Bellator 203 and Kicboxing ratings

July 19, 2018

Bellator MMA 203 on Saturday night drew 471,000 viewers on the Paramount Network.  Bellator Kickboxing drew 212,000 immediately after the MMA event from Rome.

Alessio Sakara’s first round TKO victory over Jamie Sloane scored the peak rating for the telecast with 702,000 viewers.  The main event saw Patricio Freire score a split decision victory over Daniel Weichel.

Bellator Kickboxing peaked with 409,000 viewers.  The main event saw Gabriel Varga defeat Kevin Ross via TKO in the first round to become the featherweight world champion.

Bellator 203 took place one night after Bellator’s event in the U.S.  On Friday night, the telecast peaked with 817,000 viewers with the main event featuring Julia Budd.

Payout Perspective:

It was a busy night for combat sports on Saturday and the ratings for Bellator are good considering the Pacquiao fight and UFC Fight Night.  Kickboxing ratings are always lower than MMA despite being its lead-in.  For Bellator, the ratings improve on its event the night before despite a Saturday tape-delayed event.

Bellator MMA 202 on Paramount draws 405,000 viewers

July 18, 2018

Bellator MMA Friday night on Paramount drew 405,000 viewers per Nielsen according to ShowBuzz Daily.

In the main event of the telecast, Julia Budd defeated Talita Nogueira via TKO to retain her Bellator Featherweight title.  Notably, Budd has not lost an MMA fight since a 2011 bout to Ronda Rousey in Strikeforce.

The event drew 0.12 in the A18-49 demo.  Through 12 events in 2018, the promotion is averaging 463,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The event is the third consecutive with viewership under 500,000 viewers.  The ratings are lower this year as 10 out of the 12 telecasts have had ratings under 500,000.  The telecast featured former UFC fighter Michael MacDonald as he defeated Eduardo Dantas in a fight where both were hurt.  Perhaps the DAZN partnership will help get more eyes on the product.

UFC Fight Night 133 draws 754,000 viewers and prelims drew 572,000

July 17, 2018

UFC Fight Night 133 drew 754,000 viewers on FS1 Saturday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The prelims which preceded the main card on Saturday on FS1 drew 572,000 viewers.

The main card which featured the return of Junior dos Santos in a unanimous decision victory over Blagoy Ivanov drew 383,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and 0.46 household share. The 2 hour prelims drew 264,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and 0.33 in household share.  The prelims featured a fight between bantamweights Eddie Wineland and Alejandro Perez.  Perez won via unanimous decision.

Payout Perspective:

Good ratings on a night where boxing was on ESPN and ESPN + with the latter streaming the return of Manny Pacquiao.  The ratings are the best Fight Night event since UFC Fight Night 129 in May.  Last year’s Fight Night card post-International Fight Week PPV drew 402,000 for an event in Scotland.  The Boise card reported a sell-out and the ratings were very good on a night with a choice of combat sports to watch.

UFC 226: Payout Perspective

July 11, 2018

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  In this edition we take a look at UFC 226 taking place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cormier is a Champ x2

Daniel Cormier knocked out Stipe Miocic to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship.  Cormier becomes just the second fighter (behind Conor McGregor) to hold titles in two divisions at the same time.  The former Olympian described post-fight that video study showed Stipe drops his hands coming out of the clinch and that is exactly how Cormier dropped Stipe with a short shot to the chin.

The bigger news came when Brock Lesnar came into the Octagon after the fight and shoved Cormier.  He then cut a promo on the heavyweight division and he weak it was.

Lesnar has been put back into USADA testing program and should be available by the end of the year.  Cormier, who has already announced his retirement plans on a handful of fights left despite just earning the title.  We shall see if one of those is his arch-nemesis Jon Jones.

Lewis-Ngannou turn in Worst Match of Year Candidate

This fight should have been one round.  Not because there was heavy-slugging and someone would have been knocked out, but because it was such a boring fight.  What most thought would be a back and forth home-run hitting fight, turned into one of the lowest striking fights in the history of the UFC.

Derrick Lewis came out as the “winner” although he stated he hurt his back during the fight.  Ngannou was buried post-fight by Dana White who claimed that the guy that was deemed a future superstar had an ego.

With Brock Lesnar coming in, Lewis will have to wait in line for a title shot.  More likely he’ll have to go through Curtis Blaydes before he gets a shot post-Lesnar fight.

Max Holloway pulls out of fight with Brian Ortega

Max Holloway was forced to pull out of his fight with Brian Ortega due to “concussion-like” symptoms.  Holloway’s team decided it best he not fight despite going through media obligations.  Ortega took it in stride but declined a fight against Jeremy Stephens as a replacement.  While Dana White was not pleased with missing a fight, Ortega had trained for Holloway and not Stephens.  A loss by Ortega would be a disaster for his title plans.  Remember Luke Rockhold did not have to take the fight with Yoel Romero when he missed weight.  He did and lost.

Attendance and Gate

Despite the loss of one title fight, it didn’t seem to damper the attendance.

Prior to the Holloway-Ortega fight being scrapped SeatGeek reported tickets on the secondary market being the highest since UFC 205 when the company had its first show in New York.

Bonuses

Daniel Cormier, Anthony Pettis, Khalil Rountree and Paulo Costa all received $50,000 bonuses.

Payouts

The Nevada Athletic Commission list of disclosed the full list of payouts prior to the event.  Stipe Miocic earned the most with $750,000 followed by Daniel Cormier’s $500,000.

Promotion of the Fight

The Embedded series seemed to have a focus on Ortega-Holloway from the outset and had to refocus and it appeared that there was a pause between episodes 3 and 4 so that they could do extra filming for Cormier, Miocic, Michael Chiesa, Anthony Pettis, Lewis and Ngannou.

Toyo Tires was active leading up to this event as it had a new commercial with former rivals T.J. Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz starring and former UFC light heavyweight champ Forrest Griffin in a starring role.

The company also ran a marketing campaign with Brian Ortega ads.

Metro PCS ran a social media campaign using Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier in promoting their SuperFight.

Did Drake reference Max Holloway in “8 out of 10” on his new album?  I didn’t think so.  The UFC paid homage to the Scorpion album with an Instagram post hyping the main event.

Next Saturday's OFFICIAL tracklist. 🦂 #UFC226

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Ratings (all on FS1)

UFC Weigh-Ins – 239K

UFC Pre-Show – 254K

UFC Prelims – 668K (peaked at 800K in the 9:45-10:00pm ET quarter hr)

UFC Post Show – 155K

Sponsorships

UFC sponsors Harley Davidson, Metro PCS, Toyo Tires, Monster Energy, EA’s UFC 3 and Modelo in the center of the Octagon. It also had signage for EA UFC’s latest version of its video game and the first glimpses of the logo for the company’s 25th Anniversary show in November.

There was an extended promotion for the latest version of EA’s UFC 3 with Tito Ortiz and Kimbo Slice.

Kamaru Usman introduced the promoted movie for this event, Denzel Washington’s

Odds and ends

It was International Fight Week which included the induction of individuals (and a fight) into the Hall of Fame.  Headlining the list was Ronda Rousey.  It also gave us a Chuck-Tito faceoff for a fight that appears to be happening in 2018 or 2019.

Despite an International Fight Week curse of headlining matches scratched, UFC 226 came through with several great main card performances from Khalil Rountree, Anthony Pettis and Daniel Cormier.  Also, the Mike Perry-Paul Felder fight was an entertaining bloodbath with Felder fighting at least 2 rounds with a broken arm or hand.

Dominick Cruz covering the fights during media leadup and as analyst on the PPV broadcast is great.

Chiesa missed weight but wore a Shawn Kemp jersey so he gets some press here.

We are underway in Vegas! #TUF27 #UFC226

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Conclusion

This was the biggest UFC event to date and with the 25th Anniversary Show being announced in November and a possible Cormier-Lesnar fight to end in December the latter half of 2018 could be exciting. The loss of Holloway-Ortega did not hurt the gate, but it may have hurt the PPV. Despite being one of the best ever, Cormier has yet to prove he is a PPV draw without Jon Jones. So, this event likely does above average but still nowhere near Conor/Ronda levels. Look for estimates between 450,000 to 500,000.

Bellator 201 draws 466,000 viewers

July 2, 2018

Bellator 201 drew 466,000 viewers on Friday night on The Paramount Network according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The ratings were an increase over Bellator 200.

The main event featured two women as Ilima-Lei Macfarlane defended her flyweight title against Alejandra Lara.  Macfarlane got Lara to tap to an armbar in the third round.

In all likelihood Macfarlane’s next defense will have her go up against UFC vet Valerie Letourneau who won on the under-card on Friday night.

Payout Perspective:

The event had more viewers than Bellator 200 although that event was on tape delay.  The 466,000 has to be seen as good considering there was not many known fighters on the card.  It did benefit from the lack of other combat sports on Friday night.

TUF 27 Episode 11 draws 156,000 viewers on FS1

June 28, 2018

The penultimate episode of The Ultimate Fighter 27 drew 156,000 viewers on Friday on Wednesday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The 11th episode featured the coaches challenge which featured Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic in a hockey shootout.  The fight of the episode saw Team Cormier’s Joe Giannetti submit Team Miocic’s Allan Zuniga.  Giannetti advances to the final July 6th at the TUF Finale.

Ep        Live                 Live+3

1          201,000           298,000

2          186,000           296,000

3          246,000           366,000

4          207,000           357,000

5          176,000           362,000

6          196,000           398,000

7          275,000           437,000

8          248,000           443,000

9          290,000           462,000

10        219,000           402,000

11         156,000

Payout Perspective:

The 11th episode fell off from the past several episodes which hovered around the mid-200s.  The 156,000 is the lowest this season and shows that the season is starting to wear down.  Fortunately, the final episode is next week.

Claressa Shields latest fight draws 376,000 viewers on Showtime

June 25, 2018

Showtime Boxing Friday night drew a telecast high of 376,000 viewers for the main event featuring Claressa Shields and Hanna Gabriels.

The “special edition” featured Shields as she defeated Gabriels in T-Rex’s first real challenge in her young pro career.  In addition, the first bout of the telecast featured Umar Salamov taking on Brian Howard.  Salamov won via TKO in the 9th round.  The event drew 205,000 viewers.

The second fight of the night featured Christina Hammer as she took on Tori Nelson. Hammer won via TKO to retain her 160 pound women’s title.  The fight drew 292,000 viewers.  Hammer’s victory sets up an eventual matchup with Shields.

Payout Perspective:

Shields’ last fight against Tori Nelson drew 320,000 viewers on Showtime so this is an improvement.  The viewership may have seen a slight uptick since the UFC aired on Fight Pass earlier in the day and there was no other boxing event on the schedule to compete.  This helps an eventual showdown with Hammer in the future.

TUF 27 Episode 10 draws 218,000 viewers

June 21, 2018

The Ultimate Fighter 27 episode 10 drew 218,000 viewers per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  Despite being down in the live + SD ratings this week, the DVR viewership is on the rise.

This week’s show featured the fight for a slot in the featherweight tournament finals on July 6th at the TUF Finale.  Brian Katona faced Bryce Mitchell in a battle of Team Cormier teammates.  Katona ended up winning via submission in the third and final round.

 

Live and DVR + 3 Ratings Increases

1          201,000           298,000           +48%

2          186,000           296,000           +59%

3          246,000           366,000           +48%

4          207,000           357,000           +72%

5          176,000           362,000           +106%

6          196,000           398,000           +103%

7          275,000           437,000           +58%

8          248,000           443,000           +79%

9          290,000           462,000           +59%

Payout Perspective:

While the live + SD ratings may not be trending in a verified direction, the viewership via DVR is going up as the season is ending.  The last 5 episodes have seen a steady increase in viewership via recording the episode for later consumption.

TUF 27 Episode 9 draws 290,000 viewers on FS1

June 15, 2018

The Ultimate Fighter 27 episode 9 drew 290,000 viewers on FS1 Wednesday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  It is the highest-rated episode in live plus same day for this season.

The fight of the telecast featured Mike Trizano taking on John Gunther in a fight between two teammates on the show.  Trizano defeated Gunther via unanimous decision. With the victory Trizano advances to the lightweight final at the TUF 17 Finale on July 6th.

Payout Perspective:

290,000 viewers may not seem that high but it is a good sign heading into the final episodes of this season.  It was the first week without the Stanley Cup or NBA Finals opposite the telecast if that may have affected viewership.  But, it seems more likely that viewers are watching it on their DVR.

Santa Cruz-Mares draws 600K on Showtime

June 12, 2018

The rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares drew 600,000 viewers Saturday night on Showtime according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The fight peaked at 633,000 viewers which is less than their first fight.

The first fight, which took place on ESPN in August 2016, between Santa Cruz and Mares drew 1.217 million viewers and peaked with 1.614 million viewers.

The Santa Cruz-Mares fight drew 214,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and 0.39 household rating.

The other fight on the telecast took place between Jermell Charlo and Austin Trout.  The event averaged 532,000 viewers and peaked at 575,000.  The fight drew 199,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and drew a household rating of 0.36.

Payout Perspective:

Terrence Crawford and Jeff Horn fought earlier in the night and Santa Cruz-Mares went up against UFC 225.  The fight hype may have been overshadowed by Crawford despite being it being on ESPN +.  Santa Cruz won the rematch via unanimous decision in a very entertaining bout.

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