UFC on Fox 25 draws 1.64 million viewers

July 23, 2017

UFC on Fox 25 drew 1.64 million viewers (according to TV By Numbers) making it the lowest overnight ratings for the company since it began airing fights on Fox.  Despite the news, it tied with NBC’s Dateline for biggest rating for Adults in the 18-49 age range.

UFC Fight Night featured Chris Weidman taking on Kelvin Gastelum in the main event from Long Island, New York.  Notably, their fight was not calculated in the overnight ratings because it started in the overrun.

In terms of overall viewership, UFC on Fox was last in its time slot among the other network shows.  It did draw a 0.6 share among Adults 18-49 and a 3 share making it the best in its 2 hour time slot.

UFC on Fox Ratings
Overnights Live + SD
UFC on Fox 1 5,700,000
UFC on Fox 2 4,570,000
UFC on Fox 3 2,250,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 4 2,360,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 5 3,410,000 4,400,000
UFC on Fox 6 3,770,000 4,220,000
UFC on Fox 7 3,300,000 3,700,000
UFC on Fox 8 2,040,000 2,380,000
UFC on Fox 9 2,410,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 10 2,550,000 3,220,000
UFC on Fox 11 1,990,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 12 2,020,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 13 2,270,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 14 2,820,000 3,049,000
UFC on Fox 15 2,430,000 2,745,000
UFC on Fox 16 2,290,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 17 2,280,000 2,781,000
UFC on Fox 18 2,430,000 2,685,000
UFC on Fox 19 2,130,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 20 2,440,000 2,975,000
UFC on Fox 21 2,200,000 1,983,000
UFC on Fox 22 2,690,000 3,178,000
UFC on Fox 23 2,020,000 2,189,000
UFC on Fox 24 1,740,000 1,996,000
UFC on Fox 25 1,640,000


Payout Perspective:

 This year’s July card did not match last year’s 2.44 million from UFC on Fox 20.  We will see if the added ratings from the overrun will boost the show to over 2 million viewers.  This makes 2 weeks in a row where Fox has aired a live combat sporting event and it has not produced ratings.

UFC on Fox 25 attendance, gate and bonuses

July 22, 2017

UFC on Fox 25 drew 11,198 fans for a gate of 1 million per the UFC post-event.  In addition, Alex Oliveira, Junior Albini, Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos and Lyman Good earned the $50K bonuses for the event on Long Island.

You may recall that last July’s UFC on Fox 20 from Chicago did well with a main event of Holly Holm-Valentina Shevchenko.  The event drew 10,287 for a gate of $1 million.  The event drew 2.975 million viewers which was the biggest ratings for a summer UFC on Fox event in its history.

This year, the event took place at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.  It was the company’s first event on Long Island and 4th in New York.

(h/t:  MMA Junkie)

2017 UFC on Fox

UFC on Fox 24: 12,171, $1,081,193

UFC on Fox 23: 13,213, $1,020,434

Payout Perspective:

Based on the configuration of the arena for the event, it looks like this was not a sellout but a solid event nonetheless.  The event is less than the other events this year but on par with each.  We shall see how ratings do for this event tomorrow.

The Ratings Buffet for the week ending July 21st

July 22, 2017

Welcome to another edition of The Ratings Buffet for the week ending July 21st.


Spike:  Bellator 181:   514,000 viewers; DVR +3: 573,000;  main event average: 775,000 peak at 912,000


PBC on Fox 5:00pm-7:00pm ET: 886,000

HBO Boxing After Dark:
Smith v. Barerra: 683,000
Berchelt v. Miura: 617,000
Corrales v. Castellanos: 629,000

PBC on FS1 7:00pm-9:00pm ET: 277,000


FS1: UFC Fight Night 3:00pm-5:51pm ET – 113 main card: 402,000
FS1: Prelims: 1:00pm-3:00pm ET ET284,000
FS1: Post-Fight Show: 5:51pm-7:00pm ET 222,0000


USA: Monday Night Raw (up from last week) 8pm ET 3.14 million viewers; 0.83 A18-49
USA: Monday Night Raw (up from last week) 9pm ET 3.237 million viewers; 0.91 A18-49
USA: Monday Night Raw (up from last week) 10pm ET 3.083 million viewers; 0.86 A18-49


USA: WWE Smackdown (up from last week) 8:00pm ET 2.548 million viewers; 0.65 A18-49 (down from last week)


El Rey: Lucha Underground (down from last week) 8pm ET 73,000, 0.02 A18-49; 9pm ET Replay 51,000, 0.02 A18-49

FS1: PBC on FS1 9pm – 11pm ET 190,000, 0.05 A18-49


POP: Impact Wrestling 8:00pm ET: 322,000, 0.07 A18-49

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.

Hunt’s attorneys file opposition to dismissing his First Amended Complaint against UFC, White and Lesnar

July 19, 2017

Attorneys for Mark Hunt have filed their opposition brief to Zuffa, Dana White and Brock Lesnar’s Motion to Dismiss his First Amended Complaint.  In the brief, they cite specific instances in which they addressed the court’s concerns regarding their allegations.

The brief specifically claims that it has provided adequate information on damages and a proximate cause to go forward with its Civil RICO claim.

Plaintiffs Opposition to MTD FAC by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Hunt addresses the court’s concerns with respect to the Civil RICO claim alleged by Hunt.  They rely on a case, Mendoza vs. Zirkle Fruit, Co., in which the defendants in that case sought to manipulate the work force by hiring undocumented laborers to depress wages of documented workers.  In this case, Hunt’s lawyers argue that the UFC and White wrongfully manipulated the market to depress wages of clean fighters by hiring doping fighters.

They also cite the Mendoza case to dispel the Defendants’ argument that there could be other plausible proximate causation for Hunt’s alleged damages.  They claim Mendoza did not dismiss the plaintiffs’ civil RICO claims although there were alternative theories to the damages from the plaintiffs.  Thus, as Hunt relies on Mendoza, the Court cannot dismiss Hunt’s civil RICO claim solely because there are alternative or intervening causes for Hunt’s financial losses.

Also in his brief, regarding his Breach of Contract claim, Hunt argues the clause in the New Zealander’s contract which states that Zuffa shall be bound by the rules and regulations of the Athletic Commission was breached.  In the first hearing on dismissing the original complaint, the Court questioned what specific part of the contract Hunt alleged was breach as it was not clear to the Court from the original complaint.


Payout Perspective:

We detailed the Court hearing and how the Judge was skeptical about Hunt’s claims.  We shall see if the arguments supplied in this Opposition Brief persuades the Court that the First Amended Complaint has changed.  In this brief, Hunt argues that it should be entitled to a shot at discovery, which is being challenged in a different motion.  It also requests another shot at amending the complaint if the Court determines the allegations are not sufficient.  We shall see how that goes.  .



UFC Fight Night 113 draws 402,000 viewers on FS1

July 18, 2017

Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 113 drew 402,000 viewers on FS1 for its afternoon of fights per Nielsen.  The prelims which preceded the main card registered 284,000 while the post-fight show on FS1 had 222,000 viewers.

The near 3-hour main card featured Gunnar Nelson against Santiago Ponzinibbio.  The Brazilian scored an upset win.  The event from Glasgow, Scotland drew 0.13 viewers in the A18-49 category.  The prelims and post-fight show scored 0.08 in the A18-49 category.  The prelims lasted 2 hours while the post-fight aired for 69 minutes to make up for the early-ending main card.

Notably, UFC Fight Night 109 from Sweden this past May drew 496,000 viewers.  It was another Sunday afternoon international event.

Payout Perspective:

Even though it was a Sunday morning/afternoon card, the viewership for this event was low.  It could be due to the volume of MMA events happening in a short period of time as UFC had a PPV last week and is having a Fox card this weekend.  The fact that this is an international card slated in between makes it a forgettable event and with 402,000 viewers it seems like many did forget a UFC card aired this past Sunday.

Zuffa responds to Plaintiffs’ Emergency Motion to Compel Documents in Antitrust Lawsuit

July 16, 2017

Zuffa has filed its response for Plaintiffs Emergency Motion to Compel Documents as the fact discovery nears an end.  The Defendants argue in part that the Plaintiffs’ motion is moot as Zuffa has provided the Plaintiffs with the documents it requests.

In its opposition brief, Zuffa argues that it has worked with Plaintiffs in providing discovery even accommodating some of Plaintiffs requests.  It also states that its privilege log complies with the appropriate rules.

Zuffa argued that due to the fact that its senior executives in its legal department communicate with outside counsel and internal clients there should be no surprise that the company withheld and logged many documents on the basis of attorney-client privilege and attorney work product.  Zuffa maintains it has correctly identified its privilege determinations on its log and has not waived privileged as claimed by Plaintiffs.  Moreover, Zuffa argues that the case cited by Plaintiffs relying on this waiver of privilege due to a purported insufficient privilege log does not support their contention.

Zuffa contends that it provided Plaintiffs with its log in April 2017, two months after “substantially” completing production to Plaintiffs’ Second Request for Production in February 2017.  It notes that upon a meet and confer with Plaintiffs it revised its log on a little over two weeks after producing it.  Plaintiffs focused on “documents pertaining to acquisitions and contract negotiations with fighters.”

Overall, the response brief takes on the tone that it has worked with Plaintiffs with producing documents to the extent they are not protected by the attorney-client privilege or attorney work-product.  Also, they have complied with the rules of producing a privilege log and they have not waived their right.

Zuffa's Response to Emergency Motion by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

In motions to compel documents, the party that is being accused of withholding documents on not playing by the rules usually paints themselves as the reasonable party complying with requests and working with the other side.  Here, Zuffa argues that it has been a willing participant in the discovery process and has taken initiative in reviewing documents to determine whether to send to Plaintiffs.  But it has a right to withhold documents based on privilege.  As a starting point, it argues that the issue of compelling documents is moot because “Zuffa has not completed the process that the parties agreed would fully address Plaintiffs’ concerns.”  We will see if Plaintiffs agree.  Usually, in discovery fights, the party seeking documents, gets some but not all of what they seek.  The parties appear to be continuing to work on the issue but with a pending deadline you may look for Plaintiffs to press this issue.  MMA Payout will keep you posted.

UFC Fight Night 113 attendance, gate and bonuses

July 16, 2017

UFC Fight Night 113 from Scotland drew 10,589 fans for a gate of $1.2 million per the UFC post-fight.  Main event Santiago Ponzinibbio led the performance bonus winners with his stoppage of Gunnar Nelson.

Paul Felder, Danny Henry and Daniel Teymur drew the other $50,000 bonuses.  Felder earned bonus of the night while Henry-Teymur drew Fight of the Night.  Ponzinibbio scored a huge upset over the favored Nelson with a huge KO in round 1.

The event was held at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.

The last event in Glasgow featured Michael Bisping defeating Thales Leites at UFC Fight Night 72.  The debut event in the country drew 10,451 for a gate of $1.5 million at the SSE Hydro.

Payout Perspective:

A nice return to Scotland for the UFC.  While fan favorite Gunnar Nelson did not win, it was an entertaining card with some entertaining fights.  Despite making less than 2015, the event shows the fans will support the company when they return.

Venue issue preventing UFC to make Hawaii appearance

July 14, 2017

The UFC is not coming to Hawaii any time soon according to local reports in Honolulu.  However, Dana White supports a recent proposal to build a smaller venue which, if done, White promises the UFC will come to the islands.

With the current lightweight champion Max Holloway at the height of his popularity, he is lobbying for a match in Hawaii.  However, White is balking at this right now due to the lack of a stadium.  The main concern, according to a White interview with MMA Junkie is that an outdoor stadium could be a mistake due to the potential for rain.  Also, the start time would happen during the middle of the day when temperatures and humidity could be a factor.

Notably, the Professional Fighter’s League had a situation where rain on the canvas made it difficult for fighters.

Stadium Authority chair Ross Yamasaki issued a statement:

As a board member I feel that the statement by Mr. White on behalf of the UFC validates few points that the Board’s consultant has reported. First, there is a need for a larger venue in the state of Hawaii to host events for the benefit of the community. Second, there is market demand for such a venue. Finally, there is market demand that the current facility may not readily capture.

Please note that the current concepts and associated cost of an new venue in the consultant reports do not include a covering, however it is information from the market that will help shape the design requirements of the venue and associated financing options as the process moves along.

Right now the Authority is proceeding with its plans for a EIS/Masterplan of the stadium site, which will provide the Authority, the Legislature and the Administration greater clarity regarding next steps for development.

Payout Perspective: 

In an interview with KHON, White indicated that a smaller event like a Fight Pass or Fight Night event would not work out.  Thus, PPV or no event due to the fact of the costs to hold an event in the 50th state.

The sentiments expressed by White are similar to those of professional teams wanting a new venue to accommodate their professional sports team.  But, unlike a pro team, the building of an arena in Hawaii would leave a void if they cannot attract more events to the area.  Certainly, there is a demand for not only attracting the UFC, but other touring groups to stop in Hawaii.  Due to the long trip to the islands, it is usually missed on a world tour of a musical act or performing group.  But, a new venue could help sway more acts to visit the islands.  And, due to the lengthy trip to get to the Hawaii, it would likely mean more than just a one night stay.  Local politicians have picked up on White’s comments as a rallying point to support their viewpoints of building an arena.  While the construction of a venue would mean more jobs for the region, the question of whether they can keep it full is a long-term issue.

Replay of Toronto Mayweather-McGregor Presser on FS1 draws 283,000

July 13, 2017

The replay of Toronto’s Mayweather-McGregor press conference on Wednesday drew 283,000 viewers on FS1.  The live show on FS2 drew 107,000 viewers according to Nielsen.

The re-air on FS1 occurred at 11:03 pm ET.  It posted more than Tuesday’s replay on FS1 which drew 133,000.  The live presser from Toronto drew 124,000 on FS2.

Payout Perspective:

283,000 viewers on FS1 is a lot of viewers for what amounted to the same shtick on Tuesday.  It looks like people are getting curious as to the trash talk.  Sports talk radio is covering it and we’ll see if this momentum continues through the week.

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