Bellator 190 draws 394,000 on a busy Saturday night of televised combat sports

December 13, 2017

Bellator 190 from Florence, Italy drew the lowest-rating of the promotion’s time on Spike TV with only 394,000 viewers on Saturday night.

There was stiff competition Saturday night with a UFC Fight Night and ESPN showing Top Rank’s card of Vasiliy Lomachenko taking on Guiellermo Rigondeaux.  In addition, there was another boxing card on HBO.

Bellator 190 featured Rafael Carvalho taking on Alessio Sakara.  Carvalho defeated Sakara to retain his middleweight title.

Per Nielsen, via ShowBuzz Daily, the event drew 0.12 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

The lower ratings had to be expected with an overseas card on a night Bellator usually is not on against three other televised combat sports events.  The 394,000 is an all-time low and lowers the 2017 average to 619,000.  Last year’s average was 678,000 viewers.  It was the third straight event with ratings lower than the previous event.

Loma-Rigo draw 1.73M viewers on ESPN Saturday night

December 12, 2017

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Saturday night drew 1,730,000 million viewers.  It is the second-highest rating for Top Rank since partnering the network in July.

The event featured Vasiliy Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeux in the main event.  Loma easily earned the victory when the Cuban challenger quit on the stool due to a hand injury.

The highest-rated event was the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn fight which averaged 2.8 million viewers and peaked at 4.4 million.  Although there was no peak viewership disclosed for Saturday’s event (yet), the Loma-Rigo fight likely had the highest peak viewership since Pacquiao-Horn.

According to Nielsen, via ShowBuzz Daily, it drew 0.59 viewers in the A18-49 demo and 0.84 with males in the 18-49 demo.  It drew 0.52 in the A18-34 demo.

The telecast was preceded by The Heisman Trophy Presentation which drew 2,175,000 and 0.58 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

Good ratings for an event featuring two fighters in the 130-pound division.  It’s rare that you find a lot of interest in a fight involving fighters in the smaller weight divisions but Lomachenko and Rigondeux were Olympic gold medalists and Loma is considered one of the best in the world.  The true test will be to see if Top Rank can continue to put on fights that will increase visibility for its boxers.

UFC Fight Night 123 draws 870K viewers, Prelims draw 707,000

December 12, 2017

UFC Fight Night 123 drew 870,000 viewers on FS1 Saturday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The Prelims which preceded the main card drew 707,000 viewers.

The main card featured Brian Ortega and Cub Swanson in the main event.  The 185-minute UFC Fight Night 123 drew 0.32 in the A18-49 demo.  The two-hour prelim card drew 0.21 in the A18-49 demo.

The post-show on FS1 drew 315,000 viewers.  The 60-minute show which started after the main card drew 0.13 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

On a night with many choices for combat sports, the UFC did well in the ratings scoring about the same average as these Fight Night cards.  It actually drew the best ratings for a Fight Night on cable TV since UFC Fight Night 116’s main card of 872,000.

PBC on FS1 draws 236,000 viewers on Friday night

December 11, 2017

On Friday night, PBC on FS1 drew 236,000 viewers.  The event featured Jean Pascal as he faced Ahmed Elbiali.

The event was the pre-cursor to the big boxing event at The Theater at Madison Square Garden between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeux.

Former light heavyweight champion, Pascal stopped the previously unbeaten Elbiali.  After the fight, Pascal announced his retirement.

Payout Perspective:

Fair ratings for the event which featured a former champ in the main event.  Yet, this was an event mainly for the boxing fan and the 236,000 reflects this.

UFC 218 Prelims draw 694,000 viewers on FS1

December 5, 2017

The UFC 218 Prelims drew 694,000 viewers Saturday night on FS1 according to Nielsen.

According to ShowBuzz Daily, it drew 0.26 in A18-49 demo.  The event fetured Charles Oliviera and Paul Felder.  The Irish Dragon defeated DoBronx via tap to strikes.

The event also featured one of the fights of the year as Yancy Medeiros scored an upset victory over Cowboy Alex Oliveira.

UFC 218 took place at Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit, Michigan.

Payout Perspective:

The Prelims rating is a usual indicator of how the PPV will do and based on this outcome, we might expect something in the mid-150s.  The PPV Prelims did air against College Football Championship Saturday with the Big 10 and ACC Championship games on the same time.  The good news for the UFC is that last December’s PPV later replayed on Fox on Christmas Eve and scored surprisingly good ratings.  This was a good PPV card and if you throw in Cowboy-Yancy, it could do well on Fox again.

Bellator 189 draws 439,000 viewers on Spike

December 4, 2017

Bellator 189 drew 439,000 viewers on Spike TV Friday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The event featured Julia Budd defending her Featherweight championship against Arlene Blencowe.  It was Budd’s first title defense as she defeated Blencowe for the second time.

The event took place in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

Payout Perspective:

The UFC edged out Bellator on Friday night with its TUF Finale.  Bellator ratings were down slightly from last week’s event in Israel.  The event did not draw as much interest as the UFC which might be due in part to the TUF season and the lack of promotion for the Bellator event.  This is the 6th event this year which has drawn less than 500,000 viewers.

 

TUF 26 Finale draws 501,000 on FS1; Prelims draw 361,000

December 4, 2017

The Ultimate Fighter 26 drew 501,000 viewers on FS1 Friday night.  The prelims which preceded the event drew 361,000 viewers.

The TUF 26 pre-fight show drew 148,000 at 7pm ET on FS1.  The one-hour precursor to the fights drew 0.06 in the A18-49 demo.  The prelims drew 0.12 in the A18-49 demo starting at 8pm ET.  The main card drew 0.21 in the A18-49 demo starting at 10pm ET.

The main card featured Nicco Monsanto and Roxanne Modafferi fight for the inaugural women’s Flyweight title.  Monsanto earned the victory.

In the final bout of the prelims, Montana De La Rosa defeated Christina Marks.

Payout Perspective:

On a night when it went up against Bellator and the Pac 12 College Football Championship game on ESPN, TUF 26’s main card fared well.  Notably, Bellator drew just 439,000 viewers in the 9pm ET time slot.  The A18-49 demo increased steadily throughout the night and so did the viewership.  Friday’s ratings pales in comparison to last December TUF 24 which featured Demetrious Johnson defending his title against Tim Elliott.  The event drew over 1 million viewers.  This year did not feature a top name like Mighty Mouse and thus did not do as well.

TUF 26 Episode 12 draws 220,000 viewers on FS1

November 30, 2017

The season finale of season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter drew 220,000 viewers on FS1 Wednesday night. It’s one of the lowest (if not the lowest) live + SD rating for the TUF franchise.

According to ShowBuzz Daily, it drew 0.09 in the A18-49 demo.

In the last fight of the season to determine who will fight in the live Finale on Friday night Sijara Eubanks defeated Roxanne Modafferi to earn her right to the TUF Finale.  It would have meant two of the lowest seeds (Nicco Montano is the other finalist) in the house squaring off for the inaugural Flyweight title.  However, due to weight cutting issues, Eubanks was forced to pull out and Modafferi was inserted into the final slot.

Payout Perspective:

Wednesday night’s show was not in the usual 10pm ET time slot as the replay of episode 11 aired and the new episode aired in the 11pm ET slot.  The ratings for this season were quite low with an average of 237,000 viewers for live viewership and the lowest rating ever for a first-run episode of TUF.  The fall TUF season is a hard sell due to Major League Baseball’s postseason as the show takes a week or so off due to conflicts and/or the World Series.  DVR ratings have helped bolster the viewership by almost 40 to 50% of the live viewing each week.

Kovalev fight draws second-highest rating boxing event on HBO this year

November 29, 2017

Coming back from his loss to Andre Ward, Sergey Kovalev returned to HBO and drew one of the best ratings for a live event on the network this year.  According to Nielsen, his fight with Vyacheslav Shabranskyy drew an average of 869,000 viewers peaking at 900,000 viewers Saturday night.

Kovalev’s fight lasted just two rounds as he thoroughly outclassed Shabranskyy.  Only the Terrence Crawford-Felix Diaz fight on HBO this past May drew higher ratings for a live event.

There were three fights on HBO Saturday night.  In the first fight, Yuriorkis Gamboa defeated Jason Sosa in somewhat of a controversial win.  The fight averaged 763,000 viewers and peaked at 846,000.  It also drew 0.24 in the A18-49 demo.  Sullivan Barrera defeated Felix Valera in the second bout of the evening.  The fight saw both men knock each other down in one round.  The event averaged 760,000 viewers and peaked with 805,000.  The event drew 0.25 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings show that Kovalev is still a viable draw for HBO.  His fight did not last long but based on the numbers, it’s clear that there is an audience for him even on a holiday weekend which could have buried this event.  We will see how/when Kovalev returns, the type of promotion he will receive.

TUF 26 Episode 11 draws 273,000 viewers on FS1

November 27, 2017

The Ultimate Fighter 26 Episode 11 drew 273,000 viewers last Wednesday  on FS1 per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

According to ShowBuzz Daily, it drew 0.09 in the Adult 18-49 category.  It was the penultimate episode of the season with Barb Honchak taking on Nicco Montano one semifinal.  The 14th seed Montano scored another upset as she defeated the 2nd seeded Honchak.  Montano will face the winner of the Roxanne Modafferi-Sijara Eubanks fight airing on the season finale of TUF 26.

Payout Perspective:

We will update the DVR numbers from the last couple weeks later this week.  The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is usually a tough time for viewership although TUF rebounds from an all-time low last week of 158,000 viewers.  Last year, TUF 24’s 11th episode which also took place on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving drew 304,000 viewers.  The night belonged to the NBA with the two games on ESPN drawing the top two spots for cable watchers.

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