UFC Fight Night: 911K; Bellator 123: 667K

September 8, 2014

The overnight audience numbers from Friday’s UFC and Bellator shows have come in and are in line with the initial ratings we brought to you on Saturday.  The UFC drew 911,000 viewers for its main card while Bellator MMA drew 667,000 viewers.

In addition, the 3 hour UFC Prelims preceding the UFC Fight Night 50 main card drew 485,000 viewers.

According to a Nielsen source both main cards went head to head from 10-10:45pm (7-7:45pm on west coast) with the UFC main card on FS1 edging out Bellator on SpikeTV 834,000 to 781,000.  Jason Floyd of The MMA Report tweeted the total number of viewers watching UFC or Bellator were 1.6 million viewers.

UFC FN ratings inc 50

Payout Perspective:

For those wondering, the WWE’s taped programming of Smackdown scored 2.7 million viewers on the SyFy channel.  If you are Bellator, you can see the ratings as a positive from the perspective that when it went head to head against the UFC, it was not too far off the UFC viewership.  Still, in the end, the UFC prevailed on FS1.  We will see if Bellator will be able to keep up the momentum in viewers this week.  As for UFC Fight Night 50, the ratings are up from the 689,000 viewers of UFC Fight Night 49.

 

UFC offers discount for stream issues

September 7, 2014

UFC Fight Pass experienced streaming issues on Saturday night during the Invicta 8 live event.  As a result, the UFC is offering a 10% discount on any 2014 PPV if you order via UFC.tv.

It was the first time that UFC Fight Pass streamed a live fight event for Invicta.  Recently, Fight Pas began streaming monthly meetings from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

The UFC acknowledged the problems with the live stream.

According to Bloody Elbow, the UFC sent notice to Fight Pass subscribers that it would extend a 10% discount on one live PPV before the end of 2014.  The offer is only open to those purchasing a PPV through UFC.tv.

Payout Perspective:

The live stream problems were unfortunate for Invicta since it has been a constant in its attempts to offer its product via live stream.  Notably, it had issues on Ustream in attempts to set up a pay wall for its events.  In addition, wrestling promotion Ring of Honor, had problems with its iPPV on Saturday night according to Dave Meltzer’s coverage.  ROH had issues with streaming on Ustream in the past as well.

As for the “make good,” is it a good “make good?”  10% is a de minimus amount and funnels subscribers to the UFC’s own site to order a PPV.  While the 10% might be a fair discount considering not every subscriber was watching the Invicta show, the offer can only be realized if subscribers order through the UFC site and not through traditional cable/satellite operators.

UFC edges Bellator on Friday night

September 6, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from Nielsen sources that the main card for UFC Fight Night 50 outdrew Bellator 123’s main card this past Friday.  The two promotions held events in Connecticut and were virtually competing head to head against each other on their respective home networks.

UFC Fight Night 50 drew 0.54 rating on FS1 while Bellator 123’s main card drew a 0.43. These are the early estimates and more numbers including the average numbers of viewers will come on Monday.  For those wondering, the rating is the estimated percentage of all of TV households tuned to a program.

In addition to the main cards, Bellator had two hours of shoulder programming preceding the main card. The UFC had its normal three hour block of prelims.

The main card main event for the UFC was Ronaldo Souza taking on Gegard Mousasi and Bellator had Patricio “Pitbull”  fighting Pat Curran.

Payout Perspective:

It was an interesting night of fights with each organization putting on televised events on the same night in the same state.  Each card had its share of good fights and it appears that the preliminary indications have the UFC as the winner this round.

UFC Fight Night 50 numbers

September 6, 2014

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses for last night’s UFC Fight Night 50 from the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut.

The bonus winners were Joe Lauzon, Michael Chiesa, Ronaldo Souza and Ben Rothwell.  All received $50,000 each.  Lauzon and Chiesa won FOTN and Souza and Rothwell won Performance bonuses for their respective wins.

Attendance at the casino event drew 4,086 for a gate of $479,620.  No comps were reported but they never are.

Payout Perspective:

With the bonus, Lauzon is tops in the UFC in bonuses per Joe Rogan.

It was also a big night for Rothwell with his upset win over Alistair Overeem.

Rousey does Q&A for Yahoo! Beauty

September 5, 2014

Yahoo! Beauty did a feature on Ronda Rousey earlier this week.  The Q&A with Cosmetics guru Bobby Brown asked about how she keeps her figure, MMA and her budding film career.

The piece devotes a lot of time to Rousey as “the new body ideal.”

Here is a sample:

BB:  Strong is the new sexy, and strong is the new thin. I am 5” tall, with a muscular build, and all I wanted to do growing up was be really long and tall and thin, like the models, but now I am really proud of how strong I am. I read that you also struggled because you were so muscular. How and when did you come to peace with your shape?

RR: Well it’s been a long process. What I really realized I was doing wrong was dieting and training and doing all of these things that I didn’t even like to get this idea of the body that I wanted. I was focused on the results, instead of the process. I was unhappy and thought that when I got the right body I would be happy. But I was going at it backwards. I had to make myself happy first and then the body came.

And if we are to believe that Rousey will be centered around the impending UFC clothing deal, Lululemon might be a contender (ok, maybe not).

BB: What do you wear to work out?

RR: All Lululemon. I destroy clothes—you have no idea. I do some rough stuff when I am training and my clothes only last a little while. Those Lululemons, man, they really last. It might cost $80 for a pair of pants, but you’ll have them for six years.

In addition, Rousey admits that she struggled with bulimia for years and also confesses to her love of pro wrestling.

Payout Perspective:

Most in the “UFC demo” probably missed this interview because its geared more for women.  The topics covered are those that would interest women trying to get in or stay in shape.  It’s a good feature for Rousey’s brand as she expands her appeal outside of the Octagon.

Ross and Sonnen chosen as broadcast team for Battlegrounds MMA PPV

September 4, 2014

Former WWE broadcaster Jim Ross and Chael Sonnen will be calling the live PPV telecast of Battlegrounds MMA from Tulsa, Oklahoma on October 3rd.  The PPV is $19.95 in the U.S. and Canada.

Via BattleGrounds MMA press release:

Two consummate performers in WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross and recently retired UFC superstar Chael Sonnen have teamed up to form what is bound to be one of the most memorable commentary teams in sports entertainment history, and will call the world-class Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) action on the LIVE pay-per-view telecast of BattleGrounds MMA: ‘O.N.E.’ from BOK Center in Tulsa, Oka. on Friday, October 3.

Headlined by the first one-night, eight-man tournament in Tulsa since UFC 4 in 1994, BattleGrounds MMA: ‘O.N.E.’ will award its welterweight (170 pounds) winner a grand prize of $50,000.

BattleGrounds MMA ‘O.N.E.’ will be distributed at a price point of $19.95 in the United States and Canada by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing, beginning at10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST on October 3 on both cable and satellite pay-per-view carriers iN DEMAND, DirecTV, DISH and Avail-TVN in the United States and Bell TV in Canada.  A pre-show will begin at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST.

“As a longtime fan of MMA, to be asked to call the fights for the BattleGrounds MMA event is amazingly exciting for me,” said Ross, a 2007 WWE Hall of Fame inductee.  From commentator to referee to executive and even occasional wrestler, Ross has played a multitude of roles for the world’s leading professional wrestling league.

“I’ve broadcast NFL and XFL games,” continued Ross, “FOX Sports boxing and WWE action, but MMA is a new adventure and one that I’m enormously excited about contributing to. To launch this phase of my broadcasting career in my home state, and with Chael Sonnen at cageside makes it an ideal opportunity and a bucket list experience.

“This is going to be a TV event that any MMA fan won’t want to miss,” said Sonnen, who recently retired from the sport that he competed in as a professional since 1997.  A three-time UFC championship challenger, Sonnen fought his last 11 career bouts inside The Octagon and enjoyed a stint as an analyst for FOX Sports Network.  “I am thrilled to be working with a legend like Jim Ross and, together, we are going to make the BattleGrounds MMA event one of the most exciting extravaganzas in combat sports history.”

Payout Perspective:

The card features a one night tournament featuring eight welterweights including former UFC fighters Cody McKenzie, Brock Larson and Luigi Fiorvanti.   Obviously the selling point is Ross and Sonnen as the announce team rather than the actual card.  It will be interesting to see how many buys this drums up for the organization.  One has to think that this has to be a “break even” situation for the company in hopes of future success.

RDA tops UFC Fight Night 49 salaries

September 3, 2014

MMA Fighting reports the salaries from August’s UFC Fight Night 49.  Rafael dos Anjos topped the list as disclosed by the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission.

The second dollar amount for the winners is their win purse. Via MMA Fighting:

Rafael dos Anjos ($38,000 + $38,000 = $76,000) def. Benson Henderson ($48,000)
Jordan Mein ($20,000 + $20,000 = $40,000) def. Mike Pyle ($51,000)
Thales Leites ($20,000 + $20,000 = $40,000) def. Francis Carmont ($30,000)
Max Holloway ($20,000 + $20,000 = $40,000) def. Clay Collard ($8,000)
James Vick ($8,000 + $8,000 = $16,000) def. Walmir Lazaro ($8,000)
Chas Skelly ($8,000 + $8,000 = $16,000) def. Tom Niinimaki ($10,000)
Neil Magny ($12,000 + $12,000 = $24,000) def. Alex Garcia ($12,000)
Beneil Dariush ($10,000 + $10,000 = $20,000) def. Tony Martin ($8,000)
Matt Hobar ($8,000 + $8,000 = $16,000) def. Aaron Philips ($8,000)
Ben Saunders ($12,000 + $12,000 = $24,000) def. Chris Heatherly ($8,000)
Wilson Reis ($10,000 + $10,000 = $20,000) def. Joby Sanchez ($8,000)

Payout Perspective:

Dos Anjos received a $6K salary raise from his fight in June.  Former champ Benson Henderson received a modest $3K bump in his show purse as well from UFC Fight Night 42.  It pales in comparison to his previous show and win purse as champ.  Mike Pyle made the second most on the card which is somewhat surprising.

UFC 177 Prelims lowest ever on FS1

September 3, 2014

MMA Payout has learned that the prelims for UFC 177 drew an average of just 436,000 viewers.  It’s the lowest output on FS1 since it began showing prelims.

UFC PPV Prelims since August 2013 (FS1 unless specified)

UFC 164                             809,000

UFC 165                             722,000

UFC 166                             628,000

UFC 167                             998,000

UFC 168                          1,554,000

UFC 169                             933,000

UFC 170                             936,000

UFC 171                             305,000 (FS2)

UFC 172                             750,000

UFC 173                             697,000

UFC 174                             784,000 (FX)

UFC 175                             1,000,000

UFC 177                             436,000

UFC PPV Prelims

Payout Perspective:

Only the UFC 171 Prelims had a lower rating due to the fact it was on FS2. As we inferred in our Payout Perspective, the prelims were bound to have a low rating. Not only were there just 3 fights, the first fight ended in the first round and there was 45 or so minutes of filler before the next fight. Certainly, this may have been the time that fans tuned out. Of course, the first full weekend of college football contributed to the very low number as well.

MMA documentary obtains distribution deals

September 3, 2014

Deadline reports that a documentary featuring MMA fighting pastors, entitled, “Fight Church,” has scored distribution deals with Lionsgate and Morgan Spurlock’s Warrior Poets. The controversial subject and the religion-based themes are the main reasons why this film has drawn interest.

The film follows pastors that preach the Bible while moonlighting as MMA fighters.  It includes clips of Benson Henderson and Jon Jones.

Lionsgate has signed on for North American Video on Demand rights and will distribute it on iTunes and other digital platforms on September 16th.  It will also appear on Netflix in other regions this Fall.

Spurlock, known for his documentary “Super Size Me” and his 30 for 30 documentary on sports agents entitled, “The Dotted Line,” intends to spin-off the documentary into a “documentary/reality” series.

Payout Perspective:

This will be an interesting story to follow and see whether a reality series will come to fruition.  The controversial issue of pastors actively fighting on MMA cards has to be seen as a conflict to some within the congregation.  With strong distribution, it’s likely that we may hear more about this project in the future.

Dillashaw tops UFC 177 salaries

September 2, 2014

MMA Junkie reports the salaries for UFC 177 as disclosed by the California State Athletic Commission.  T.J. Dillashaw was the top earner for the night with $150,000 ($50K to show, $50 to win and $50K performance bonus).

Via MMA Junkie:

T.J. Dillashaw: $100,000 (includes $50,000 win bonus)
def. Joe Soto: $20,000

Tony Ferguson: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
def. Danny Castillo: $36,000

Bethe Correia: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Shayna Baszler: $8,000

Carlos Diego Ferreira: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Ramsey Nijem: $18,000

Yancy Medeiros: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Damon Jackson: $8,000

Derek Brunson: $44,000 (includes $22,000 win bonus)
def. Lorenz Larkin: $28,000

Anthony Hamilton: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Ruan Potts: $10,000

Chris Wade: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Cain Carrizosa: $8,000

Payout Perspective:

Dillashaw’s base salary of $50,000 is a dramatic step up ($18K base plus $18K win = $36K) from UFC 173 when he took the title from Barao.  Dana White stated that Barao would not be paid for pulling out late.  At UFC 173, Barao had a base of $74,000.  Not only did Barao lose his title fight, he lost out on a nice payday.  It’s interesting to note that no other fighter had a show purse more than $22,000 (Brunson).

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