UFC on Fox 14 draws 3.049M, Prelims do 607K on FS1

January 27, 2015

Saturday night’s UFC on FOX 14 drew an average of 3.049 million viewers per Nielsen.  In addition, the Prelims on FS1 drew 607,000 viewers for the three hour show preceeding the two hour network card.

The two hour event on FOX won its time slot as well as coming in first in key adult and male demos.  It drew a 1.8 rating with a 3 share and its final peak rating drew 3.646 million viewers.  The event featured Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson.  “Rumble” scored an upset win over the hometown favorite.

The ratings are the best on FOX for the UFC since last year’s UFC on Fox 10 in January 2014 which featured Benson Henderson and Josh Thompson.

The UFC on Fox 14 Prelims are down from December’s UFC on Fox Prelims which drew 654,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Despite this past Saturday’s event drawing less than previous network events in January, the ratings show that the promotion of the event from Fox during the NFL playoffs and other Fox sports have helped with awareness of the card.  The Prelims were slightly off of December’s ratings which may be due to the lack of name recognition from all of the non-US fighters.

Rios-Alvarado trilogy scores 1.252M viewers

January 27, 2015

ESPN’s Dan Rafael reports that Saturday night’s HBO boxing card featuring the third fight between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvardo drew 1.252 million HBO viewers.  According to Nielsen the peak of the fight drew 1.315 million viewers.

Per Rafael, it was the most watch fight of the three between Rios and Alvardo.  Also on Saturday, the Gilberto Ramirez-Maxim Vlasov fight which preceded the main event drew 820,000 viewers with a peak at 946,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

HBO Boxing on Saturday featuring Rios-Alvarado (which occurred after UFC on Fox 14) outdid the big Deontay Wilder-Bermane Stiverne fight on Showtime the week before.  The ratings for the fights on HBO and Showtime show that boxing is gaining some ratings momentum.  With the news that Al Haymon has secured spots on NBC, NBC Sports Network and SpikeTV, we can see more of good boxing events in 2015.

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.

WSOF 17: 222,000 viewers

January 22, 2015

WSOF 17 held this past Saturday drew an average of 222,000 viewers on NBC Sports Network.  The show reflects an increase in viewership from its last show in November.


WSOF Ratings 1-14 (1-10 and 12-17 on NBC Sports Network)

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 14 – 229,000 viewers

WSOF 15 – 179,000 viewers

WSOF 16 – 181,000 viewers

WSOF 17 – 222,000 viewers

Payout Perspective:

The show was headlined by Jake Shields taking on Brian Foster with Shields taking the submission victory.  The show went opposite college basketball and a big heavyweight boxing matchup on Showtime.  The ratings are a nice bump for the organization.  Overall, the average of WSOF televised events are up to 248,000 although that includes one show on NBC.  Without the NBC show, the televised events on NBCSN are at 215,000 viewers.

Bellator 132: 767,000 viewers

January 21, 2015

Bellator 132 drew an average viewership of 767,000 viewers according to Nielsen.  The main event between Patricio “Pitbull” Freire and Daniel Straus drew 1.1 million viewers.

The show peaked during the main event with 1.2 million viewers at 11:21 p.m. ET.

It was the first show for Bellator MMA in 2015 and took place at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California.

Payout Perspective:

It’s a nice start to the year for Bellator as its next event will occur on February 13 in Fresno, CA.  Friday’s event is above the season 11 average (727,000) for Bellator programming on Spike.  Notably, only two events from season 11 (one of which was Bellator 131) drew a live peak average of over 1 million viewers.

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.

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.

Report estimates UFC 182 PPV buys between 740K-820K

January 14, 2015

MMA Fighting reports the PPV buy rate for UFC 182 to be in the 740,000 to 820,000 range making it the biggest PPV since December 2013.

UFC 182 which featured Jon Jones defending his heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier was heavily promoted.  It received higher than average attention and resulted in the best UFC buy rate in over a year.  In addition, reports of packed sports bars and movie theaters to watch the event showed that the buzz featuring a contest between bitter rivals appealed to many.

For Jones, it was the best PPV buy rate since his UFC 145 main event drew 700,000 PPV buys.  That event was sold based on a bitter rivalry as well.  At that point, Jones was thought to be a PPV star.

UFC 182 was the best PPV buy rate since UFC 168 in December 2013 which drew 1,025,000.

Dana White had predicted the event to draw 750,000 PPV buys and then indicated it would exceed that amount immediately after the event.

As pointed out by Dave Meltzer in the MMA Fighting article, UFC 182 went up against the NFL Playoffs featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers-Baltimore Ravens which drew 28 million viewers.  It was one of the biggest TV audiences for an NFL Wildcard game in the NFL’s history.

Payout Perspective:

There was a time when Jon Jones was thought to be the next PPV star and draw this type of buy rate regardless of his match-up.  This has not come to full fruition and with the revelation that he used cocaine prior to UFC 182, it may taint his image.  The interest for this fight was greatly aided by the media day brawl back in August and the subsequent venom between the two fighters.  The UFC picked up on this and packaged it into slick promos and focused on the one fight rather than take time to focus on others.  The marketing for this fight worked and its reflected in the buy rate.

For those wondering, Google searches for UFC 182 were at 400K over fight weekend.  The event drew enormous traffic on MMA web sites; an average of over 1 million viewers watched the Prelims and a record-breaking rating for the post-fight show on FS1.  All of this amounted to a PPV buy rate somewhere between 740K and 820K.  Do you think it should have done better?  Should we just chalk this up to new expectations when it comes to PPV?  The good news was that all of the promotion provided a great deal of interest and 2015 is off to a very good start PPV-wise.

Bellator MMA programming Friday draws 654K average

January 12, 2015

MMA Payout has learned from Nielsen sources that Friday night’s Bellator MMA programming drew an average viewership of approximately 654,000 viewers.

Bellator MMA Presents: “Top 20 Knockouts” at 9pm on Friday night drew an average of 713,000 viewers.  “15 Fantastic Finishes” at 10pm drew an average of 594,000 viewers.  Both served as year in reviews for the organization.


The Top 20 Knockouts hosted by Jimmy Smith included Liam McGeary’s KO of Mike Mucitelli as well as Emanuel Newton’s spinning back fist against King Mo.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are not bad considering it being just a recap show.  The programming provides good lead up to this his week’s live Bellator event.  Interesting note – the KO show did better in live ratings than 6 of the 9 live MMA fights from Bellator Season 11.

The Wrestling Post – Total Divas returns to E!

January 9, 2015

In the second half of its third season, WWE Total Divas drew a season high rating average of 1.41 million viewers according to Television By Numbers.  The WWE reality show on the E! network received help from the Kardashians.

Total Divas drew a 0.7 rating while it was aided by lead-in Kourtney & Khloe Take the Hamptons which drew 1.836 million viewers and a 0.9 rating.  It was the season finale for the Kardashian show.  The show which is morphing into its own reality to the annoyance of some WWE fans is building its own audience in addition to WWE followers.

Payout Take:  Total Divas did not lose a lot of audience from the Kardashians which is an actual positive sign.  Notably, the Kardashian replay which took place after Total Divas drew 806,000 viewers for a 0.4 rating.

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