UFC Fight Night 140 Prelims outdraw main card in ratings

November 20, 2018

UFC Fight Night 140 drew 632,000 viewers on FS1 Saturday night.  The Prelims actually outdrew the main card with 707,000 viewers.

The main card featured Neil Magny taking on Santiago Ponzinibbio.  The Argentinian won via KO in the 4th round and will move up the ranks of the welterweight division.  The prelims saw Michel Prazeres earn a first round submission over Bartosz Fabinski in the feature fight of the night.

The event took place at the Parque Roca Arena in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Payout Perspective:

Impressive ratings for an event that did not have too much going for it.  Notably, according to ShowBuzz, the highest rated cable television show on Saturday night was a Hallmark movie on the Hallmark Channel which drew 4.6M viewers.  The Prelims outdrawing the ratings may be a first and could be attributed to the time of the event as Fight Night main cards tend to drag too late for many east coast fans.

Tape-delayed Bellator 209 on Paramount draws 381,000 viewers

November 19, 2018

Bellator MMA Live 209 drew 381,000 viewers on the Paramount Network according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The telecast was also available via digital streaming service DAZN.

The event was tape-delayed from Israel and featured Patricio Freire as he defeated Emmanuel Sanchez for Friere’s Featherweight title.

The event drew 0.13 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

You can certainly stick the blame for the ratings on the one-day tape delay.  The ratings this year for Bellator have been disappointing.

Top Rank Boxing on Friday night draws 950,000 on ESPN

November 19, 2018

Top Rank Boxing on Friday night drew 950,000 viewers per Nieslen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The telecast saw Maurice Hooker TKO Alex Saucedo in the seventh round of their title fight.

It was an exciting fight as Hooker went down in the second round of the fight versus the previously unbeaten Saucedo.  Hooker retained his junior welterweight title from the previously undefeated Saucedo.

NBA Basketball was the lead-in for Top Rank Boxing as the Milwaukee Bucks faced the Chicago Bulls.  The game drew 1.7million viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Impressive for Top Rank following the NBA on ESPN.  The telecast started close to 9pm PT and still retained a significant amount of NBA viewers.  Hooker and Saucedo are not household names but the ratings are promising for future telecasts.

TUF 28 Episode 10 draws 152,000 viewers

November 15, 2018

The Ultimate Fighter 28 episode 10 saw a slight uptick from its season low from last week with 152,000 viewers on FS1.  The season average for live viewing of TUF 28 is 167,000 viewers.

The fight of the telecast saw Julija Stoliarenko fight Pannie Kianzad in the semifinal to see who would fight in the women’s TUF finale in December.   Kianzad won via unanimous decision.

Also, the telecast saw the continued spiral of Maurice Greene as he tried to curb his drinking problem.  Coach Gastelum and the staff tried to stick with him.  The episode also saw the fighters go to a waterpark.

 

TUF 28 Live + SD
Episode 1 186,000
Episode 2 195,000
Episode 3 183,000
Episode 4 205,000
Episode 5 174,000
Episode 6 173,000
Episode 7 128,000
Episode 8 147,000
Episode 9 119,000
Episode 10 152,000

Payout Perspective:

The 167,000 viewers is a modest increase from last week’s all-time low.  The live viewership is low and it has only surpassed 205,000 viewers once this season.

UFC Fight Night Denver draws 840,000 viewers on FS1

November 13, 2018

UFC Fight Night Denver drew 840,000 viewers on FS1 Saturday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The prelims which preceded the main telecast drew 565,000 viewers on FS1.

Both telecasts which honored the 25th Anniversary of the UFC were strong in comparison to normal Fight Night ratings on the network.  The main card featured Yair Rodriguez and the Korean Zombie in one of the best fights of 2018. Rodriguez KO’d KZ with 1 second left in the fight.

The telecast featured nostalgia with an homage to the first UFC event, the old logo and graphics.

The UFC post fight show drew 237,000 viewers on FS1.  The prefight show on FS1 drew 171,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The 840,000 viewers are the highest rated Fight Night since May’s UFC Fight Night 129.  The Prelims also were high as it doubled viewers ship from the last 2 Fight Night Prelims.  Perhaps  the nostalgia of the 25th Anniversary led to the spike in viewership as the headliners are not considered draws as both were coming off of long layoffs.

TUF 28 Episode 9 draws 119,000 viewers on FS1

November 8, 2018

The Ultimate Fighter 28 Episode 9 drew 119,000 viewers on FS1 per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  It is the lowest-rated episode of the season and likely the series since it came to Fox.

Live + SD
Episode 1 186,000
Episode 2 195,000
Episode 3 183,000
Episode 4 205,000
Episode 5 174,000
Episode 6 173,000
Episode 7 128,000
Episode 8 147,000
Episode 9 119,000

The fight of the telecast saw Justin Frazier stop Michel Batista to move on to the heavyweight finals.  The telecast also showed the ongoing saga with Maurice Greene’s drinking problems in the house.

Payout Perspective:

This series is becoming more of DVR show that something that people watch live.  The 119,000 viewers is a big drop from the week prior.  One would think that the show ratings would ramp going into the finals but that has not been the case.

UFC 230: Payout Perspective

November 7, 2018

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time around we take a look at UFC 230 at Madison Square Garden where Daniel Cormier took care of Derrick Lewis.

Double Champ takes care of Derrick Lewis

Daniel Cormier made easy work of Derrick Lewis using wrestling to negate Lewis’ KO power. DC easily tapped out Lewis in the 2nd round.

DC now sets his sights on Brock Lesnar with just one fight left on his contract.  However, you’d have to think that if Jon Jones pops up on the radar, that will be a fight to make.

As for Lewis, I would suspect he take some time off before getting back in the Octagon.  Two fights within a month is hard for any MMA fighter including a heavyweight like Lewis.

Jacare KOs Chris Weidman

Jacare Souza is a superior grappler, yet showed some flashy hands and dropped Chris Weidman in the final round.  The fight went back and forth and won Fight of the Night.  But Souza showed some strong combinations which stunned Weidman throughout the course of the fight and one to the former champ’s temple which put him down for good.

After this fight, Souza should be on the short list of fighters awaiting the winner of the Kelvin Gastelum-Robert Whittaker fight and perhaps he finally gets his title shot.

Attendance, gate and bonuses

UFC 230 drew 18,201 for a gate of $2,8471,718.16.  The bonuses of the night went to Chris Weidman and Jacare Souza for Fight of the Night and Israel Adesanya and Jared Cannonier for Performances of the Night. Each earned $50,000 bonuses.

According to secondary ticket seller SeatGeek, it was the second highest ticket for a UFC New York event outside of UFC 205.

Promotion of the Fight

Daniel Cormier joined the FOX NFL crew during halftime of Thursday night’s Raiders-49ers game to promote UFC 230.

He also did the intro on Fox Sports for his Saints.

Cormier did a lot of media.  He appeared on the Complex YouTube channel and played Connect 4 with Tony Mui.

As seen on Embedded, Derrick Lewis did a promotion at a Houston Rocket’s game and even sank a free throw to win money for his charity.

Sponsorships

The big sponsorship news for UFC 230 was the fast food wars that took over as DC and Lewis previously sparred over Popeyes Chicken.  The southern-based chicken restaurant forged a deal with Lewis.  In response, Carl’s Jr. came to the double champ’s corner.  It was an example of how sponsorships can happen organically.  Obviously, this may not happen for every UFC fighter but due to the visibility of the event and the social media followers for each, a sponsor’s deal became viable.

Embedded was sponsored by Air Force Reserves.

Motel 6 was also a sponsor of the co-main event.

Chris Weidman had a Monster patch on his walkout shirt and shorts which may indicate he has an individual sponsor with the company.

In addition, Cormier drew individual sponsor deals with Monster Energy Drinks and Nemiroff Vodka.

Inside the Octagon, Nemiroff Vodka, Modelo, Hospital for Special Surgery, Toyo Tires, the video game EA UFC 3, Metro PCS, Monster and convenience store Circle K shared an Octagon corner, Body Armor, P3 and Monster Energy had the center of the Octagon.

Modelo had the Fighter Prep Point.

Modelo also introduced its “Fighting Spirit” award of sorts to Daniel Cormier.

P3 had sponsorship space on the shoulder of the fighter’s walkout shirt.

EA UFC 3 was featured once again in pre-fight promos.

Toyo Tires also sponsored the Backstage Interviews.  This one included Megan Olivi speaking with Daniel Cormier.

Ratings

UFC PPV Prelims on FS1: 205,000

UFC Prelims: 635,000

UFC PPV Post-Fight Show on FS1: 188,000

Odds and ends

UFC 230 drew over 1 million searches which is above average and bodes well for the PPV buys.

Paul Felder did an excellent job as color commentator along with Joe Rogan and Jon Anik on the PPV.

The Last Stylebender has one of the best nicknames in the MMA game and is someone to watch.

Outside of the octagon, Ben Askren was the darling of UFC 230.

Notice that the gloves have the 25th anniversary logo on them instead of the usual UFC logo.

Lando Vannata-Matt Frevola draw should have won the FOTN honors.

The Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier rivalry remains alive despite the fact both sides say its over.

Conclusion

I was surprised by the amount of promotion for this event.  Granted, it was the UFC’s annual November show at MSG, but the main event did not look all too competitive on paper.  The event did have some good exposure with Cormier on Thursday Night Football’s halftime and the fast food wars with Derrick Lewis.  I would think this event does above average for a UFC PPV. One might expect a buy rate in the 375K-400K range.

UFC 230 Prelims draw 635,000 viewers

November 6, 2018

The UFC 230 Prelims drew 635,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  It drew 342,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

The event featured Sijara Eubanks as she took on Roxanne Modafferri.  Eubanks, who was to headline the show, defeated Modafferi via decision.  However, she will forfeit 20% of her purse due to missing weight.

The telecast also featured the return of Lyman Good as he disposed of Ben Saunders in the first round.  It also saw a very bloody Julio Arce lose a split decision to Sheymon Moraes.

The event was significantly less than October’s UFC 229 but better than September’s UFC 228.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are somewhat low as UFC 230 went up against the LSU-Alabama game on CBS.  Aside from UFC 228, the lowest rated PPV prelims since this past Saturday was UFC 224 in May.

TUF 28 episode 8 draws 147,000 viewers

November 2, 2018

The Ultimate Fighter’s return to FS1 drew just 147,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

TUF’s featured fight of the episode saw Macy Chiasson defeated Larissa Pacheco in a women’s featherweight matchup.

Chiasson will take on Leah Letson in the tournament semifinals which will culminate at the TUF Finale in December.

Payout Perspective:

The telecast was the lowest-rated of the season and this may be attributed to the layoff after The World Series.  The layoffs don’t help out with the season as we all prepare for how this will be repackaged on ESPN.

HBO’s BAD draws 500K viewers for Danny Jacobs feature

October 30, 2018

HBO’s Boxing After Dark drew 500,000 for the main event per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The main event saw Danny Jacobs beat Sergiy Derevyanchenko by split decision to win the IBF Title.  In addition, Heather Hardy defeated Shelly Vincent to win the WBO women’s featherweight title in first fight of the telecast. The fight which featured the part-time Bellator fighter boxing drew 442,000 viewers.  In the semi-main event Alberto Machado made quick work of Yuandale Evans as he took out the Cleveland native in the first round.  The short fight drew 543,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The second fight last just two minutes so it’s hard to compare with the main event which drew 500,000 viewers.  The Jacobs fight went to decision with the New York native getting the win and a possible chance at Canelo Alvarez in the future.  The viewership for BAD was down as the company exits the boxing business.

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