Guillard hears Reebok deal discontent from teammates

August 27, 2015

Bellator lightweight Melvin Guillard had some interesting things to say about his previous employer in light of the Reebok apparel deal.  Guillard, who was cut by the company, states that it will likely lose fighters due to the lost revenue by fighters from sponsors.

Guillard has not been with the company since his last fight in March 2104.  However, he states in a recent MMA Fighting interview that some of the UFC fighters he trains with at American Top Team are “unhappy with how things went with the UFC.”  Guillard stated that the “UFC is really just dropping the ball on a lot of guys.  They’re going to lose a lot of talent.”

Prior to the UFC sponsor fee, Guillard stated that a fighter could make $50K to $60K per fight from sponsors.  However, restrictions on sponsors which required they pay a fee to the UFC in order to sponsor a fighter curtailed many brands from sponsoring a fighter.  The Reebok deal which went into effect this July, has received criticism from many fighters that have indicated it has cut their ability to earn money from sponsors.  While some fighters have taken up the side of the UFC, there are many fighters that are put off by the new payouts from Reebok.

Guilard, who had a stint with WSOF, is now in Bellator and is set to fight this Friday for the organization at Bellator 141.

Payout Perspective:

Guillard’s comments could be seen as a former fighter expressing his opinion after being let go by the UFC and thus feels free to say what he wants about the organization.  Guillard’s comments about what his teammates are saying might be hearsay and might be a way that UFC contracted fighters are expressing their discontent with the new era of sponsorship revenue for fighters.  Until there are actual numbers out there that he is making more money overall than he did when he was with the UFC, it’s hard to conclude that UFC fighters would jump ship to other organizations due to the Reebok deal.

UFC Fight Night 74 draws 796K viewers, prelims draw 542K

August 25, 2015

Sunday night’s UFC Fight Night 74 airing on FS1 drew an average viewership of 796,000 according to Nielsen sources.  The prelims which preceded the main card drew 542,000 viewers.

The peak during the main card occurred in the last quarter hour of the event 9:45-10pm when it drew 970,000 viewers.  The main card for UFC Fight Night 74 went up against NFL Preseason Football on Fox and WWE’s Summerslam.  The NFL game between the Titans and Rams drew 4.345 million viewers and scored the most in the adult 18-49 demo according to

Yet, the Sunday night card fared well despite dropping in viewership from two Saturday ago.  The Fight Night viewership average is at 872,000 952,000 viewers.

The prelims actually saw an increase from UFC Fight Night 73 drawing 542,000 viewers.

UFC Fight Nights 2015
Main Card Prelims
UFC Fight Night 59 2,751,000 908,000
UFC Fight Night 60 913,000 775,000
UFC Fight Night 61 1,200,000 813,000
UFC Fight Night 62 617,000 280,000
UFC Fight Night 63 389,000 304,000
UFC Fight Night 66 575,000 286,000
UFC Fight Night 67 813,000 713,000
UFC Fight Night 68 950,000 782,000
UFC Fight Night 70 (prelims on FS2) 909,000 223,000
UFC Fight Night 71 801,000 543,000
UFC Fight Night 72 508,000 292,000
UFC Fight Night 73 1,159,000 306,000
UFC Fight Night 74 796,000 542,000

UFC Fight Night 74

Payout Perspective:

On a rather busy Sunday night, the UFC had a decent viewership and the prelim viewership actually increased compared to the last two UFC Fight Night cards.  The main event was disappointing due to the injury to Oliveira.  However, much of the rest of the fights on Sunday were entertaining.

PBC on NBC Sports Network draws 362,000 viewers

August 18, 2015

PBC on NBC Sports Network drew a viewership rating of 362,000 viewers per Sports TV Ratings.

The ratings are an increase from July’s PBC on NBCSN’s event which drew 247,000 viewers.  The July event on NBCSN was the lowest reported rating across the networks that show PBC (excluding Bounce TV).

Notably, Friday night PBC on Spike TV drew 679,000 viewers.

In the main event on PBC on NBCSN Saturday Lucian Bute defeated Andrea Di Luisa.

Payout Perspective:

An NFL preseason game between Tampa Bay and Minnesota drew the biggest ratings on Saturday night as it drew 1.783 million viewers.  PBC which aired from 9-11pm ET did fairly well compared to its previous showing on the network.  The previous Saturday, a Barclays Premier League replay drew just 84,000 viewers (via Sports TV ratings) in the same time slot the week before.

PBC on Spike TV 5 draws 679K viewers

August 17, 2015

PBC on Spike TV drew an average of 679,000 viewers per Sports TV Ratings. It’s the second-highest viewership for PBC on Spike since its launch in March.

The event, which aired from 9:00-11:16pm ET, featured Antonio Tarver taking on Steve Cunningham which ended in a split decision draw. The undercard featured an upset as Krzysztof Glowacki defeated WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck.

PBC on Spike
869,000 3/13/2015
569,000 4/24/2015
772,000 5/22/2015
446,000 6/12/2015
679,000 8/14/2015

Payout Perspective:

If you considered that this is the first weekend for NFL preseason football and PBC went up against two NFL games which drew over 1M viewers each this is a very good rating.  Of course, the Little League World Series qualifying games and a Sportscenter also drew better than live boxing on Spike.

UFC Fight Night 73 draws 1.159M viewers; Prelims 306K

August 11, 2015

UFC Fight Night 73 drew an average viewership of 1.159M viewers on FS1 Saturday night according to Sports TV Ratings.  The event made it the third-most watch UFC Fight Night of 2015.

In addition, the Fight Night Prelims which aired prior to the main card drew 306,000 viewers from 8-10pm ET.  The main card, which aired from 10pm-1am featured Glover Texeira and Ovince Saint Preux with Texeira taking the submission victory.

The main card was the second-most watched cable sporting event on Saturday night next to NASCAR on NBC Sports Network earlier in the day.

UFC Fight Nights through 73

UFC Fight Nights 2015
Main Card Prelims
UFC Fight Night 59 1,700,000 908,000
UFC Fight Night 60 913,000 775,000
UFC Fight Night 61 1,200,000 813,000
UFC Fight Night 62 617,000 280,000
UFC Fight Night 63 389,000 304,000
UFC Fight Night 66 575,000 286,000
UFC Fight Night 67 813,000 713,000
UFC Fight Night 68 950,000 782,000
UFC Fight Night 70 (prelims on FS2) 909,000 223,000
UFC Fight Night 71 801,000 543,000
UFC Fight Night 72 508,000 292,000
UFC Fight Night 73 1,159,000 306,000

Payout Perspective:

Saturday’s UFC event is a reason why FS1 wants the promotion on its network.  The UFC delivered with high ratings for the main card which brought the average up to 877,000 for all televised Fight Nights in 2015.  Last year, only 2 events exceeded 1 million viewers.  UFC Fight Night 73 featured fringe fighters that most casual viewers would not know.  Thus, not a big reason to tune in.  One might conclude that the reason so many people tuned in was that it was live and a UFC event.   A positive for FS1 and the UFC.

Glory 23 posts only 295,000 viewers

August 10, 2015

Glory Kickboxing 23 on Friday night drew 295,000 viewers per Sports TV Ratings.  Although it represents an almost 50% increase from June’s Glory 22, it still is low compared to previous events.

The event aired on Spike TV from 11:00pm to 1:04am on Friday night.

Glory Ratings on Spike
Glory 11 381,000
Glory 12 476,000
Glory 13 659,000
Glory 14 495,000
Glory 15 354,000
Glory 16 498,000
Glory 17 487,000
Glory 18 352,000
Glory 19 542,000
Glory 20 359,000
Glory 21 488,000
Glory 22 152,000
Glory 23 295,000

Glory 23

Prior to the last two events, Glory events on Spike averaged 463,00 viewers.  It now averages 426,000.  The last two events on Spike TV have been the two lowest ratings on Spike TV.

Payout Perspective:

Glory 22 (from France) in June aired the same night as a World Series of Fighting event which may account for June’s low rating.  Still, the event was considerably lower than usual.  Friday’s event featured a middleweight tournament.  But, the 11pm start time might have contributed to the low ratings.  Perhaps the combo event in September with Bellator will help the sport as kickboxing has failed find a steady foothold in the U.S.

WSOF 22 draws 254,000

August 4, 2015

The World Series of Fighting 22 event held on Saturday and airing on NBC Sports Network drew an average of 254,000 viewers according to a Nielsen source.  It reflects a 21% increase since its last event.

WSOF 22 featured Rousimar Palhares and Jake Shields with Palhares taking the controversial win. As we now know, Palhares has been stripped of his welterweight title.


World Series of Fighting
WSOF 1 198,000
WSOF 2 210,000
WSOF 3 201,000
WSOF 4 264,000
WSOF 5 227,000
WSOF 6 161,000
WSOF 7 94,000
WSOF 8 212,000
WSOF 9 242,000
WSOF 10 365,000
WSOF 11 781,000
WSOF 12 206,000
WSOF 13 246,000
WSOF 14 229,000
WSOF 15 179,000
WSOF 16 181,000
WSOF 17 222,000
WSOF 18 209,000
WSOF 19 216,000
WSOF 20 128,000
WSOF 21 203,000
WSOF 22 254,000

WSOF aired from 7:40pm to 10:15pm PT.  Thus, all of the event was on during the UFC 190 PPV.  It drew a 0.11 rating in the overall 18-49 demo, 0.19 among M18-49 and 0.07 among M14-34.  Of course, the Diaz Brothers-Khabib brawl overshadowed the event at the Planet Hollywood in Vegas.

Payout Perspective:

Despite the stiff competition of PBC and UFC, WSOF drew a decent rating based on its prior events.  The overall average for WSOF events is 238,000 including WSOF 11 which was on NBC.  The 2015 WSOF average is 205,000 viewers.

UFC 190 Prelims draw 1.3M viewers

August 4, 2015

The UFC 190 Prelims on FS1 drew an average viewership of 1.3 million viewers per Sports TV Ratings.  The event airing from 5-7pm PT on Saturday night was the second-highest average for the UFC Prelims in 2015.

UPDATED 08/05/15:  According to Nielsen sources, the event peaked at 1,599,000 viewers in the 9:15-9:30pm ET quarter hour.  Notably, before the final fight on the prelim card.  Saturday’s prelims were up 13% (1.04 vs. .092) and 10% for the average audience from the UFC 184 prelims.

In addition, program supporting UFC 190 were up as well.  The prefight show drew 518,000 viewers making it the 3rd most watched PPV prefight in FS1 history.  The postfight show, which was later due to the PPV, drew 438,000 viewers making it the 2nd most-watched UFC postfight show on FS1.

Also of note, on Friday a special (10pm ET) UFC Tonight focusing on Rousey drew 396,000 viewers which was the most-watch edition of UFC Tonight ever.

A special 90 minute UFC weigh-ins on Friday on FS1 (4:30pm-6pm ET) drew 101,000 viewers per Sports TV Ratings.

The Prelims featured Damian Maia as he submitted Neil Magny.  The event preceded the UFC 190 PPV and was the highest rated sports event on cable on Saturday beating PBC on ESPN and WSOF.  The event brought the 2015 average for UFC PPV Prelims up to 1,019,000.

UFC PPV Prelims
UFC 182 1,030,000
UFC 183 1,546,000
UFC 184 1,205,000
UFC 185 1,003,000
UFC 186 710,000
UFC 187 780,000
UFC 188 727,000
UFC 189 847,000
UFC 190 1,322,000

UFC PPV Prelims 2015 through 190

Payout Perspective:

While UFC 189’s less than stellar ratings did not matter when considering that the unofficial PPV buy rate for last month’s event was 1 million, this month’s prelim rating reflects the fact that this event had buzz based on Ronda Rousey.  Let’s face it, Damian Maia is not a fighter 1.3 million fans would tune in for and most non-North American events do not fare well.  If we are to determine that this is an indicator of a PPV buy rate, we might assume a number rivaling UFC 189.

PBC on ESPN draws 1.073M viewers

August 4, 2015

PBC on ESPN this past Saturday drew 1.073 million viewers according to Sports TV Ratings.  The event, which went from 9-10:57pm ET featured Danny Garcia taking on Paulie Malignaggi.

Garcia defeated Paulie with a 9th round TKO in a fight that was dominated by the Philly fighter.  The first fight of the night was short-lived but had an exciting first round between Sergio Mora and Daniel Jacobs.  Both were knocked down in round 1.  Mora suffered a fractured ankle in the second round and could not continue.

It’s the second event on ESPN and outdrew the debut (which garnered 800,000 viewers) two weeks ago.

Payout Perspective:

Overall, the ratings are a vast improvement from the Friday Night Fight telecasts which only averaged 381,000 viewers.  This past Saturday’s fight was much better than two weeks prior.  Still, Garcia and Paulie are well-known fighters and ESPN promoted the event pretty well.  Yet, it eeked over 1 million viewers.  Couple that with the fact the UFC Prelims topped cable sports TV Saturday night with 1.3 million viewers and the high ratings might also be seen as a disappointment.

Kovalev-Mohammedi draws 1.041 million viewers

July 29, 2015

ESPN’s Dan Rafael reports that HBO Boxing’s event featuring Sergey Kovalev against Nadjib Mohammedi drew an average subscriber viewership of 1.041 million viewers with a peak of 1.082 million.

In addition, the first fight on HBO on Saturday featuring Jean Pascal taking on Yunieski Gonzalez drew an average viewership of 883,000 viewers peaking at 1.082 million.  The Pascal-Gonzalez fight was an entertaining one that went to Pascal despite a great showing by Gonzalez.

The HBO event drew more viewers than NBCSN’s PBC event even though, as Rafael points out, HBO has about 36 million subscribers while NBC Sports Network is in more than double the homes (81.5 million).

Kovalev’s March fight against Jean Pascal drew an overall average audience of 956,000 viewers but his fight against Pascal drew an average audience of 1.152 million peaking at 1.2 million.  His fight last fall against Bernard Hopkins drew 1.328 million.

Payout Perspective:

Kovalev is showing that he is a draw and an asset to HBO’s stable of boxers.  This Saturday’s fight was lower than his past two but that may be due to the less-than-stellar opponent.  If Kovalev finds a fight with a bigger name, we can see viewership rise.  However, it appears that he’ll be fighting in Russia in November against another Russian opponent.

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