ESPN Top Rank Boxing musters 488K viewers Saturday night

March 20, 2018

ESPN Top Rank Boxing fought some stiff competition in cable TV ratings on St. Patrick Day as it drew 488,000 viewers Saturday night opposite the NCAA Tournament according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The event featured Michael Conlan as he faced David Berna in a super bantamweight matchup in New York.  Conlan dispensed of Berna in just the second round.   The Irish fighter moves to 6-0.

Also on the telecast, Oleksandr Gvozdyk defeated Mehdi Amar to win the vacant interim light heavyweight titled.

The main event featured Jose Ramirez as he defeated Amir Imam to win the WBC vacant junior welterweight title.

Payout Perspective:

The telecast on ESPN Saturday night went up against a slate of NCAA second round tournament games on Saturday including Houston-Michigan which topped the night on cable Saturday on TBS with over 3.8 million viewers, Florida-Texas Tech on TNT which drew over 2.8 million and Loyola-Chicago and Tennessee on TNT which drew 2.85 million.

ESPN Top Rank Boxing Saturday night scores highest overnights this year

March 11, 2018

Saturday night’s ESPN Top Rank event drew the highest overnight ratings (in terms of market rating) for 2018 according to the network.  It was the prelim fight between Andy Vences and Arick De Leon that scored a 0.8 metered market rating.

Last week’s Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz drew a 0.7 rating on Showtime and 1.055M viewers.    The main event of Oscar Valdez and Scott Quigg drew a 0.7 rating.

The visual spectacle of the fights fought outside under a canopy while rain came down in Southern California was nice.

The ratings will come out on Monday.

Payout Perspective:

It was a pretty big night on Saturday with an event on Showtime and the ESPN event.  The Valdez-Quigg fight was especially entertaining with Valdez earning the unanimous decision.  One might expect the ESPN fights to draw over 1 million viewers based on the market share according to ESPN.

Bellator 195 peaked at 745,00 viewers

March 8, 2018

Bellator 195 peaked with 745,000 viewers on Friday night on the Paramount Network.

The event featured Darrion Caldwell’s defense of his featherweight title as he submitted Leonard Higo in the very first round.

The ratings are on par with the past three Bellator telecasts, none of which surpassed 500,000 viewers.  The peak viewership is on par with the last 3 as well.

UFC 222: Payout Perspective

March 7, 2018

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 222 which took place at the T-Mobile Area in Las Vegas.

Cyborg easily handles Kunitskaya

Cris Cyborg took care of Yana Kunitskaya as the UFC women’s Featherweight champion earned the TKO victory in round 1 of their championship bout.  The former Invicta champ earned a takedown in the beginning seconds of the bout and had a couple fleeting moments of offense before being overwhelmed by Cyborg.  It was clear that Kunitskaya did not want to do anything with Cyborg’s striking and was an easy victory for the champion.

In a division that does not have many challengers, Cyborg may fight  Amanda Nunes in a “superfight” or go after Megan Anderson.

Ortega KO’s Edgar for next title shot Brian Ortega made his presence known in the Featherweight division with an impressive KO of Frankie Edgar.  The durable former lightweight champ went down for the first time.  He had never been submitted or was stopped before in his UFC career.

Ortega looked great and the high-level blackbelt also showed his striking ability.  A matchup against Max Holloway is next.

Attendance, Gate and Bonuses

UFC 222 drew 12,041 for a gate of $1,367, 672 according to the UFC.  The event took Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The last event in Vegas was UFC 219 in December which featured Cris “Cyborg” Justino and Holly Holm.  The event drew 13,561 for a gate of $1,760,628.74.

The bonuses were awarded to Brian Ortega, Alexander Hernandez, Sean O’Malley and Andre Soukhamthath each earned $50,000 fight-night bonuses at Saturday’s UFC 222 event.

According to SeatGeek, the average resale price on the secondary market was $222.

Payouts

Cris Cyborg led the list of athletes Saturday night earning $500,000.  Brian Ortega earned $100,000 plus another for his win over Frankie Edgar.  Ortega also earned another $50,000 for his KO.

The rest of the payouts via NAC:

Cris Cyborg: $500,000 (no win bonus)
def. Yana Kunitskaya: $100,000

Brian Ortega: $200,000 (includes $100,000 win bonus)
def. Frankie Edgar: $195,000

Sean O’Malley: $44,000 (includes $22,000 win bonus)
def. Andre Soukhamthath: $19,000

Andrei Arlovski: $275,000 (no win bonus)
def. Stefan Struve: $77,000

Ketlen Vieira: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
def. Cat Zingano: $35,000

Mackenzie Dern: $50,000 (includes $25,000 win bonus)
def. Ashley Yoder: $12,000

Alexander Hernandez: $26,000 (includes $13,000 win bonus)
def. Beneil Dariush: $48,000

John Dodson: $82,000 (includes $41,000 win bonus)
def. Pedro Munhoz: $34,000

C.B. Dollaway: $92,000 (includes $46,000 win bonus)
def. Hector Lombard: $62,000

Zak Ottow: $36,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Pyle: $55,000

Cody Stamann: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
def. Bryan Caraway: $21,000

Jordan Johnson: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Adam Milstead: $12,000

The Reebok payouts are listed here.  Notably, Edgar and Arlovski are in the rare 21 UFC bouts or more category garnering $20K.

Promotion of Event

The biggest promotional event was a joint endeavor with the city of Las Vegas and other sports helding events in the city this past weekend as the Ultimate Vegas Sports Weekend.  A “pep rally” was held at the Toshiba Plaza on the Wednesday before the fight.

Sponsorships

Modelo, Toyo Tires, Harley Davidson, MetroPCS, Monster Energy and EA UFC 3 were in the Octagon.  Notably, Dollar General was also present in the octagon.

Just a little over a month releasing its latest version of its video game, EA has reduced the price due likely to poor sales.  During the PPV, it advertised the sale.

The movie “Hurricane Heist” was given some airtime during the UFC broadcast.

Ratings

The UFC Prelims drew a respectable 905,000 viewers with the peak happening during the last quarter hour for Mackenzie Dern’s fight.  The event drew 11,009 viewers streaming.  Dern’s fight peaked at 1,076,000 viewers.

The prelim showed had a higher than normal viewership with 431,000 viewers on FS1.  The Post-Fight show drew 177,000.

Also on Saturday night, were two boxing telecasts on HBO and Showtime.  Deontay Wilder’s fight on Showtime drew an impressive 1,055,000 viewers on the network which beat out HBO’s fights featuring Sergey Kovalev.  The boxing events occurred during the PPV and did not compete with the FS1 Prelims.

Odds and ends

The biggest bit of business news coming out last week was that Amazon has signed on to stream UFC PPVs.  Similar to ordering via Fight Pass or UFC.com, it cost $64.99 and you have access to the PPV for 24 hours.

There were rumors that Conor McGregor offered to fill-in to save UFC 222.  Of course, this sounds like someone trying to stay relevant while taking time off.

Mike Pyle retired after his loss on Saturday.  A good career despite going out with a loss.

Mackenzie Dern has a lot to work on but the UFC is hoping she turns into another mainstream star similar to Ronda Rousey.

There were 7 Embedded episodes with 6 of those coming before Friday ended.  Most were done to promote potential new stars Dern, Sean O’Malley and Ortega,

Over 200,000 google searches for UFC 222 on Saturday night.  Same for Deontay Wilder.

Conclusion

All indications pointing toward this PPV doing between 340,000-380,000 PPV buys based on the prelim ratings, google trend searches and past history with Cyborg on PPV.  Not an exact science, but if this does mid-300s, you have to think this is a success considering that the card was built on one fight (Max-Frankie) that fell through.

 

Deontay Wilder scores big ratings on Showtime Saturday night

March 6, 2018

Deontay Wilder produced big ratings for Showtime on Saturday night as his win over Luis Ortiz drew 1.055 million viewers on the premium network.

Wilder’s fight with Ortiz drew a peak audience of 1.2 million viewers and averaged almost 1.1 million viewers.  It’s the largest viewership since Wilder faced Bermane Stiverne in January 2015.

Wilder stopped Ortiz in the 10th round but the Cuban fighter had the champion hurt in the seventh round after being floored in round 5.

The co-main event on Saturday night drew 673,000 viewers with Jose Uzcategai and Andre Dirrell.  The rematch of their controversial first fight peaked at 807,000 viewers.  The event was delayed for almost 20 minutes due to an irregularity in Uzcategui’s urine sample.  The New York State Athletic Commission decided to let the event continue.

Payout Perspective:

Deontay Wilder’s star continues to grow and his fight with Ortiz showed his resolve to come back from almost being knocked out.  Wilder-Ortiz was the best fight of the night and Showtime won a rare head-to-head with HBO Boxing which featured Sergey Kovalev.

Bellator 195 draws 465,000 viewers

March 5, 2018

Bellator MMA Live 195 on Friday night on Paramount drew 465,000 viewers according to Nielsen.  The event featured Darrion Caldwell as he faced Leandro Higo.

Caldwell successfully defended his Bellator bantamweight belt against Higo with a guillotine choke submission in the very first round.

It’s the third straight Bellator telecast drawing less than 500,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Once again there seems to be a disconnect with MMA fans and Bellator Friday nights as we are seeing a decrease in overall viewership.  While Bellator will get some viewership numbers back in DVR ratings.

Jon Fitch signs with Bellator

March 1, 2018

Jon Fitch has signed with Bellator according to a company release.  Previously, Fitch had been associated with the Professional Fighters League.

The press release did not state a debut date for Fitch but he enters a welterweight division with Rory MacDonald, Douglas Lima, Paul Daley, Michael Page to name a few.

Fitch, the PFL welterweight champion indicated early last month that he would head to Bellator.  Fitch announced that he was a free agent as of February 2nd.  The former UFC title contender had been the WSOF, now PFL welterweight champion.

Payout Perspective:

The news that Fitch is heading to Bellator is good news for Bellator as it adds another name to its roster.  It does not bode well for PFL as it has yet to hold an event this year.  Also, the inability to re-sign Fitch is a loss of a recognizable name for its upcoming season.  Despite turning 40, Fitch can still be competitive in Bellator.

UFC on Fox 28 draws 2,037,000 viewers; prelims draw 1,214,000 on Fox

February 28, 2018

The official live and same day ratings for UFC on Fox 28 revealed the show averaged 2,037,000 viewers on the network Saturday night.  The prelims which aired on Fox prior to the main card drew 1,214,000 viewers according to Nielsen Media Research.

The prelims started 30 minutes later than scheduled due to an overrun from a college basketball game.  It was the best prelims telecast on Fox since July 2016.  On Fox Sports Go and Fox Now the telecast had an average minute audience of 11,814.  The prelims featured Renan Barao and Brian Kelleher with the New York native earning the victory over the former champ.

UFC Fight Night on FOX averaged 2,037,000 viewers on Saturday according to Nielsen Media Research. The ratings include the overrun which saw Jeremy Stephens stop Josh Emmett.  Saturday night’s performance was 15% better than last month’s 1,771,000 viewers. On FSGO and FOX Now the telecast had an average minute audience of 11,067.  The show peaked with 2,731,000 viewers from 10-10:15pm ET.

The fast overnights had the main telecast with 1.82 million viewers.

The FS1 UFC Post-fight show drew 192,000 viewers.

Saturday night provided stiff competition on the networks as NBC’s coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics drew 11,422 viewers.  The NBA on ABC Saturday featured Golden State and Oklahoma City with the Warriors blowing out OKC.  But, the game drew 4,051,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings did improve from last month which is a positive for this event.  It did have some stiff competition.  Surpassing 2 million viewers overall is an achievement for this card.

UFC on Fox 28 draws 1.82M viewers in overnight ratings

February 25, 2018

UFC on Fox 28 drew 1.8 million viewers on Fox Saturday night’s fast overnight ratings.  Despite stiff competition from the NBA and the Olympics the event was able to stave off its worst ratings since being shown on the network.

The event drew 1.82 million viewers, a 0.6 rating in the A18-49 demo and a 3 share according to Television By Numbers.  The ratings do no include the overrun into the 8pm PT hour.

The telecast featured Jeremy Stephens taking on Josh Emmett in a featherweight matchup.  Stephens KO’d Emmett to earn the victory.

The UFC on Fox went up against the Winter Olympics on NBC, the NBA on ABC and a rerun of Big Brother on CBS in the first hour and a 48-Hours rerun in the second.  Both replays on CBS outdid the two hours of MMA on Fox.

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 2,685,000
UFC on Fox 19 2,130,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 20 2,440,000 2,975,000
UFC on Fox 21 2,200,000 1,983,000
UFC on Fox 22 2,690,000 3,178,000
UFC on Fox 23 2,020,000 2,189,000
UFC on Fox 24 1,740,000 1,996,000
UFC on Fox 25 1,640,000 2,046,000
UFC on Fox 26 1,780,000 2,107,000
UFC on Fox 27 1,590,000 1,770,000
UFC on Fox 28 1,820,000

Payout Perspective:

The low ratings were expected.  If there is any solace is that it improved on last month’s dismal UFC on Fox ratings.  It also improved from PBC on Fox ratings last week.  Up against the Olympics which drew over 9 million viewers and NBA basketball chipped away at any sort of casual viewership.

UFC Fight Night Austin draws 893,000 viewers on FS1; Prelims draw 675,000

February 21, 2018

UFC Fight Night Austin on Sunday night drew 893,000 viewers according to Nielsen. The prelims which preceded the main card drew 675,000 viewers on FS1.

On Fox Sports Go and FOX Now the main card telecast had an average minute audience of 13,959. Peak viewership for UFC Fight Night was 1,078,000 viewers between 9:15-9:30pm which was for the Sage Northcutt fight.

The main event for the UFC Fight Night telecast was Donald Cerrone versus Yancy Medeiros with Cerrone getting the first round stoppage.

The main card drew 0.46 in the A18-49 demo. The prelims on FS1 drew 0.30 in the A18-49 demo.

Notably, the weigh-ins on Saturday afternoon on FS1 drew 261,000 viewers making it the 4th most-watched weigh-ins in FS1 history.

The pre-fight show on FS1 drew 131,000 viewers while the post-fight show drew 202,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Hard not to ignore that the main card peaked during Sage Northcutt’s controversial victory over Thibalt Gouti. Northcutt is someone that the casual fan wants to watch. Even with a pretty interesting main event in Cerrone-Medeiros, many tuned in to watch Sage and then turned the channel. The ratings are good considering it went up against the NBA All-Star game and the Winter Olympics.

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