Bellator 135 DVR bumps rating up to 670K viewers

April 1, 2015

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that the Bellator 135 adjusted viewership drew an additional 70,000 viewers for a total of 677,000 viewers.

In addition, the peak for the show went up from the original 922,000 viewers to 984,000.

Bellator 2015 through 135 DVR

Payout Perspective:

The adjusted viewership average is approximately 740,000. The gains from the DVR viewership are on par with its regular gains.

WSOF 19: 216,000

March 31, 2015

MMA Payout has learned via Nielsen sources that World Series of Fighting 19 on Saturday drew 216,000 viewers on NBC Sports Network. The ratings slightly improve on its last event in February.

The event featured an exciting bout between WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje and Luis Palomino. Gaethje stopped Palomino in the third round. The event also featured an upset with UFC veteran Thiago Silva getting knocked out by Teddy Holder in the first round. The fight was set up after Matt Hamill was forced to pull out late due to an illness.

WSOF Graph through 19

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

Payout Perspective:

The average for WSOF viewership is around 244,000 viewers and 214,000 viewers if you discount the NBC show last July.  The viewership is average for a Saturday night especially when you consider that WSOF went opposite the NCAA Tournament game between Notre Dame and Kentucky.

Bellator 135: 607,000 viewers

March 30, 2015

Bellator 135 drew an average viewership of 607,000 viewers on Friday night according to Nielsen sources.  It was the lowest output for a Bellator event this year.

In the main event, Marcos Galvao won the Bellator bantamweight title making Joe Warren submit to a knee bar.  There was also an exciting undercard fight with Hideo Tokoro taking on LC Davis.

Below is a chart of the 2015 Bellator events:

Bellator 2015 through 135

The NCAA Tournament on TBS topped cable ratings on Friday night with Michigan State/Oklahoma winning the night with over 4.4 million viewers and a rating of 1.5 in the A18-49 category.  Bellator 135 drew 0.2 in the A18-49 category.

Payout Perspective:

The current average overnight viewership for Bellator in 2015 is a little over 702,000.  It’s clear that the NCAA Tournament played a part in the low ratings.  We shall see how it does in a couple weeks with Will Brooks on top of the card taking on Dave Jansen.

UFC Fight Night 62 draws 617,000; Prelims on FS2 draw 280,000

March 24, 2015

UFC Fight Night 62 drew an average viewership of 617,000 on Saturday night on FS1. In addition, the Prelims which aired on FS2 drew 280,000 according to Nielsen sources.

The main card which went slightly over its 3 hour window from 7:00pm-10:pm PT featured Demian Maia taking on Ryan LaFlare in the main event from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maia won via unanimous decision. The prelims preceded the main card and aired on FS2 from 5:00pm-7:00pm PT.

UFC Fight Nights 2015
Main Card Prelims
UFC Fight Night 59 (FOX) 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 FN 62 Prelims on FS2

UFC Fight 62

Payout Perspective:
The ratings are the lowest for Fight Nights in 2015 although it may have been expected considering the card went opposite the NCAA Tournament on TNT and TBS. Moreover, the move of the Prelims to FS2 due to NASCAR was the key culprit in the lower ratings for the undercard. Of course, the lack of known fighters on the Prelims coupled with basketball was the other factor in the lower ratings.

PBC on Spike TV draws 869,000 viewers

March 16, 2015

Television By Numbers and Sports TV Ratings report that the debut of Premier Boxing Champions on Friday night on SpikeTV drew an average viewership of 869,000 viewers. It received a 0.3 rating in the adult demo of 18-34.

According to Spike, PBC drew 1 million viewers between 10:45pm-11:15pm ET which was during the Josesito Lopez-Andre Berto fight.  PBC was to air from 9-11pm but there was a 20 minute overrun for the main event.  The event average made it the “most watched boxing event on Friday nights in 8 years” according to Spike.  The highlights from Friday’s fights have been viewed 1.5 million times between PBC’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

The event was the debut of Spike’s revamped Friday Night programming featuring combat sports. PBC featured Lopez versus Berto in the main event. Berto won via 6th round TKO.

The event drew 869,000 viewers over the 2 hours and 20 minutes airing on SpikeTV. It did run opposite a lot of College Basketball as the conference tournaments were in full swing. Notably, the ACC conference tournament game between Duke and Notre Dame on ESPN was the highest-rated sports cable program on Friday night as it received 2.617M viewers for a game that started at 9:50pm on the east coast. Preceding that game on ESPN, North Carolina and Virgina drew 2.054M viewers at 7:00pm.

Per TV By Numbers, the highest-rated show on cable on Friday the 13th was Gold Rush on the Discovery Channel which drew 3.274M viewers.

If you are a boxing cynic, the lead-in for PBC, Cops, drew a higher rating in its 30 minutes preceding boxing with an average viewership over 1 million viewers. Then again, Cops usually does great ratings and in defense of boxing the event was over 2 hours.

Payout Perspective:

Overall, it was a very good showing and the fights were entertaining. Perhaps the best fight was Arreola-Harper although it was not aesthetically pleasing. With college basketball games going on during the fights, it may have taken some of the audience away from PBC.  Based on the information provided, it appears that PBC has gained a sufficient amount of buzz with its promotion and marketing of its events. We will see if it can improve on the number when it returns on April 24th to SpikeTV.

Preliminary reports indicate a strong UFC 184 buy rate

March 11, 2015

The Wrestling Observer indicates that UFC 184 drew an estimated 500,000 to 600,000 PPV buys.  The preliminary report underscores the great start the UFC has had this year as well as the drawing power of Ronda Rousey.

UPDATED:  In its 3/12 podcast, Meltzer indicated that the numbers reflect that UFC 184 will do more PPV buys than UFC 183.

Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez first discussed the initial numbers during their March 5, 2015 podcast (subscription recommended).

It appears that the estimate is based on anecdotal information from DirecTV as well Google trend searches.

If the initial buys for UFC 184 which featured Ronda Rousey versus Cat Zingano in the main event, the UFC will have one of the best starts of a year in PPV.

UFC 182:  800,000 PPV buys

UFC 183: ~600,000-700,000 PPV buys

UFC 184: ~500,000-600,000 PPV buys

The average for 2015 at this point is around 684,000 PPV buys which far exceeds what the UFC has been seeing.  Last year it averaged just 256,000 PPV buys and in 2013 it averaged 468,000.  Realistically, the UFC cannot keep producing these buys throughout the year.  But, it’s built up three good buy rates for 2015.  Added the fact it PPVs are now at $60, the UFC is making up PPV revenue from 2014’s atrocious numbers.

Whether it’s the booking or promotion, the 2015 PPV strategy for the UFC is holding up despite the drug problems.  Also, UFC 184 initially included Vitor Belfort- Chris Weidman as the co-main event.

The other part of the news is that the UFC Prelims have had much higher ratings this year in comparison to where it was last year.

UFC 182 Prelims – 1.03M viewers

UFC 183 Prelims – 1.546M viewers

UFC 184 Prelims – 1.205M viewers

Meltzer speculated that Rousey was one of the reasons why the UFC 184 Prelims drew the high ratings.  This argument may also support the fact that women’s MMA is generally accepted and may be on a roll as of late.  Note, Miesha Tate’s fight against Sarah Kaufman at the UFC 183 Prelims almost drew 2 million viewers on FS1.  This was a boon for Tate’s sponsors as she actually lobbied that she be on FS1 rather than on the PPV card.

Payout Perspective:

UFC 184 was all Ronda Rousey and it’s a good sign for the UFC ast the organization has found another PPV star.  The card under Rousey-Zingano was not strong considering that Belfort-Weidman dropped out.  Thus, the entire buzz was based on Rousey.  After her quick fight on Saturday, many mainstream sports outlets picked up on Rousey and gravitated toward the comparisons to Mike Tyson in his prime.  The potential bad news here is that there are not many interesting fights for Rousey coming up (unless Cyborg is able to make weight).  Also, Rousey’s star power outside of the Octagon is gaining momentum.  She is already taking time away from the Octagon to do a movie and the more offers she receives from Hollywood, the more we may not see her in the Octagon.

Can the UFC continue its momentum this Saturday with UFC 185?  We shall see.

PBC draws 3.4 million viewers Saturday

March 9, 2015

Bloody Elbow reports that Premier Boxing Champions received an overnight viewership of 3.4 million viewers in its debut in network prime time Saturday Night.  It was the most watched boxing broadcast since 1998.

The adjusted ratings from the fast overnights Saturday of 3.13 million reflect a strong showing for the night despite the fact that CBS’ “48 Hours” won the night in terms of overall viewership with 4.65 million viewers tuning in between 10-11pm.  Yet, the boxing event which featured Keith Thurman and Roberto Guerrero drew a 1.08 rating in the 18-49 demographic which was best for the night.

These numbers do not include the DVR number which should come out in the next day or two.

For those wondering and wishing to compare, a full rundown of UFC on Fox ratings is here.  The last time that a UFC on Fox show drew 3.4 million viewers was with UFC on Fox 5 in December 2012 with a headliner of Benson Henderson-Nate Diaz.

Payout Perspective:

There are two schools of thought when comparing this rating to that of the quarterly UFC on Fox network shows.  The first is that it’s an unfair comparison considering the quality of matchup as well as the differing demos.  While boxing led the night in the highly valued 18-49 demo, its age group tends to skew a little older.  One might consider that this is due to the general acceptance of the sport by the older population as they grew up with it on network television.  The other school of thought is that boxing and UFC are combat sports and its ratings can be compared.  Both are live sporting events on network television.  In that case, the debut of PBC was not as big as that of the inaugural UFC on Fox.  But, one should consider the quality of fights.  Thurman-Guerrero was not JDS-Cain but both are young, talented fighters that PBC can build on for the future.

PBC debut on NBC draws 2.53 rating/5 share

March 8, 2015

The debut of Premier Boxing Champions in network prime time scored with a 2.53 rating and 5 share in overnight ratings on Saturday night in the 9-11pm ET time slot.

UPDATED: 12:24pm PT 3/8/15 – According to Television By Numbers, PBC from 8:30pm-11pm ET drew 3.13 million viewers and a 1.0 share rating among adults 18-49.  Overall, CBS’ 48 Hours earned the most viewers in network viewership Saturday night with 4.65 million viewers 10-11pm.

It was the most watched show for Adults 18-49 in network ratings on Saturday. Of course, the competition was very slight on Saturday night.

NBC Sports also tweeted out the top 10 markets for PBC on Saturday which in order were:

1) Norfolk
2) Cincinnati
3) San Antonio
4) New Orleans
5) Fort Myers, Florida
6) Sacramento
7) Dayton
8) Orlando
9) Philadelphia
10) Tulsa

For point of reference, January 2015’s UFC on Fox 14 drew 2.82 million in overnight viewership and received a 1.1 rating and 4 share.

Payout Perspective:

No actual viewership estimates are out yet, but MMA Payout will update once they are made public. The ratings are not “over the top” for the debut of PBC in prime time on NBC but its likely to have won the night for the network.  Despite the ok debut, I am sure that Al Haymon’s strategy is not dependent on just one show.  There were things that worked and did not work last night and we shall see how those will be addressed.

Bellator 134 draws avg viewership of 872,000

March 3, 2015

Bellator MMA 134 drew an average viewership of 872,000 viewers peaking at 1.2 million viewers during the Liam McGeary-Emanuel Newton main event.

The McGeary-Newton fight averaged 1.1 million viewers.  McGeary won a unanimous decision over Newton to win the Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship.

Bellator 2015

Overnight Peak
Bellator 132 767,000 1,200,000
Bellator 133   565,000 967,000
Bellator 134 872,000 1,200,000

Payout Perspective:  

A 3 plus hour show on Bellator still drew very well as it made it the most-watch Bellator event of 2015.  Aside from the main event, it also included King Mo-Kongo and the “confrontation” between Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock to start to hype their fight this June.

UFC 184 Prelims: 1.205M, Weigh-Ins 2nd most watched on FS1

March 3, 2015

The UFC 184 Prelims drew an average viewership of 1,205,000 making it the 3rd most-watched UFC PPV Prelims ever on Fox Sports 1 per Nielsen  Also, the UFC Weigh-Ins were the 2nd most-watched UFC Weigh-In Show on Fox Sports 1.

According to Nielsen, it drew 713,000 in the adult 18-49 demo.  The show peaked at 1,453,000 total viewers in the 9:15pm ET-9:30pm ET quarter hour.  The last fight on the Prelim card was Roan Caneiro submitting Mark Munoz in the 1st round with a rear naked choke.

UFC Prelims

The post-fight show on FS1, which started earlier than usual due to the short main event, drew 188,000 viewers starting at 12:40pm ET.  It drew 130,000 in the adult 18-49 demo.  Likely due to the early start, it did not do as well as the two previous post-shows this year.

UFC post shows 2015

The weigh-ins on Friday at 7:00pm ET on FS1 drew an average viewership of 222,000 viewers overall and 81,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo making it the second most-watched UFC Weigh-In show ever on FS1.

Payout Perspective:

The viewership of the UFC 184 Prelims and the programs related to it reveal a strong showing for the interest in this card and specifically Ronda Rousey.  The weigh-ins viewership of 222,000 pops out as evidence that people were interested in this card.  Will it equate to PPV buys?  We will see.

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