April 20, 2014
Television By Numbers reports that the overnight ratings for UFC on Fox 11 received 1.99 million viewers for a 0.8 rating and 3 share for Saturday night. It was the lowest rating for a UFC network show and was last in terms of average viewers in its time slot among network shows.
UFC on FOX Ratings:
UFC on FOX 1: 5.70M viewers (3.1 rating)
UFC on FOX 2: 4.70M viewers (2.6 rating)
UFC on FOX 3: 2.42M viewers (1.5 rating)
UFC on FOX 4: 2.44M viewers (1.4 rating)
UFC on FOX 5: 4.40M viewers (2.5 rating)
UFC on FOX 6: 4.22M viewers (2.4 rating)
UFC on FOX 7: 3.70M viewers (2.2 rating)
UFC on FOX 8: 2.38M viewers (1.5 rating)
UFC on FOX 9: 2.80M viewers (1.8 rating)
UFC on FOX 10: 3.22M viewers (1.9 rating)
UFC on FOX 11: 1.99M viewer (0.8 rating)
Average UFC on FOX Viewership: 3.45M viewers.
The ratings are disappointing considering the card and the fact that the event was a sell out in Orlando. Winning the time slot for network television was the annual Easter tradition of ABC showing of “The Ten Commandments.” The movie scored 5.87 million viewers and 1.0 rating among adults 18-49 with a 4 share. In terms of overall viewership, UFC on Fox 11 lost out to a rerun of Mike and Molly on CBS which received 2.20 million average viewers.
The numbers do not account for the overrun which was about 20 minutes but the first look at the ratings is definitely not what people expected. It could be that the UFC is running too many shows together that viewers are either picking or choosing what to watch or just inundated with the amount of shows that they cannot keep track. Yesterday’s network show was very entertaining yet was the lowest rated UFC show on Fox so far. MMA Payout will keep you posted of adjusted ratings as they become available.
April 19, 2014
In addition, the bonuses were handed out and were the standard $50,000.
Fight of the Night: Thiago Alves-Seth Baczynski
Performance Bonuses: Donald Cerrone and Alex White
Cerrone used a jab to stun and floor Edson Barboza and immediately took his back for the rear-naked choke.
The attendance and gate figures pleased the UFC since Florida has been a tough sell for the company in past events. The UFC sounded bullish on a return similar to that of its back-to-back returns to Seattle as mentioned in an Orlando Sentinel article. The UFC actually used Shaquille O’Neal’s house for a pre-fight press conference.
As for the bonuses, Cerrone’s seemed the most out of nowhere as Barboza looked sharp until the quick jab by Cerrone. Notably, Cerrone sports the Budweiser logo as one of his sponsors. He was sponsored by the company in the past, but this time around the company was more prominent with his walkout shirt and trunks. Also of note, he was represented by Bell helmets.
April 18, 2014
The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that the Nevada State Athletic Commission has named Bob Bennett as its Executive Director. Bennett, a former Marine and FBI agent replaces Keith Kizer who stepped down earlier this year.
Bennett is a current boxing judge in Nevada and will take over one of the most high profile jobs in fight regulation with an annual salary of $94,000 a year. Notwithstanding the pay, 350 applicants sought the position which will have a great deal of oversight into the MMA and Boxing events in the state.
Bennett served as a judge on the undercard of Pacquiao-Bradley II last week as he scored the Sean Monaghan-Joe McCreedy fight.
BREAKING NEWS: Las Vegas’ Bob Bennett selected as new executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission. Vote was unanimous 5-0.
— Steve Carp (@stevecarprj) April 18, 2014
Bennett was chosen from three finalists and was the unanimous choice on Friday. He has pledged to be a proactive Executive Director and we will see what he does to improve MMA judging and drug testing in the state.
April 17, 2014
MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source the ratings from Wednesday night of UFC programming. Notably, the debut of TUF scored just an overnight average of 595,000 viewers.
Preceding TUF was the UFC TUF Nations Finale from Quebec City. The Prelims which started at 2pmPT/4pmET received a viewership of 263,000 viewers whereas the main card starting at 4pmPT/7pmET received 641,000 viewers.
TUF Nations Finale (April 2014) FS1
TUF Nations (prelims) 263,000 viewers
TUF Nations (main card) 641,000 viewers
TUF Finale 18 (December 2013) FS1
TUF 18 Finale (prelims): 938,000 viewers
TUF 18 Finale (main card): 1,129,000 viewers
TUF Finale 17 (August 2013) FX
TUF 17 (main card): 1.7 million
TUF Finale 16 (December 2012) FX
TUF 16 (prelims on Fuel TV) 104,000
TUF 16 (main card): 1.3 million
According to a Fox source, the main event of the TUF Finale was the most watched program on FS1 on Wednesday.
The two hour season debut of TUF 19 featuring coaches Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn drew only 595,000 viewers although the show was delayed until 7:19pm/10:19pm for the TUF Finale overrun.
TUF 18’s season average was at 639,000 viewers in its first season on FS1. Notably, TUF 17: Jones v. Sonnen scored an average of 1.2M in its last season on FX.
First TUF featured the 2 hour debut with fights to get in the house. I always find this an entertaining episode although ratings do not show it. It may be MMA fatigue as FS1 had 7 hours of UFC (more if you watched on Fight Pass and then watched the 1 hour special on an MMA fighter after). As previously noted Fox Sports execs are looking at the TUF franchised differently when evaluating ratings. Last year it noted same day viewership was down 22 percent last season which featured Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. Live +7 was down only 10 percent but increased in viewership in the male demos of 18-49 and 25-54. We’ll try to keep track of the reruns and compare how it does during different time slots. Yet, the opening night numbers have to be a little disappointing.
Some odds and ends from TUF 19:
-Will Dana wear different MMA web site’s shirt each episode? Last night was Fightland.
-Bellator champ doesn’t even get into the house and then is buried. Ouch.
-Too bad the guy with the Polar Bear ears didn’t make it into the house. He would have been interesting to watch.
As for the ratings from TUF Nations, Wednesday nights may not be the night for these events. It will be interesting to see if FS1 considers Sundays for TUF when it is not carrying MLB or NASCAR. Wednesday had a number of good matchups and notable names on the card but the ratings did not reflect this despite being the most watched show on FS1.
April 17, 2014
The event which started Wednesday afternoon took place at the Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City, Quebec. Tim Kennedy defeated Michael Bisping in the main event of the card. The official attendance announced at the post-fight presser was 5,029 and a live gate of $340,000. There was no breakdown as to comp tickets.
In addition, the bonuses for the night were announced post-fight and included Dustin Poirier, Akira Corrasani, K.J. Noons and Ryan Jimmo. Each received the standard $50,000 bonus on top of their salaries
Fight of the Night: Poirier-Corrasani
Perrformance Bonuses: Noons and Jimmo
Poirier, Noons and Jimmo all scored stoppages to earn their bonuses. Even in a losing effort, Corrasani was entertaining having fought off a Peruvian necktie attempt late in the first round.
While it may have seemed like the attendance at the TUF fights last night were more than the attendees in Quebec City, the UFC has acknowledged the tough sell to put on fights mid-week. It is especially difficult when the card starts mid-day when most fans are at work. But, these fights are mainly for television (and Fight Pass). It was the first time the UFC traveled to Quebec, so one might question why more people would not come to the fights even if they showed up later. As for the bonuses, Poirier, Noons and Jimmo were all very impressive and there’s no debate with their bonuses.
April 15, 2014
Last year, EA Sports announced that Jon Jones would be on the cover of this year’s EA Sports UFC video game. Alexander Gustafsson also joined Jones after being voted in by the fans after defeating GSP in the finals. Below is the finished cover for the game.
Amazon.com currently lists the EA Sports UFC video game for the PS4 and Xbox One for $60 USD with a release date of June 17th. Here are the features for the game:
- Real Damage: Every fighter knows that one good shot can ruin your day. EA SPORTS UFC introduces a non-linear damage system which can result in big damage coming from a single strike. The system produces a greater variety of cuts and contusions.
- Dynamic Striking: A mixed martial artist uses the environment to his advantage and for the first time in a UFC game, you can too. A dynamic environment allows you to pull off jaw-dropping moves using the Octagon, including roundhouse kicks, superman punches and much more. Combine those abilities with the best striking technology in the industry and that one perfect strike could change the fight.
- Real-Time Exertion: A UFC bout is one of the most physically demanding sports on the planet requiring mixed martial artists to give it their all with every movement. Real-Time Exertion brings each moment of that action to life in your gameplay experience. Through real-time vein popping, skin discoloration, muscle flex, as well as signs of fatigue setting in through the course of each round, you will witness the effort it takes to be one of the best fighters in the world.
- Strategic Submission Battles: To own the belt, you have to be dominant on your feet and on the mat. EA SPORTS UFC re-invents the ground game to create a battle for position and control that captures the strategy of a submission battle. Like the real sport, in EA SPORTS UFC fighters will work through multiple stages as they work to advance or escape from a fight-ending submission.
- Fighter Likeness and Facial Animations: EA SPORTS UFC will set a new bar for character likeness and emotion in gaming. For the first time in an EA SPORTS game, every single licensed athlete in the game has been created from high resolution 3D head and body scans to deliver revolutionary character likeness and authenticity. Powered by EA SPORTS IGNITE, new facial animation technology delivers more expression, emotion and will communicate greater sense of awareness and intelligence in the Octagon.
The UFC’s debut from EA Sports is scheduled for June 17th, which is roughly about two months from press release. Not much promotion has occurred for the game yet other than private demos and slow leaks of features and scans for the game. That figures to change as we get closer to launch date.
E3 will take place on between June 10 and June 12, so just a week before the release. Expect a big UFC presense during the event. Also, it is expected that a EA UFC demo should be available before the release date, which would be available at E3 as well. The UFC will also push the game’s release on the UFC 174: Johnson vs. Bagautinov PPV, though it’s a shame that event will likely receive little exposure.
A few weeks ago, MMAJunkie’s Mike Bohn did a developer Q&A with the EA UFC team, which is a very good read for those interested on the developers thoughts and their process to making the game. There was also some controversy a week ago when it was announced that Bruce Lee would be a pre-order bonus in the EA UFC video game. The inclusion of the martial arts icon was not the issue, but the labeling of him as “the Father of MMA” in the game did appear to ruffle some feathers within the MMA community.
April 11, 2014
MMA Junkie reports the performance bonuses for today’s UFC Fight Night 39 from Abu Dhabi. Clay Guida, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Ramsey Nijem and Roy Nelson nabbed the $50,000 bonuses. In addition the attendance and gate were announced during the post-UFC press conference.
Fight of the Night: Guida-Kawajiri
Performance Bonuses – Nijem and Nelson
Both Nijem and Big Country earned their performance honors by ending their opponents in the first round. The bonuses served as bookends for the main card as the former TUF competitor, Nijem finished Beneil Dariush in the main card’s first fight and Nelson knocked out Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the main event.
At the post fight press conference, it was announced that the event was a sellout with 7,963 tickets sold for a gate of $1.8 million. UFC Fight Night 39 took place at the du Arena in Abu Dhabi.
Most of us in North America were likely at work for this Fight Pass event occurring during the day so at least you know what fights to pay attention to when watching later tonight. It’s interesting to note that there were no submissions on the card as well as three stoppages in the first round.
April 10, 2014
Welcome to a special look at Wrestlemania XXX which took place at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Ultimate Warrior passes away
Perhaps the news of the death of Jim Hellwig (aka The Ultimate Warrior) has overshadowed the post-Wrestlemania news. Hellwig was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, made an appearance at Wrestlemania, signed a deal to be an “ambassador” for the WWE and appeared on television on the company’s signature show, Monday Night Raw. News broke late Tuesday night that he passed away in Arizona.
Similar to the passing of Randy Savage, the outpouring of condolences for the death of The Ultimate Warrior likely brought back fond memories of a person’s childhood for many that grew up watching him.
Attendance and gate
According to a WWE press release, it was a sellout with a gate of $10.9 million with 75,167 in attendance. Sunday’s event landed 5th in all-time Wrestlemania attendance.
For those in attendance, it may have been easier for fans to obtain unauthorized WWE merchandise as a Louisiana District Court denied the WWE’s motion to stop and confiscate bootleg merchandise from being sold in the area. An order like this is usually allowed as a way to protect the intellectual property of the company. However, the court decided it could not legally give the WWE this broad authority without identifying these potential infringers more specifically.
Don’t bet on pro wrestling
While we won’t necessarily get into the storylines from the night, it should be noted that The Undertaker’s win streak of 21 consecutive wins at Wrestlemania was broken by former UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. While this was scripted, a gambling web site lost money on the fight as it expected that the WWE would not let the Undertaker lose. Fox Sports reported that the odds ranged from 14 to 1 and 8 to 1 for Lesnar to prevail. The maximum bet was $100 although some people were allowed to bet “as much as $500 on Lesnar.”
UFC hypes Lesnar
Not only was Brock Lesnar a part of Wrestlemania, but the UFC took advantage of the hype of the event by having the Rock (below), Jim Ross and Steve Austin talk about the former UFC Heavyweight champion. All of the videos were “Fight Pass Exclusives.”
WWE stock takes a hit
The day after Wrestlemania, the WWE announced its subscribers for the network. To the dismay of investors, it announced it had slightly over 667,000 subscribers which were below Wall Street expectations. While the WWE believes it will hit 1 million by the end of the year (the break-even point for the network), the stock fell almost 20% on Monday. At the end of trading Thursday, it is down to $21.12.
The WWE received a lot of mainstream hype for the 30th edition of the biggest professional wrestling event of the year. Most of this was focused on the new network and how it would fare airing such a heavily watched event. To its credit, the video stream had no noticeable hiccups which were a good sign for the future of the product. The question will be whether the negotiations for its rights deal will be affected in any way.
Payout Take: Although the stock is taking a drop, the broader takeaway from the event was that it did not suffer any tech issues which was a major concern considering the amount of problems it had when it first launched in late February. At least this shows that the product holds up. The next big test for the company is a rights fee deal which is anticipated to occur sometime late April/early May.
April 9, 2014
MMA Fighting reports that Nick Diaz will not fight in the UFC unless he receives a title shot and/or a substantial pay raise. This comes just a day after his brother Nate spoke out about his own pay.
First, Nick Diaz was offered a fight with Hector Lombard according to Dana White at a UFC press conference on Wednesday. Diaz told MMA Fighting that he would not consider a non-title fight “for less than $500,000.” In the alternative, he would want a chance at Johny Hendricks for the title. One would assume that a Hendricks fight would mean a big payday as well. Nick Diaz’s last reported payout was at UFC 143 where he made $200,000 in a loss to Carlos Condit. No salary was officially released for his UFC 158 fight with Georges St. Pierre although we might conclude he made a similar amount.
On Tuesday, Nate Diaz spoke out about his current salary with the UFC. He stated that he was making $60,000 and $60,000 ($60 to show up and fight and another $60K if he won). It’s interesting to note that Nate Diaz’s last fight at TUF Finale 18 on November 13, 2013 he made $15,000 (show) and $15,000(win) (for a total of just $30,000). Previously, Nate Diaz had been making $50,000 just to show. White had nothing to say Wednesday about the younger Diaz that would suggest he would give him a raise.
The Diaz brothers at their best? Or worst? Voicing displeasure about pay in the media is not new to sports. One might think that the Gilbert Melendez contract has both Diaz Brothers wanting the same or similar deal. Based on his last appearance at UFC 158, the UFC might want Nick more than Nate based on Nick being able to sell (whether knowingly or not) a fight. As White pointed out, Nate had opportunities but some key losses (Bendo, Josh Thomson) have prevented him from making more money.
If the Diaz brothers signed contracts, its hard to argue that they deserve more money. If they were free agents, it would be standard that a fighter would want to negotiate for more money. Or, if the fighter was on a big win streak could there be some leverage. Although he won 3 in a row in 2011, he has lost 2 out of the last 3 since including a title fight against Benson Henderson. Nick Diaz has lost his last two fights since beating BJ Penn at UFC 137. Its hard to advocate for raises on losing streaks.
Should the UFC appease the Diaz brothers?
April 9, 2014
This Saturday Manny Pacquiao returns to fight Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas in a rematch of their June 2012 bout which ended in controversy. Yahoo! Sports reports on Pacquiao solidifying himself among the top boxing PPV draws of all-time.
According to an article by Steve Kim on Sports on Earth, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum believes that Saturday’s rematch can do over 1 million PPV buys. However, people in the know (who we believe are impartial) think that 700,000 PPV buys is much more realistic.
The all-time revenue and PPV draws in boxing as compiled by Yahoo! Sports:
- Floyd Mayweather Revenue: $756,515,000 – PPV Buys: 12,643,000
- Oscar de la Hoya Revenue: $696,796,000 – PPV Buys: 14,081,000
- Manny Pacquiao Revenue: $661,061,000 - PPV Buys – 12,193,000
- Evander Holyfield Revenue: $548,221,000 – PPV Buys – 12,583,000
- Mike Tyson Revenue: $545,000,000 – PPV Buys – 12,400,000
“Manny Pacquiao broke the mold and blazed a very unique trail for the following reasons,” said Mark Taffet, the senior vice president of PPV at HBO Sports to Yahoo! Sports. “He’s not a heavyweight. He wasn’t an Olympian. He’s not from the very vibrant Latino or African-American demographic segments. He’s not American. He’s the only top non-American in that top five.
Pacquiao’s success as a bona fide PPV star is an underdog story to sports execs but his ascension and subsequent global appeal can be traced back to his loyal-to a fault Filipino following and the greater Asian community as a whole that culturally sees Pacquiao as one of their own. While he may never surpass Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in terms of revenue and PPV buys, he is the much less polarizing figure of the two.
Let’s take a look at some of the UFC’s top stars. In comparing the top revenue/PPV buy producers in the UFC, Jon Jones leads the list of active UFC fighters with 7,375,000 PPV buys in 11 PPVs. Cain Velasquez has 4,540,000 in 9 fights on UFC PPVs. Anderson Silva has 8,670,000 in 16 UFC PPVs. Georges St. Pierre is at the top of the list with 11,655 PPV buys in 21 UFC PPVs. These numbers are based on their overall UFC PPV appearances.
UPDATED: I’ve now included Brock Lesnar below. Based on his average per PPV buy, the UFC probably misses him.
Jones (670,000 avg) does have a higher average per UFC PPV than GSP (550,000 avg), but GSP does have more overall buys. We note both Jones and GSP were on two of the bigger shows in UFC history as they were on the UFC 94 (920K PPV buys) and UFC 100 (1,600,000 PPV buys) cards although GSP was either the main event (BJ Penn) or in the co-main (Thiago Alves) on those shows while Jones was on the undercards.
Top UFC PPV draws
Georges St. Pierre – 11,655,000 PPV buys in 21 UFC PPVs
Anderson Silva – 8,670,000 buys in 16 UFC PPVs
Jon Jones – 7,375,000 PPV buys in 11 UFC PPVs
Brock Lesnar – 6,580,000 PPV buys in 7 UFC PPVs (940,00 PPV avg)
Cain Velasquez – 4,540,000 PPV buys in 9 UFC PPVs