TUF 21 Episode 11 draws 433,000 viewers

July 2, 2015

The 11th episode of TUF airing on FS1 Wednesday drew an average viewership of 433,000 according to Sports TV Ratings.  A replay of the episode the same night drew an additional 74,000 viewers on Wednesday.

The episode featured a controversial ending to the fight of the show as Michael Graves of ATT defeated Jason Jackson of The Blackzilians via 1st round submission.  It also featured the competition between coaches as they participated in a relay race.

In addition to this week’s episode ratings, the DVR ratings from last week’s Episode 10 increased to 613,000 viewers reflecting an increase of 163,00 viewers.  The average increase per episode is now 180,000 viewers and the DVR rating is 566,000.  It should be noted that the DVR rating only covers the first-run of TUF and not the replays throughout the week.

TUF 21 Ratings
Live + SD Live +3 Increase
Episode 1 490,000 704,000 214,000
Episode 2 454,000 646,000 192,000
Episode 3 364,000 524,000 160,000
Episode 4 286,000 415,000 129,000
Episode 5 340,000 512,000 172,000
Episode 6 350,000 586,000 236,000
Episode 7 371,000 625,000 254,000
Episode 8 425,000 566,000 141,000
Episode 9 332,000 467,000 135,000
Episode 10 450,000 613,000 163,000
Episode 11 433,000

TUF 21 Ratings through Ep 11

Payout Perspective:

Despite having a strong lead-in from FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal between Japan and England which drew 2.3 million in the 6:41-8:56pmET time slot and Fox Sports Live 8:56pm-10:00pm ET time slot which drew 876,000 viewers per Sports TV Ratings, there was considerable drop off when TUF came on at 10:00pm.  The TUF average is 391,000 for this season.

UFC Fight Night 70 draws 909K on FS1; Prelims 223K on FS2

July 1, 2015

UFC Fight Night 70 drew a viewership of 909,000 viewers for its live event Saturday night on FS1 per Sports TV Ratings.  The prelims which aired on FS2 drew 223,000 viewers.

In addition, the replay featuring Yoel Romero and Lyoto Machida in the main event drew another 276,000 viewers on Monday night on FS1.

UFC Fight Night 70 which aired from 10:00-12:49pm ET on FS1 was to be preceded by a portion of the prelims was pre-empted due to the FIFA Women’s World Cup overrun of the England/Canada game.  The 25 minutes on FS1 before UFC Fight Night drew 966,000 viewers.

UFC Fight Nights through 70

Payout Perspective:

If you do not include the FOX Fight Night which featured Conor McGregor, the televised Fight Night average is 796,000 viewers.  The Fight Night did well considering the card shuffling and the fact that the card was comprised of prospects but for Machida.  The event competed with HBO’s boxing event featuring Timothy Bradley which drew 1.12 million HBO subscribers and its post-fight (of about 20 minutes) drew another 1 million.

Bradley-Vargas draws 1.121M on HBO

June 30, 2015

ESPN’s Dan Rafael reports that Saturday night’s HBO Boxing event featuring Timothy Bradley Jr. and Jessie Vargas drew an average of 1.121 million viewers for the live event from Carson, California.  The fight peaked at 1.228 million viewers on a night where Bradley pulled off a unanimous decision.

The undercard featuring Oscar Valdez and Ruben Tamayo drew 826,000 viewers with a peak at 916,000.

The HBO fight is 9th best this year on the premium networks (HBO or Showtime) pulling in front of the Terrence Crawford-Thomas Dulorme fight.

HBO Boxing Ratings for 2015 (main event fights only)

January 2015

Rios-Alvarado: 1.252 million viewers

February 2015

GGG-Murray: 862,000 viewers

March 2015

Kovalev-Pascal: 1.152 million viewers

April 2015

Matthysse-Provodnikov: 1.243 million

Crawford-Dulorme:  1.004 million

Klitschko-Jennings: 1.63 million viewers

May 2015

Canelo-Kirkland: 2.146 million viewers

GGG-Monroe: 1.338 million viewers

June 2015

Cotto-Geale: 1.589 million viewers

Walters-Marriaga: 588,000 viewers

Bradley, Jr.-Vargas:1.121million viewers

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are once again reflect that boxing is once again back.  Tim Bradley has made himself into a name since his controversial win over Manny Pacquiao 3 years ago.  Bradley improved in ratings since his last event on HBO when he drew 966,000 viewers against Diego Chaves.  Notably, of the top ratings on HBO or Showtime this year 8 are HBO events while just 1 (Wilder-Stiverne) was on Showtime.

Koscheck signs with Bellator

June 26, 2015

Bellator announced the signing of former UFC welterweight Josh Koscheck during its live event on Spike TV Friday night.  The 37-year-old Koscheck ended his UFC career on a 5 fight losing streak but has signed a mult-fight deal with the organization.

We last saw Koscheck in a loss to Erick Silva as a replacement at UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. LaFlare in March.  He also lost to Jake Ellenberger at UFC 184 in February.

Payout Perspective:

It’s clear that the fight to make here is against Paul Dailey.  For those that do not recall, Dailey was exiled from the UFC after he sucker-punched Koscheck at UFC 113 in May 2010.  That matchup saw a lot of trash-talking which ended up with Dailey hitting Koscheck after the final bell.  He was dismissed from the UFC and never given a chance to return.  We shall see if Bellator can continue its success of repackaging older, name brand fighters for its shows.  As we know from Bellator 131 and 138, the ratings reflect that it can.

More ratings from Bellator 138

June 24, 2015

Spike TV has released Live+3 data on Bellator 138 which reveals that 1.7 million viewers watched Friday night’s event.  The Kimbo Slice-Ken Shamrock fight drew 2.8 million viewers and peaked at 2.9 million making it the most watched Bellator event ever.

Adults 18-49 drew a 1.2 rating, Men 18-49 a 1.7 rating and Men 18-34 a 1.3 rating.

In comparison, Bellator 131’s DVR numbers bumped up last November’s telecast to 1.4 million with a peak of 2.246 million viewers.

Payout Perspective:

A remarkably good showing by Bellator as the live event showing plus 2 replays drew an average of 8.9 million viewers.  It did much better than Bellator 131 although you might recall it competed with UFC 180 that night.  Without another MMA telecast to compete with, Bellator had its best night on television.  We shall see how Bellator does September 19th with its third “tent pole” event.  It will go up against a UFC card but that is a Fight Pass only event.

Updated Bellator 138 ratings has peak viewership at 2.4M

June 23, 2015

Updated ratings for Bellator 138 are in and as expected the ratings have gone up from its initial ratings yesterday.  Notably, the Friday telecast peaked at 2.4 million viewers at 11:53pm ET during the main event.

Additionally, the fight between Slice and Shamrock drew 2.3 million viewers alone for the 3 minutes it lasted (11:51-11:54pmET).  In addition the replay immediately after the event drew an additional 339,000 viewers.  The next day, another replay on Saturday, June 20th drew 428,000 viewers.

The overall live telecast from 9-12:03pm drew 1.6 million viewers.

A ratings breakdown of some of the fights from Friday (live) are as follows:

Pitbull-Weichel- 1.9 million viewers

Lashley-Charles- 1.8 million viewers

Straus-Corrales – 1.3 million viewers

Chandler-Campos – 1.1 million viewers

Slice-Shamrock – 2.3 million viewers

In comparison, here is the breakdown (in order) of the fights for Bellator 131 last November:

King Mo-Joe Vedepo – 1.1 million viewers

Mike Richman-Nam Phan – 1.1 million viewers

Joe Schilling-Melvin Manhoef – 1.6 million viewers

AJ Matthews-Kyle Bolt – 1.3 million viewers

Will Brooks-Michael Chandler – 1.3 million viewers

Tito Ortiz-Stephan Bonnar – 1.9 million viewers

Payout Perspective:

Viewership is up for Bellator’s second “tent pole” event. The replays drew a modest audience as Saturday night’s replay went up against PBC on NBC as well as US Open Golf.  Still, the average viewership for fight are positive.  The DVR viewership should increase these numbers even more.

Bellator 138 posts biggest ratings in its history

June 22, 2015

Bellator 138 drew 1.58 million viewers on Spike TV Friday night according to Sports TV Ratings.  The event was the largest average viewership in Bellator history.

The previous record was November’s Bellator 131 which averaged 1.2 million viewers.

The main event for Bellator 138 was Kimbo Slice taking on Ken Shamrock.  Slice KO’d Shamrock in the first round.  It drew the highest peak in the company’s history: 2.1 million viewers (11;45pm-12am).

Bellator 138, which aired from 9:0pm-12:03am Friday night, drew an 0.8 rating among adults 18-49 per Sports TV Ratings.

Overnight Peak
Bellator 132 767,000 1,200,000
Bellator 133 565,000 967,000
Bellator 134 872,000 1,200,000
Bellator 135 607,000 922,000
Bellator 136 655,000 900,000
Bellator 137 594,000 768,000
Bellator 138 1,580,000 2,100,000

Bellator 138 ratings

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are great for Bellator as it was second to only US Open Golf on FS1 in cable sports viewing on Friday.  Scott Coker’s “tent pole” event strategy seems to be working as viewers are making sure that they tune in when a big event is on.  MMA Payout will keep you updated on further ratings information as we receive it.

TUF 21 Episode 9 draws 322,000 viewers

June 18, 2015

The Ultimate Fighter 21 episode 9 drew 332,000 viewers on Wednesday night per Sports TV Ratings.  The first showing of the episode on FS1 was down 22% from episode 8.

Notably, a same-day replay on FS1 at 10:00pm PT (1:00am ET) drew another 72,000 viewers.

In the fight of the episode, Kamaru Usman of the Blackzilians earned a unanimous decision of ATT’s Steve Carl.  Usman now has a chance to fight in the finale July 12.

TUF 21 Ratings through Ep 9

TUF 21 Ratings
Live + SD Live +3 Increase
Episode 1 490,000 704,000 214,000
Episode 2 454,000 646,000 192,000
Episode 3 364,000 524,000 160,000
Episode 4 286,000 415,000 129,000
Episode 5 340,000 512,000 172,000
Episode 6 350,000 586,000 236,000
Episode 7 371,000 625,000 254,000
Episode 8 425,000 566,000 141,000
Episode 9 332,000

Also of note, the DVR + 3 ratings from Episode 8 drew it up to 566,000 viewership reflecting an increase of 141,000 viewers which is way below the average increase (191,000) from live to DVR.

Payout Perspective:

Notably, it’s the first episode where TUF did not have to worry about NBA or NHL playoffs as both are over.  Yet, TUF lost ground in ratings.  Live viewership is averaging approximately 380,000 viewers.

How will Bellator 138 do on Spike TV Friday?

June 18, 2015

Bellator 138, the organization’s latest “tent pole” event occurs Friday night on Spike TV with Kimbo Slice taking on Ken Shamrock in the featured event.

Last Friday, Spike TV aired “Countdown to Unfinished Business” which drew 215,000 viewers according to Nielsen sources.  The shoulder programming was preceded by a PBC event which drew 446,000 viewers.  The ratings are less than prior shoulder programming for Bellator events.  For example, last year’s “Rampage vs. King Mo” shoulder program hyping their fight at Bellator 120 drew 460,000 viewers.  While we do not have the ratings for shoulder programming for Bellator 131, one might make the assumption that Tito Ortiz-Stephan Bonnar drew more than 215,000 viewers in the days before their big fight last November.

Still, there is some positive buzz for this event despite the fact the two main event fighters are past their prime.

Fortunately for Bellator, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday ending the NBA Finals.  A Game 7 would have put the NBA up against Bellator on Friday which could have proven disastrous for the organization.  With boxing’s big event this weekend occurring on Saturday, Bellator will go unopposed aside from regional MLB broadcasts and those wanting to watch the US Open.  However, the latter likely skews to an older demo not targeted by Bellator.

Scott Coker indicated in an MMA Fighting article that he believed that Slice-Shamrock could beat the ratings record of Ortiz-Bonnar.  Bellator 131 last November drew an overall record 1.24 million viewers on Spike TV climaxing with a peak of 2 million during the Ortiz-Bonnar fight.  The adjusted viewership for DVRs drew the telecast to 1.4 million for the overall event and 2.246 million for the main event.   Of course, Ortiz-Bonnar included some pro-wrestling promotion which drew notoriety for better or worse.

It’s undeniable that Kimbo Slice is, or was, a ratings draw.  His EliteXC days drew huge ratings on CBS and season 10 of TUF (on Spike TV) was the last time that the TUF series drew notable ratings.  Of course, aside from Kimbo, that season was sparked due to the rivalry between Rashad Evans and Rampage Jackson.  Ken Shamrock is a legend in MMA and his name is tied to famous rivalries throughout the years.  But, will this fight garner ratings?

Payout Perspective:

Without the NBA Finals opposing this event, we could see a very good ratings number for Bellator 138.  I doubt we see ratings like Ortiz-Bonnar.  The fact is that both Slice and Shamrock are past their primes and this may deter some viewers from tuning in.  Yet, the names might intrigue a casual viewer just to see if they still have “it.”  We shall see Friday if their name recognition should be past tense as well.

WSOF to air on NBC in July

June 17, 2015

WSOF announced that it is returning to network television on Saturday afternoon July 11th preceding UFC 189.  The show will feature its “Unstoppable” series which will show highlights of WSOF fights rather than offer a live event.

“We are excited to deliver another hard-hitting compilation of the most memorable, recent bouts featuring WSOF’s collection of dynamic world champions and other superstars,” said WSOF President, Ray Sefo in the WSOF Press Release.

According to the press release, all of the WSOF champions will be featured including Justin Gaethje, Rousimar Palhares, Lance Palmer and Blagoy Ivanov.

The two-hour program will air on NBC from 1pm PT/4pm ET giving fight fans an hour or so before the UFC 189 preliminary fights start.

Payout Perspective:

You might recall that WSOF aired a live event last July 5th which drew 781,000 viewers.  It went on the same day as UFC 175.  This time around we get a compilation show which may be a cost effective measure.  I’m not sure if this is good or bad for the WSOF.  Certainly, it’s good in that WSOF is able to control its brand by putting on the best fights for presumably its biggest audience of the year.  Then again, not having a live events misses out on a chance for the organization’s fighters to showcase their skills.

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