UFC Fight Night 82 posts 1.3M viewers avg; Prelims draw over 1M

February 9, 2016

UFC Fight Night 82 drew 1.317M viewers on FS1 Saturday night per Sports TV Ratings.  In addition, the Prelims which preceded the main card drew over 1M viewers.

The event, which originally was scheduled on PPV drew a 0.6 rating in the 18-49 demo.  The main event saw Stephen Thompson stop Johny Hendricks in the first round.  The 1.317 million viewers (airing between 10-1am ET) comes in second to last month’s UFC Fight Night 81 this year.  January’s UFC event drew 2.288M viewers and the prelims posted 1.767M viewers.  The event also was on FS1.

The prelims drew another 1.093M viewers for the 8-10pm ET time slot and 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demo.

Thus far, 2016’s UFC Fight Nights have done much better than the overall average of 2015’s Fight Nights.  Of course, we’re just two Fight Nights in.  The 2015 average for 16 fight nights was approximately 921,000 viewers.  It excludes a couple Fight Nights that aired on Fight Pass.

Overall, on sports TV cable Saturday night, the OKC-Golden State game on ESPN Saturday night won the night with 3.23M viewers and 1.4 rating in the 18-49 category.

Payout Perspective:

Despite what one might think at the outset, this card was a good for TV.  Of course, it probably was not one you would pay $60 for so it was likely a good decision for the UFC to move this to FS1 and for the FS1 to agree to the switch.  Despite overlapping with the big NBA game Saturday night, UFC on FS1 did very well.  The average for Fight Nights are up this year (albeit a small sample size) which is good news for FS1.

Kovalev-Pascual II draws 1.179M on HBO

February 3, 2016

The Sergei Kovalev-Jean Pascual rematch on HBO drew 1.179 million HBO viewers Saturday night according to Sports TV Ratings.  Kovalev won a lopsided fight with a stoppage in the 7th round.

The main event on HBO peaked at 1.269M viewers.  The other fight that aired on HBO saw Dmitry Mikhaylenko defeat Karim Mayfield via unanimous decision.  That fight drew 701,000 viewers from 10:00pm-10:39pm ET.  According to Nielsen, the peak audience for the fight was 835,000 viewers.

The fight Saturday night is second-best in his recent showings on HBO.

July 2015 vs. Nadjib Mohammedi – 1.041 viewers

March 2015 vs. Jean Pascal- 1.152M viewers

November 2014 vs. Bernard Hopkins – 1.328M HBO viewers

August 2014 vs. Blake Caparello – 990,000 viewers

March 2014 vs. Cedric Agnew – 1.048 viewers

Saturday’s fight comes in second to Kovalev’s fight with Bernard Hopkins.

Payout Perspective:

Strong ratings for Kovalev which is a good sign that he is a potential headliner for future events and possibly PPV.  But, will Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson ever fight?  Or, will it be possible that Kovalev face Andre Ward?  It may not matter because Kovalev provides strong ratings on HBO whenever he is fighting.

UFC on Fox 18 Prelims draw 702,000 viewers

February 2, 2016

UFC on Fox 18 Prelims drew 702,000 viewers on FS1 on Saturday night according to Sports TV Ratings.

The event on Fox Sports 2 which preceded the Fox event improved over the 693,000 viewers on UFC on Fox 17 this past December.

The showcase fight of the 3-hour prelim event saw Tarec Saffiedine defeat Jake Ellenberger.

The event did slightly better than preliminary fight on the Kovalev-Pascual main event on HBO.  That fight drew 701,000 viewers for the 39-minute fight.

Payout Perspective:

There’s a big difference when the UFC on Fox events have its prelims on the network versus FS1.  In comparison, UFC on Fox 16 which aired on Fox drew 1.3 million viewers as opposed to the 693K (17) and 702K (18) over the last two Fox cards where the prelims were on FS1.  Of course, time on the Fox network is valuable so putting prelims on Fox every time a Fox card airs might not be feasible.

Bellator 148 draws 566,000 viewers

February 1, 2016

Bellator MMA 148 drew 566,000 viewers on Friday night according to Sports TV Ratings.  The event is off approximately 18% from the last Bellator event this past December.

The event on Friday featured Paul Daley in his first round KO of Andy Uhrich.  His quick work sets up his fight with Josh Koscheck nicely.

Bellator 148 – 566,000 viewers

In other ratings, the UFC Weigh-Ins for UFC on Fox 18 which aired from 7-8pm ET drew 156,000 viewers according to Sports TV Ratings.

Payout Perspective:

Bellator actually did better in ratings than any live cable sports programming on Friday outside of the Australian Open Women’s Final on ESPN.  It outdid the X Games on ESPN which drew 544,000 viewers.  Notably, the X Games was a 4-hour block which started at 7:00pm and went until 11:00pm.  The ratings are below 2015 levels as last year averaged approximately 749,000 viewers.  Of course, this is just one event with a big tentpole event due in a couple weeks.

Bellator signs Bendo

February 1, 2016

Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson has signed with Bellator MMA.  Henderson made the announcement on his web site on Monday.

Henderson’s last fight with the UFC was in November in South Korea.  Perhaps a sign that he would not return, after his win Henderson casually took off his UFC gloves in the Octagon.

Henderson thanked Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta in his blog post for the opportunities.

Henderson is 23-5 overall and 11-3 in the UFC.  Prior to that, Henderson had a successful career in the WEC as its lightweight champion.

Payout Perspective:

There is no news on whether there are matching rights in his UFC contract and if so whether or not they will exercise them to retain Henderson.  If Henderson makes it to Bellator, it immediately enhances the lightweight and/or welterweight divisions for the company.  Henderson becomes the first UFC fighter to switch organizations at a point in his career where he is still valuable (sorry Phil Davis, Josh Koscheck, Stephan Bonnar).  The move is great for Bellator.  MMA Payout will keep you posted.

UFC on Fox 18 draws 2.43M in overnight ratings

January 31, 2016

UFC Fight Night 18 on Fox Saturday night drew an overnight average of 2.43 million viewers with an 0.8 rating among adults 18-49 and a 3 share per Television By Numbers.

The event aired on Fox from 8:00pm-10:00pm ET with the main event between Anthony Johnson and Ryan Bader ending prior to 10:00pm.  UFC on Fox drew stiff competition as it went up against the NBA in primetime with the San Antonio Spurs playing the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Dateline Mystery on NBC drew the most viewers overnight with 4.75 million and a 0.9 rating in the adult 18-49 demo.  It also received a 3 share.  The NBA game which started at 8:30pm ET drew 3.17 million with a 1.1 rating in the adult 14-49 and a 4 share.

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

UFC on Fox 18 Ratings Payout Perspective:

Pretty good ratings considering the main event was not between two “brand name” opponents or for a title belt.  However, in comparison to last January’s UFC show on Fox which pulled 2.82 million viewers and the previous 2 January events did much better (2013 – 3.77M overnight 2014 – 2.55M, 2014 –  2.82M).  The NBA probably pulled away some of the target demo.  The event is pretty comparable to the PBC event last weekend on the network which drew about 2.5M when all was said and done. MMA Payout will keep you posted on the updated ratings.

Rousey produces above average ratings for SNL

January 27, 2016

Ronda Rousey’s appearance on Saturday Night Live provided the show with above average ratings this past Saturday night according to Television By Numbers.

Rousey’s appearance on SNL drew a 5.0 household share and a 2.5 share with the 18-49 demo in the overnight ratings for the metered markets.  The show is averaging a 4.6 household share and a 2.2 in 18-49 in overnight ratings.

Although the episode did not provide the ratings Donald Trump commanded when he appeared as a guest on SNL, Rousey is not running for president.

The ratings might have been skewed in part due to the east coast snowstorm which might have had local stations move SNL due to coverage of the snow.

Notably, Donald Trump drew a 6.6 share in November 2015 for his appearance as host.

Payout Perspective:

The above average ratings may be in part due to the east coast snowstorm as people staying inside decided to watch SNL instead of going out.  It also could be due to Rousey as many wanted to see if she could act or not.  She was better than Nancy Kerrigan and was no worse than Trump in the kits where she was a part.  Will she be back on SNL?  If her movie career takes off, it’s not out of the question.

WSOF 27 draws 211,000 viewers

January 26, 2016

The World Series of Fighting 27 drew 213,000 viewers on Friday night on NBC Sports Network according to Sports TV Ratings.  The immediate replay drew 111,000 viewers.

WSOF 27 featured Caros Fodor facing Luiz Firmino in the main event.  Firmino scored the upset over Fodor with a 3 round unanimous decision.

The Friday night ratings reflect a 24% increase from the company’s last event on NBCSN in December 2015.  The event aired 10pm-12am and then the replay ran from 12am-2am.

The NBA game between Indiana and Golden State on ESPN won the time slot with slightly over 2 million viewers between 10:35pm and 1:00am ET.

Payout Perspective:

A promising start to the year for WSOF. 213,000 viewers does not seem much but take a look at the WSOF track record and it is a good showing for a card with a lot of talent many have not heard of unless you follow WSOF.  The 2015 NBCSN average for WSOF programming was 189,000 viewers.

PBC on Fox draws 2.24M viewers

January 24, 2016

Premier Boxing Champions drew 2.24 million viewers on Fox Saturday night according to Television By Numbers.  It also received a 0.7 rating in the adult 18-49 demo and a 3 share.

Although PBC finished last in terms of overall average viewers for its 8-10pm ET time slot, it was first in Adult 18-49 rating and share for at least the first half hour (8-8:30pm).  It was soon replaced by the NBA game featuring Chicago and Cleveland.  Notably, a rerun of NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS drew 4.85 million viewers (8-9pm) and the NBA Saturday Primetime game between Chicago and Cleveland drew 3.69 million viewers with a 1.4 rating for adults 18-49 and a 5 share.  Also of note, U.S. Figure Skating on NBC drew 3.69 million viewers from 8-11pm.

PBC on Fox featured Danny Garcia versus Robert Guerrero in an entertaining 12 round fight which Garcia won.

Payout Perspective:

In comparison, UFC on Fox 17 this past December drew 2.28M viewers.  This appears the average for a live combat sporting events for this time slot.  Obviously, the NBA game during prime time featuring LeBron James was stiff competition for a boxing event with boxers you would only know if you followed the sport.

UFC Fight Night 81 draws 2.288M viewers; Prelims post impressive 1.767M

January 20, 2016

UFC Fight Night 81 drew 2.288 million viewers on Sunday night (10-12:40 am EST) on FS1 via Sports TV Ratings.  It was the highest-rated sports cable TV show airing on Sunday night.  The Prelims, which preceded the main card on Sunday, drew a big 1.767 million viewers on FS1.

UPDATED: Fight Night peak 2.464 million between the 10:45-11pm ET quarter hour during the main event.  It drew 1.410 million viewers in the A18-49 category.  The prelims drew 1.025M in the A18-49 demo according to Fox Sports.  This, and the 1.767 million viewer rating, made the prelims the highest-rated non-PPV prelim event on FS1 in both categories.

UFC Fight Night featured T.J. Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz in the main event with Cruz winning the bantamweight championship via split decision.  The main event did not start until midnight on the east coast and although no peak viewership has been announced yet one might assume it occurred during this overrun.

The prelims (airing from 8-10pm EST)  featured Patrick Cote-Ben Saunders in the last fight before the main card.  Cote won via KO in the second round.

Additionally, the UFC Fight Night Prefight show (7-8pm EST) on FS1 drew 312,000 viewers.  Also, the Fox Sports Live on FS1 which followed the overrun of the main card drew 1.391 million viewers making UFC-related programming 3 out of the top 4 shows for sports cable on Sunday (NFL Countdown on ESPN drew 1.87M viewers via Sports TV Ratings).

Payout Perspective:

It was the second year that the UFC and NFL collaborated in promoting a Sunday night Fight Night from Boston.  The UFC event served as a dessert for many sports fans after watching NFL Playoffs during the day.  The main card ratings, which drew a 1.4 rating, is down from last year’s 2.8 million (1.7 rating) UFC Fight Night 59 which featured Conor McGregor.  You might recall that last year’s event occurred during NFL Championship Sunday and that the UFC did an Embedded series to promote McGregor for the event.  Despite being lower than last year, it’s a very good rating for a bantamweight fight.

This time around the prelims did vastly better than last year’s 908,000 viewers.  The 1.767 million viewers were better than all of the UFC PPV Prelims on FS1 last year with the exception of the 1.9M of UFC 194.  MMA Payout will update these ratings with peak viewership numbers later today.

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