TUF 20 Episode 3: 433,000 viewers

September 25, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that last night’s third episode of TUF on FS1 scored an average viewership of 433,000 which marks the lowest live viewership for the show this season.

In the fight of the show, Jessica Penne defeated Lisa Ellis with a rear-naked choke.

TUF 20 on FS1

Episode 1  536,000, Live +3: 831,000

Episode 2  574,000, Live +3:  946,000

Episode 3  433,000

TUF 20 Ep 3

Payout Perspective:

The decrease in the viewership is concerning but if you look at the substantial gains from the Live + 3, we might expect a considerable bump when those are released sometime next week.  As an aside, TNA Impact Wrestling on Spike TV did not crack the top 100 on cable on Wednesday despite usually doing so.

TUF 20 Episode 2 Live +3 increases viewership 65%

September 24, 2014

MMA Payout has learned that the second episode of TUF 20 last week on FS1 received an increase of 65% to 946,000 viewers.  This reflects a bump of 372,000 viewers..

The Live + 3 viewership average (excluding Ep 1’s Fox re-air) is slightly over 888,000 viewers and the live viewership average is 555,000 viewers.

TUF 20 Ep 2 Live + 3

Payout Perspective:

The increase in viewership from DVR views reflects the fact that people are recording the show to watch later which may be good for the overall number but does not really help advertisers.  In comparison to Bellator DVR numbers, more which have modest increases, a great deal of people are recording TUF for later.

Bellator 125 Live +3 = 796K; peak at 1.25M

September 24, 2014

MMA Payout has learned that Bellator 125’s adjusted viewership rating for this past Friday’s event drew the initial rating up 54,000 to a Live plus 3 rating of 796,000 viewers.

The peak rating went up as well to 1.25M viewers.

Bellator 11th Season incl DVR 3 09.24.14

Payout Perspective:

Through three events of Season 11, we see that the average viewership has increased and remains steady (Live – 726K, Live +3 – 803K).  Also, the peak viewership is hovering over 1 million viewers.  These are all positive signs for the company.

Bellator 125: 742,00 viewers

September 22, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that Bellator drew 742,000 viewers.  It also received the highest rating of the season in the coveted males 18-34 demo.

The highest quarter hour was the during the 10:45-11:00pm slot which drew 937,000 viewers.

Bellator 11th Season - 125

Payout Perspective:

The main event which saw Melvin Manhoef KO Doug Marshall in the first round ended the night early for Bellator programming so apparently a lot of viewers got in just to see the last fight.  The ratings are a good sign for Bellator as it continues to trend up even with its lesser known talent.

Spike TV to air “Eddie Alvarez: Free on Spike” Saturday

September 22, 2014

Spike TV announced that it will air both Eddie Alvarez fights against Michael Chandler in Bellator in opposition to UFC 178 this Saturday.  Spike TV is calling the program, “Eddie Alvarez: Free on Spike.”

Via Spike TV press release:

MMA fans can sit back enjoy Eddie Alvarez’s two most memorable bouts against Michael Chandler for free on Spike TV on Saturday, September 27 at 10:00pm ET/PT. The 90-minute “Eddie Alvarez: Free on Spike” special will kick-off with his first bout with Michael Chandler at Bellator 58, regarded by many as  the  “Fight of The Year” in 2011.  Then, your night of free Eddie Alvarez continues with his rematch with Michael Chandler from Bellator 106 from November, 2013 where Eddie regained the title in a dramatic 5-round decision.

The program airs at the same time as the start of UFC 178 on PPV.

Payout Perspective:

With the past salary dispute between Alvarez and Bellator, the title of the program, “Eddie Alvarez: Free on Spike” might have a little irony to it.

Does this sound familiar?  Previously, Spike TV has done well with airing MMA programming opposite the UFC.  Spike TV used the UFC library during UFC events in the past as a result of an inexplicable rights agreement that allowed Spike TV the UFC library for a year despite its move to Fox.  It makes sense from Bellator’s perspective and the title says it all.  It basically tells you why pay $55 when you get guaranteed exciting fight for free on Spike TV.  With the original main event (Jones-Cormier) moved to next year, SpikeTV/Bellator has a shot to grab some viewers not willing to pay to see Demetrious Johnson headlining a PPV.

TUF 20 Episode 2: 574,000 viewers

September 18, 2014

MMA Payout has learned that the second episode of TUF 20 on FS1 scored an average viewership of 574,000 viewers.  The average is up slightly (7%) from the debut episode which aired last Wednesday on the network.

According to a Nielsen source, it’s only the sixth time in the twenty seasons of TUF that the second episode drew more than the debut episode.  Wednesday’s episode grew in the important adult 18-49 demo from the first (359,000 viewers) to the second episode (364,000 viewers).

In offering a quick comparison from the start of this season to the start of TUF 19, the second episode from the Penn-Edgar season drew only 320,000 viewers.

Episode 1:  536,000 (on FS1)

Episode 2:  574,000

Payout Perspective:

The good news is that the second episode drew higher than the debut episode for Episode 20.  One might have expected a higher bump considering the additional viewing opportunities for TUF 20’s debut episode which re-aired Sunday on Fox before or after NFL Football in many markets.  Still, the ratings are better than TUF 19 at this point.  We’ll see if there will be additional efforts to promote TUF on Fox.

Bellator 124 Live +3 scores over 1.4M

September 18, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that the Live +3 numbers (also known as DVR plus 3) increased Friday’s Bellator ratings to 836,000 viewers with a peak viewership of 1.429 viewers.

23 minutes of the Bellator 124 on Spike TV had an average audience of 1 million viewers.

Bellator 123:  667,000 viewers, peak 979,000; Live +3: 777,000 viewers, peak 1.193 million

Bellator 124:  771,000 viewers, peak —-; Live +3 836,000 viewers, peak 1.429 million

via MMA Payout

via MMA Payout

The increase in ratings reflects a positive uptick for this season.  The 1.4 million viewers is the best viewership its had on SpikeTV.

TUF 20 re-air on Fox Sunday draws 1.735M

September 17, 2014

The Ultimate Fighter 20’s season debut which Fox re-aired on the network Sunday “adjacent” to NFL on Fox game coverage scored a composite of 1.735 million viewers.  Additional re-airs on FS1 and FS2 added 267,000 viewers for a total of 2.54 million according to a company media release.

It was the first time that Fox has aired a TUF episode on Sunday next to NFL games.  The times as to when TUF aired on Fox varied.  For example, some viewers across the country saw TUF prior to the 1pm west coast (4pm east coast) game while others saw it after the early games (10am/1pm respectively).  In Seattle, TUF did not air until 11:30pm on Sunday night.

The 1.753M number comes from the national average of viewers which Nielsen calculates using around 200+ local markets.

In addition, the Live +3 day viewership drew a significant amount more viewers (up 55%) as it added another 295,000 viewers to the initial viewership of 536,000.  Thus, the total amount of viewers that saw TUF 20’s debut (if you included those that saw it on DVR) was 831,000.

Payout Perspective:

The total viewers that have seen TUF 20 is actually 2,538,000 although the media release rounded up.  Airing TUF on Sundays piggybacking on the NFL should help with the visibility of the TUF product as the hope appears to be snagging NFL fans not flipping to the Red Zone channel after/before the games on Fox.  It’s a good more and shows that the UFC/Fox really want to push this season.

Bellator 124 peak over 1.2M

September 16, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that the peak viewership for Bellator 124 this past Friday was 1,271,000.

Bellator MMA Live Season 11

Bellator 123:  667,000 viewers, peak 979,000; Live +3: 777,000 viewers, peak 1.193 million

Bellator 124:  771,000 viewers, peak 1,271,000

Bellator 11th Season

Payout Perspective:

According to the information we have the actual peak came at 10:13pm which I believe occurred prior to the main event.  Notably, the live viewership peak is already better than the Live +3 day peak from last week.

WSOF 13: 246,000 viewers

September 16, 2014

MMA Payout has learned that World Series of Fighting13 this past Saturday drew an average of 246,000 viewers on the NBC Sports Network

WSOF Ratings 1-13 

WSOF 1 – 198,000 viewers

WSOF 2 – 210,000 viewers

WSOF 3 – 201,000 viewers

WSOF 4 – 264,000 viewers

WSOF 5 – 227,000 viewers

WSOF 6 – 161,000 viewers

WSOF 7 – 94,000 viewers

WSOF 8 – 212,000 viewers

WSOF 9 – 242,000 viewers

WSOF 10 – 365,000 viewers

WSOF 11 – 781,000 viewers (NBC)

WSOF 12 – 206,000 viewers

WSOF 13 – 246,000 viewers

WSOF 13 graph


WSOF 13 featured Marlon Moraes as he defeated Cody Bollinger in the main event.

Payout Perspective:

The overall WSOF average comes to slightly over 262,000 viewers.  It you take out WSOF 11 on NBC, the average comes to just 218,000 viewers.  Of course, you could also take out WSOF 7 which was on tape delay too and you would have an average of it being slightly over 230,000 viewers.  Saturday WSOF was seemingly buried amid college football and those choosing to watch the UFC event on Fight Pass and/or the Mayweather-Maidana fight.


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