may be heading toward the downside of his career (and his pay).  Romero and Larkin were the next two highest paid on Saturday earning $33K and $33K.

Rousey, Cerrone nominated for ESPYs

June 28, 2015

Ronda Rousey and Donald Cerrone have received nominations for the 2015 ESPY awards.  Rousey is nominated in 3 categories while Cerrone received a nomination in the “Best Fighter” category.

Rousey is nominated for “Best Female Athlete” and “Best Play.”  The UFC women’s bantamweight champion won “Best Fighter” honors last year.

Rousey and Cerrone are in the “Best Fighter” category along with Floyd Mayweather, Jr., GGG and Terrance Crawford.  Rousey will go up against UCONN basketball star Breanna Stewart, skier Lindsey Vonn and Serena Williams in the “Best Female Athlete” category.

Rousey’s third nomination is “Best Play” for her armbar against Cat Zingano which is in a “bracket-style” tournament with other plays in which people will vote on the play culminating in the winning play to be announced on the night of the ESPYs.

Whaaaaat!? I just realized I was nominated for a 3rd #ESPY – best play for the world record breaking fastest title defense 14 second Armbar vs Cat Zingano!!! Please vote for me if you care to take the time here: http://goo.gl/3Zfruf

A photo posted by rondarousey (@rondarousey) on

Payout Perspective:

As always, the ESPYs is a good promotional tool for ESPN. It’s a popularity contest and Ronda Rousey has become one of the more popular athletes around this year. The Donald Cerrone nomination is a bit of a surprise. Perhaps we credit his agents for getting Cerrone in the mix in the “Best Fighter” category. The ESPYs occur in July 15.

UFC Fight Night 70 attendance and bonuses

June 28, 2015

MMA Junkie reports the attendance and bonuses from UFC Fight Night 70.  Yoel Romero led the bonus winners with his KO of Lyoto Machida in the main event.

Romero, Thiago Santos, Lorenz Larkin and Santiago Ponzinibbio earned the $50,000 bonuses.  Larkin and Ponzinibbio won Fight of the Night.  Santos earned a Performance of the Night for his head kick KO of Steve Bosse.

In addition, the event was a sell out at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The event drew 5,604 to the venue although no gate was announced at the post-event news conference.

Payout Perspective:

Let’s put aside the ridiculousness of the “controversy” in Romero’s post-fight interview.  He was trying his best to speak in broken English and not making a social commentary on this country although I’m sure law clerks for Justice Scalia may take note in drafting future dissents.  Does everyone really think a guy focused on the fight of his life have the time to review SCOTUS rulings during fight week?  Regardless, it was a resume-building fight for Romero.  Santos also had a highlight-reel kick which might have moved ahead of the Bellator KO Friday night as the best of the weekend.

As for the attendance, selling out such a small venue was expected.  No word on gate or comps as of yet although we might know later on this week.

NSAC indicates position on licensing with Aldo injury still uncertain

June 27, 2015

Jose Aldo’s injury appears to be worse than first reported and the main event for UFC 189 on July 11th hangs in the balance.  The Nevada State Athletic Commission indicated that it will rely on the medical information provided to it in issuing Aldo a license to fight next month.

MMA Junkie reports that the commission will rely on the medical records and pre-fight questionnaire submitted by Aldo to determine if he can be issued a license.  The article indicates that the commission will rely on the UFC to inform it if a fighter cannot fight due to injury.

There are conflicting reports on the severity of Aldo’s injury.  It was first reported that Aldo suffered a rib injury during training.  The UFC announced that the injury was a bruise and was cleared to fight.  However, reports are conflicting according to an MMA Fighting article which suggests that Brazilian doctors diagnose Aldo’s injury as fractured ribs whereas American doctors cite bruised ribs.

The Junkie article states that there are no orthopedic tests required for licensing but will have to go through routine examinations to obtain a license.

Payout Perspective:

The drama continues and if you were looking for the commission to step in to decipher whether Aldo should or should not be issued a license to fight based on an injury, think again.  Based on the comments from the commission in the Junkie article, it’s clear that they are going to rely on information provided to them.  While this is based on the standard requirements for licensing, it also identifies a huge problem with the system.  Essentially, you can outright conceal an injury on a pre-fight questionnaire.

We saw a situation like this occur with the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight when Pacquiao did not disclose an injury on his pre-fight questionnaire.  It’s unknown whether disclosing injury would have derailed the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight (although there are still lawsuits out there suing Pacquiao for failing to disclose the injury), he still was able to fight on May 2nd in the biggest PPV event in the history of boxing.

With the commission taking a stronger stance on PEDs in combat sports, perhaps this should be one of the next issues it should address.  Draw your own conclusions on that one.

Hayabusa becomes official glove for Glory

June 26, 2015

Glory has announced that it is partnering with Hayabusa to be the official competition glove for Glory Kickboxing.  The partnership will begin Friday, August 7th with Glory 23 according to a company release.

The gloves will be revealed to the public during fight week leading up to Glory 23.  The gloves will also be used during the co-promoted show with Bellator on September 19.

Via press release:

“The name Hayabusa is well-recognized by the world of combat sports as the ultimate in performance equipment and technical apparel,” said GLORY CEO Jon Franklin, who helped broker the deal. “Our athletes deserve the very best when it comes to not only their performance and comfort, but their safety, and we feel this deal provides the finest gloves available.”

Payout Perspective:

Hayabusa is one of the many combat sports brands in a state of flux as it navigates the new state of sponsorships in MMA.  The company announced that it would not be at the UFC Fan Expo this year as only official UFC sponsors will be allowed at the event.  With the UFC-Reebok deal, Hayabusa will no longer be in the UFC octagon and the company has shifted its focus.  A recent MMA Junkie article wrote about what MMA brands are doing in light of the UFC-Reebok deal.  For Hayabusa, it meant a 3 year deal with Glory.  The company intends to spend some of its marketing and sponsorship budget usually earmarked for the UFC to Glory and its fighters as well as Bellator.  We shall see what it means for Hayabusa and its business.

TUF 21 Episode 10 draws 450,000 viewers

June 25, 2015

The 10th episode of TUF 21 drew an average of 450,000 according to Sports TV Ratings.  It was the third-highest rated show this season.

The College World Series was the highest-rated sports event on cable TV Wednesday night which drew 1.665 million viewers on ESPN.

Episode 10 featured the Harley Davidson promo during the show as Michael Chiesa made an appearance talking up Harley Davidson.  In the fight of the episode, Nathan Coy defeated Valdir Araujo.

TUF 21 Ratings through Episode 10

TUF 21 Ratings
Live + SD Live +3 Increase
Episode 1 490,000 704,000 214,000
Episode 2 454,000 646,000 192,000
Episode 3 364,000 524,000 160,000
Episode 4 286,000 415,000 129,000
Episode 5 340,000 512,000 172,000
Episode 6 350,000 586,000 236,000
Episode 7 371,000 625,000 254,000
Episode 8 425,000 566,000 141,000
Episode 9 332,000 467,000 135,000
Episode 10 450,000

Payout Perspective:

In addition, to Episode 10, MMA Payout has learned that Episode 9’s DVR rating increased to 467,000 making it the second-lowest increase from Live to DVR this season.  The rating this week was a much needed improvement from last week and one would hope that the series end with better ratings.  The current average sits at 387,000 viewers.

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