UFC on Fox 14 draws 2.82M, wins time slot

January 25, 2015

Television By Numbers reports that UFC on Fox 14 on Saturday drew an overnight rating of 2.82 million viewers, 1.1 rating (18-49 year olds) and 4 share.  It won its time slot on Saturday night.

UFC on Fox 14 aired on Fox from 8:00-10:00pm ET and due to the first round stoppage in the main event, there was no overrun.  UFC won its network time slot on Saturday night.  It went up against an ABC kid’s movie, “Mirror/Mirror,” a rerun of CSI on CBS and Figure Skating on NBC.

UFC on Fox Ratings

UFC on Fox 1: 5.7 million

UFC on Fox 2: 4.57 million

UFC on Fox 3: 2.25 million

UFC on Fox 4: 2.36 million

UFC on Fox 5: 3.41 million

UFC on Fox 6: 4.22 million

UFC on Fox 7: 3.3 million

UFC on Fox 8: 2.38 million

UFC on Fox 9: 2.9 million

UFC on Fox 10: 3.22 million

UFC on Fox 11: 1.98 million

UFC on Fox 12: 2.5 million

UFC on Fox 13: 2.27 million

UFC on Fox 14: 2.82 million

UFC on Fox 14 ratings

Payout Perspective:

The good news is that the UFC won its time slot against less than stiff competition.  It is also up 22 percent from UFC on Fox 13 in the 18-49 demo.  The 2 hour show featured 3 stoppages so there was no overrun this time around.  Thus, the ratings will likely see a big increase.  The bad news is that the ratings are off from last year’s UFC on Fox 10 which aired last January.  That show which featured Benson Henderson vs. Josh Thopmson drew 3.2 million viewers. In 2013, January’s UFC on Fox 6 drew 4.2 million viewers which featured Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson.  The first January UFC drew 4.57 million viewers.  MMA Payout will have more on the ratings in the days to come.

UFC on Fox 14 draws record gate

January 24, 2015

MMA Junkie reports UFC on Fox 14 reportedly drew a record 30,000 in attendance for a gate of $3.1 milion.  It was the biggest European attendance and gate in the company’s history.

Perhaps most remarkable about the attendance was that the event occurred during the middle of the night in Sweden.  UFC General Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa David Allen announced the attendance and gate post-event.  The UFC on Fox broadcast indicated that 26,000 were in attendance at the Tele2Arena in Stockholm but Allen stated that there was a strong walkup for tickets.

There were no reports of comps.

Payout Perspective:

When the stadium show was announced, we had our skepticism about whether the show could draw 30,000 people.  This is partly due to the fact that attendance over the past 3 UFC events in Sweden had decreased.  Moreover, the event would be held in the middle of the night to accommodate the North American audience.  But with the country backing Alexander Gustafsson, the UFC fans came out to support him.  It was an entertaining card and a good indicator that the UFC could hold stadium shows in select countries.

UFC on Fox 14 bonuses

January 24, 2015

MMA Junkie reports the bonuses from Saturday night’s UFC on Fox 14.  Anthony “Rumble” Johnson earned a title shot with his win as well as led the bonuses for the night.

Johnson, Gegard Mousasi, Makwan Amirkhani and Kenny Robertson all earned “Performance of the Night” bonuses.  There was no “Fight of the Night.”  The bonuses were announced post-event by UFC exec David Allen.

Payout Perspective:

Johnson was the biggest winner of the night as he earns the next title shot against Jon Jones.  He also earned the $50K and upset the home favorite Gustafsson.  Mousasi also moved up the middleweight ladder with a win over Dan Henderson.  Amirkhani needed only 8 seconds to KO Andy Ogle in the first round.  Robertson also had a first round KO over Sultan Aliev.

NYS Assembly Speaker Silver arrested on corruption charges

January 22, 2015

New York State Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested on federal corruption charges on Thursday.  The charges include mail fraud, wire fraud and extortion.  In MMA circles, the state assemblyman had been the one that prevented a vote on the legalization of MMA in the state.

The Complaint obtained by the NY Times alleges that Silver has received “more than $6 million in outside income from two law firms since late 2002.”  This includes “undisclosed bribes and kickbacks” where Silver used his position and power to “induce real estate developers with business before the State to retain and continue to use a Real Estate Law Firm controlled by an attorney who previously had worked as Silver’s counsel in the Assembly and who caused Silver to be paid for such referrals by the Real Estate Law Firm,” reads the Complaint.

UFC head Dana White has accused Silver of blocking a vote which could potentially grant the legalization of professional MMA in the state.  New York is the only state which prohibits professional MMA.

Silver had served as speaker for more than two decades.  So far, there is no clear indication as to who Silver’s successor would be.

A lawsuit is pending in which Zuffa has sued the state for its legislative ban on professional MMA.

Payout Perspective:

The news of Sheldon’s arrest could breathe new life into the annual Zuffa lobbying activities in Albany this spring.  While Sheldon’s removal from his position may not mean that New York passes legislation legalizing professional MMA in the state, it gives lobbyists new hope that they can obtain a vote in the Assembly.  This story is just getting started and MMA Payout will keep you posted.

UFC Fight Night 59 salaries

January 21, 2015

MMA Junkie reports the salaries from UFC Fight Night 59 on Sunday.  Conor McGregor topped the earnings for the roster with a reported $170,000.

McGregor also received one of the four Fight Night bonuses and thus made $230,000.  Donald Cerrone was next on the salary list making $146,000.

Via MMA Junkie:

Conor McGregor: $170,000 (includes $85,000 win bonus)
def. Dennis Siver: $39,000

Donald Cerrone: $146,000 (includes $73,000 win bonus)
def. Benson Henderson: $48,000

Uriah Hall: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Ron Stallings: $10,000

Gleison Tibau: $90,000 (includes $45,000 win bonus)
def. Norman Parke: $20,000

Cathal Pendred: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Sean Spencer: $14,000

Lorenz Larkin: $56,000 (includes $28,000 win bonus)
def. John Howard: $21,000

Chris Wade: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Zhang Lipeng: $15,000

Patrick Holohan: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Shane Howell: $8,000

Johnny Case: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Frankie Perez: $8,000

Charles Rosa: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Sean Soriano: $8,000

Sean O’Connell: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Matt Van Buren: $10,000

Joby Sanchez: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Tateki Matsuda: $8,000

Payout Perspective:

Notably, Donald Cerrone received a $3,000 raise from his fight a couple weeks ago.  So far, this year, Cerrone has grossed $286,000 from his work in the Octagon.  McGregor received a $10,000 bump from UFC 178 where he made $75,000 to win and $75,000 to show.  Sean Spencer indicated that he received his win bonus as well due to the controversial judges’ decision in his fight with Cathal Pendred.

UFC Fight Night 59 draws over 2.7M, Prelims grab 908K

January 21, 2015

UFC Fight Night 59 held on Sunday night on Fox Sports 1 drew an average of 2,751,000 million viewers with a peak of 3,162,000 viewers during the final quarter hour (12:00-12:15 AM ET) of the show according to Nielsen.

The night started off well with the 3 hour prelim show drawing an average of 908,000 viewers making it the second most-watched non-PPV prelims in FS1 history.  The peak of the prelims occurred in the final quarter-hour (9:45-10:00 PM ET) with 1,486,000 viewers tuning in.  Notably, it went up against the AFC Championship Game between Indianapolis and New England.  Of course, that game was a blowout.

In addition, the post-fight Fox Sports Live averaged 1,167,000 viewers from (12:15 AM-1:00 AM ET) making it the most-watched Sunday edition of the program all time.

Overall, it was the third most-watched Sunday in FS1’s history despite it being NFL Championship Sunday.

UFC Fight Night 59 was the highest-rated MMA event on cable TV since TUF 10’s Finale on Spike TV which featured Roy Nelson defeating Brendan Schaub.  The card also had Jon Jones’ only loss, a DQ, to Matt Hamill.  It also featured a guy by the name of Kimbo Slice.

Payout Perspective:

The big viewership numbers were expected considering the news that it had an overnight rating of 1.7.  The great ratings for the day could be attributed to the marketing behind Conor McGregor for the event.  It also showed how Fox can help the UFC by promoting its product.  Note the cross-promotion of McGregor on FX as well as the many reminders during the NFL playoffs (including the NFC Championship) of the event.  The question is how often will Fox want to assist in the promotion of these UFC events.

Jones offers his side of story in Fox Sports interview

January 21, 2015

Jon Jones conducted an interview with Charissa Thompson of Fox Sports Live which aired Monday night to explain himself about failing a December 4th drug test.  The interview attempts to provide some answers about Jones and the reasons why he tested positive for cocaine.

Jones stated he “messed up” when asked about why he would do cocaine so close to his big fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 182.

Jones also explains why his stint in drug rehab only lasted a night.  Jones stated that doctors evaluated him and determined that he could be treated on an “outpatient” basis which meant he did not have to stay in the facility.

Payout Perspective:

Essentially the interview is a form of damage control for the UFC and Fox as it tries to form the narrative for Jones in the days to come.  Obviously cocaine use is not what you want from your top star.  It’s clear that the UFC needs him and wants him active since he was only fined $25,000 for violation of the company’s code of conduct and not also suspended or stripped of his light heavyweight title.  Thompson was likely picked to do the interview over another Fox Sports personality because she adds a professional, yet softer tone than others.

These types of “mea culpa” interviews attempt to paint the individual in a positive light.  The interview made Jones look serious, contrite and as someone that was sorry for his actions.  Did the interview make Jones seem more like he made an honest mistake?

A point in the interview Jones states he did not know if the drug test results found him positive for cocaine use when he was at UFC 182 weigh-ins.  Its also interesting that Jones never attempted to withdraw from the fight after he was told by Dana White that he had failed the December 4th drug test.

It is interesting that he is positive that he is not addicted to cocaine, yet made the decision to do it, knowing he would have to take a drug test for his fight at UFC 182.  Even if he did not believe he would be tested for narcotics, you would think Jones would have to be concerned with the possibility that it could show up.  So, why would a professional athlete that only used cocaine recreationally in college do it now?

One of the underlying issues to keep an eye on in the future is whether Jones will seek any legal action for the release of the test results.  He was noncommittal about this during the interview.

Wanderlei Silva sues NSAC seeking reversal of lifetime ban, fine

January 20, 2015

MMA Fighting reports that Wanderlei Silva has filed a lawsuit against the Nevada State Athletic Commission.  Silva claims that the commission overstepped its boundaries in issuing him a lifetime ban last year.

In addition to the ban, the NSAC issued a $70,000 fine this past September.  The punishment arose out of his failure to take a drug test in lead-up to a fight with Chael Sonnen this past July.  As we know, the fight never happened.

“This case encapsulates agency aggrandizement at its worst where disciplinary ation was taken against a non-licensed person,” reads the introduction of Silva’s Complaint filed by Ross Goodman in Clark County, Nevada’ District Court.

Silva’s attorney argues that the NSAC did not have jurisdiction over Silva since he was not licensed in the state of Nevada at the time officials attempted to drug test Silva.  Silva’s attorney claims that the statutes which the NSAC must follow only pertain to a “licensee.”

Silva is looking for the NSAC ruling to be reversed and set aside which could the clear pathway for Silva to fight in Nevada again.

Goodman is familiar with combatting the NSAC.  In April 2012, he sued the NSAC on behalf of Nick Diaz.

W. Silva v. Bennett and NSAC

Court filing via MMA Fighting.

Payout Perspective:

As we indicated in December, the process for appeal of an administrative ruling is usually through filing a lawsuit seeking a “petition for review.” Still, we wonder why Silva is going through this legal process when he could work around the suspension in Nevada and still fight. Silva’s attorney makes an interesting legal argument based on the Nevada statutes which the commission must follow. We will see how the judicial system handles interpretation of these statutes and this case.

UFC Fight Night 59 attendance, gate and bonuses

January 19, 2015

MMA Junkie reports the bonuses from UFC Fight Night 59.  Conor McGregor led the list of fighters earning $50,000 each.  In addition, the attendance was announced at 13,828 for a gate of $1.34 million.

Lorenz Larkin, Matt Van Buren and Sean O’Connell received the other bonuses.  Larkin earned a bonus for his TKO of John Howard.  Van Buren and O’Connell put on the fight of the night.

Dana White announced the attendance and gate figures post-event.  As reported by MMA Junkie, the event Sunday night at the TD Garden was third in the three UFC events held at the venue.

UFC Fight Night 26: Shogun v. Sonnen 12,539 in attendance for a gate of $1.53 million (August 2013)

UFC 118 Edgar v. Penn 2 – 14,168 in attendance for $2.8 million (August 2010)

UFC Fight Night 59: McGregor v. Siver – 13,828, $1.34 million (January 2015)

The venue holds between approximately 18,600 and 19,000 for events.

Payout Perspective:

It should be no surprise that McGregor earned a bonus.  It’s McGregor’s third straight Performance of the Night bonus.  He’s also received a bonus in 4 of his 5 UFC fights.  The attendance and gate were not as big as Fight Night 26, an event where McGregor was the co-main.  There was no word as to how many comps were given so we do not know how many were given out.  There were more in attendance Sunday than at Fight Night 26 despite a lower gate.  The Patriots game may have caused some casual fans to skip the event.  But, the attendance figure is good considering the UFC’s competition.

UFC Fight Night 59 draws 1.7 overnight rating

January 19, 2015

Sunday night’s UFC Fight Night 59 drew an overnight rating of 1.7 and it is projected to be the most-watched/highest rated show in FS1 history according to Fox Sports.

UFC Fight Night 59 occurred on the same day as NFL’s Championship Sunday.  The NFC Championship game on Fox posted a 29.1 overnight rating which is the highest-rated, most watched show since Super Bowl 48.  The peak was a 33.8 from 6-6:30. The AFC Championship drew a 24.2 overnight rating and was off from last year’s AFC game likely due to the blowout.

Despite power outages in the Seattle area due to storms, Seattle had a 51.9 rating.  According to local information, more than 1.85 million viewers in Seattle area watched Green Bay-Seattle.  Interesting enough, Seattle (3.9 rating) was the top market watching UFC Fight Night 59 per Newsday’s Mark LaMonica.  Oklahoma City (3.2) and Phoenix (3.2) were next.  In these cities, it looks like the UFC promos helped.

Payout Perspective:

Actual viewership numbers will likely come out Wednesday due to the U.S. holiday.  But news of a 1.7 rating is great considering the concern of it running on Championship Sunday.  The additional promotion including McGregor on sister network FX, the ESPN car wash, the “Embedded” series and the constant promotion during the NFL playoffs culminating with spots during the NFC Championship game definitely helped.  The UFC does not do this for any of its Fight Nights but McGregor is an exception.  Should the UFC do more to leverage it’s most talented (or most marketable) stars more in this fashion?  It’s hard to say that every fighter could be as media savvy as McGregor.  It’s also hard to foresee whether the UFC and its partner Fox would be willing to invest as much time and money in a fighter as it did in McGregor.

Next Page »