PFL2 Prelims on ESPN2 draw 120,000 viewers

May 24, 2019

Professional Fighters League drew 120,000 viewers on ESPN2 Thursday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  Notably, the UFC 236 replay drew 191,000 viewers later that night on ESPN2.

The PFL2 aired for the second time on ESPN2.  The event took place at the Nassau Coliseum in New York.  The featured event of the 2 hour Prelims on ESPN2 saw Natan Schulte defeat Yincang Bao via rear naked choke.

The event on ESPN2 aired early in the night (7pm ET).  The UFC 236 replay (10pm ET) which featured Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier drew more than the live event.

The second season of the PFL debut on May 9th drew 137,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The decrease in viewership may not be the best look for the PFL which is trying to gain some traction on ESPN in its second season.  Of course, the main card is airing on ESPN+ so don’t expect too much concern from the network.  Moreover, being placed on the deuce and being the prelims might not be the best way to put your best product out there.

UFC 237 Prelims draw 813,000 viewers as lead-in for Top Rank Boxing which drew 740,000

May 14, 2019

The UFC 237 PPV Prelims on ESPN drew 813,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The event featured BJ Penn-Clay Guida at the top of the telecast and ended with Ryan Spann’s KO of Antonio Rogerio Nogueria.  UFC 237 took place at Rio de Janeiro Brazil.

The event drew 425,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and a 0.53 share.

It’s interesting to note that the UFC served as the lead-in to Top Rank Boxing on ESPN which drew 740,000 viewers and 354,000 in the A18-49 demo.  The event from Tucson, Arizona featured Miguel Berchelt as he took on Francisco Vargas.

Payout Perspective:

It was a busy night of combat sports and its interesting to see that the viewing audience really stayed on the channel as there was little dropoff from the UFC as the ‘lead-in’ into Top Rank Boxing which lost out on less than 100,000 viewers.

PBC on Fox draws 1.21 million viewers Saturday night

May 12, 2019

PBC on Fox drew 1.21 million viewers on Saturday night per Nielsen via Television By Numbers.

The event featured a matchup of Super Welterweight featuring Jarret Hurd and Julian Williams.  JRock shocked the favorite Hurd and took the 154 pound title.

It was a busy night Saturday night with a UFC PPV, Bellator event on DAZN and NHL on NBC vying for viewers.  The event drew a 0.3 share in the A18-49 demo and a 2 share overall.  It recorded the lowest rated viewership in its timeslot among the 4 networks.

The telecast did draw better than last month’s Easter weekend broadcast which featured Danny Garcia.  Yet, still below December’s 1.69M viewers on Fox.  Moreover, the viewership is still below that of the UFC broadcasts on Fox.

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN draws 480K viewers opposite Canelo-Jacobs

May 7, 2019

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN drew 480,000 viewers Saturday night for the event in Stockton, California.  It also drew 166,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

The event featured Artur Beterbiev as he defeated Radivoje Kalajdzic.  The opener for the telecast saw a slugfest between Jerwin Ancajas as he stopped Ryuichi Funai.  In addition, Gabriel Flores, Jr. defeated Eduardo Pereira dos Reis.

The ratings are the second lowest for Top Rank Boxing and ESPN since the two began its working relationship in 2017.

Payout Perspective:

It’s hard not to think that most boxing fans were watching the Canelo-Jacobs fight on DAZN.  While the event from Stockton showed the best from its featured fighters, it had the unfortunate scheduling conflict of one of the biggest fights this year.

Jon Fitch reflects upon his start in MMA in book featuring personal journals

April 24, 2019

MMA Payout had the opportunity to speak with Jon Fitch about his upcoming fight this Saturday with Rory MacDonald in addition to a book he released late last year about his time starting out in MMA.

The book, Falling Upwards/Death by Ego, Fitch draws upon journals he has kept throughout the years which included his start in MMA.

After learning about the sport of MMA while an amateur wrestler at Purdue, Fitch drove across country to AKA in San Jose to train to be a mixed martial artist.  The book reveals personal journals about his training, life and scraping together a living while working towards a goal of being in MMA.  “Self-therapy,” is what Fitch attributes to publishing the book.  “I wanted to tap back in and get back into that mindset of that hungry, young athlete.  It brought me back into a different place.”

Fitch admits that he was apprehensive about publishing his private journals for the public to see.  The book does not edit out his journal entries although Fitch provides some editorial context to what he was thinking at the time.  “Why should you be embarrassed of your life?” Fitch stated about publishing the journals.  “More importantly, there are people that have gone through similar situations [in their life]. If they can see somebody else there, they might be able to get through the tough spot.”

In retrospect, Fitch notes that his career in MMA including a lot of luck.  As many know, Fitch went to Purdue University where he was a part of the wrestling team. Tom Erickson, Purdue’s head coach, was a former Pride fighter.  Mark Coleman and Gary Goodrich trained with the team at times and would tell stories about their trips, travels and money they were making.  “It was real life bloodsport stuff,” Fitch described, “It was a much more interesting life.”

With a stipend for grad school after graduating from Purdue, Fitch started to train MMA in Indiana with not a lot of support.  He recalls training with the Purdue Judo Club because they were the only club around at the time that resembled MMA. He met up with former UFC veteran Brian Ebersole and became obsessed with martial arts.  He then saw a DVD with Frank Shamrock fighting Tito Ortiz that changed his life.  “I want to train where that guy [Shamrock] is.”

“I gave myself 3 years or run out of money,” Fitch said of his plan to move to San Jose and be an MMA fighter.  The 41-year-old Fitch recalls a time when he drove to an ATM late at night from working at bars to deposit dollars into his bank account to ensure he didn’t incur any late fees.

Out west, he found a home and would not return to the Midwest to become an educator. “I was having so much fun, I wouldn’t have gone back.”  The book focuses on his meager beginnings at AKA, his almost-famous moment of being on TUF and the ups and downs of trying to find fights.

In his book, he detailed his MMA and BJJ workouts.  He also was consistent in using crossfit as a way to supplement his MMA training. At 41, Fitch has made changes to his preparation and keeping in shape.  “I lift more consistently,” he stated. “I have found a better way to lift and treat it more like hygiene.”

Fitch has been one of the leaders in supporting the Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Association.  He wrote an op-ed for the Washington Examiner at about the same time that the second hearing on the Ali Act expansion was happening before Congress.  Fitch has been an advocate about fighters’ rights for some time now but when asked whether he’d embrace Leslie Smith and Project Spearhead if she were to bring the messaging to Bellator, he demurred.

While both MMAFA and Project Spearhead may want the same thing in the end, it’s clear that the sides disagree immensely on how the means to the end.

“I just don’t think she understands the market,” Fitch said.  “We were not seeing eye to eye.”  He described a “group chat” in which the interested parties were discussing the matter of fighters’ rights and Fitch indicated that they asked her to leave the chat so that they could discuss their position in private.

Fitch takes on Rory MacDonald Saturday in San Jose for Bellator 220 on DAZN.

UFC on ESPN +7 Prelims draw 232,000 viewers

April 23, 2019

Saturday morning’s UFC on ESPN + 7 Prelims on ESPN2 drew 232,000 viewers.  The event took place in St. Petersburg, Russia with the main card airing on ESPN +.

The feature bout of the Prelims event saw Movsar Evloev defeat Seung Woo Choi by unanimous decision.  ‘

The event drew a 0.07 share according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

Payout Perspective:

The low viewership might have been expected considering the early morning start on the west coast.  Add to that the Prelims featured a lot of regional fighters that many North American fans had not heard of.

PBC on Fox draws 1.01M viewers in Fast Overnights

April 21, 2019

PBC on Fox drew an average of 1.01 million viewers according to the fast-overnight ratings provided by Television By Numbers.

The event from Carson, California featured Danny Garcia as he made easy work of Adrian Granados.  The event aired on Fox with a little overrun past the 7pm (PST) hour.

PBC on Fox went up against the NHL Playoffs on NBC which drew 1.54 million viewers, Ransom on CBS which drew 2.34 million in the 8-9pm hour and The Ten Commandments on ABC, an Easter weekend tradition, which drew 4.9 million viewers. The 9-10pm hour on CBS was a rerun of 48 Hours which drew 2.66 million viewers.

PBC on Fox drew 0.2 in the 18-49 demo and a 1 share.  In comparison The Ten Commandments drew 0.6 in the A18-49 demo.

Notably, last year, UFC on Fox 29 drew 1.78M viewers.  Two years ago, UFC on Fox 29 drew nearly 2 million viewers.  At the time, it drew 1.74 million viewers in the fast-overnights and was the lowest overnight rating in the UFC on Fox history.

Payout Perspective:

It was a busy night of boxing with the Crawford-Khan PPV Prelims and then a portion of the PPV on at the same time as PBC on Fox.  The 1 million viewers should be considered a win due to the marketing behind the PPV event from Top Rank.  Yet, PBC on Fox is not yielding the same ratings that UFC on Fox cards did in the past.

PBC on FS1 for Quillin-Truax drew 181,000 viewers

April 19, 2019

PBC on FS1 this past Saturday night drew 181,000 for the Peter Quillin Caleb Truax fight per Nielsen.  The event aired on a busy night for combat sports.

The event happened the same night as UFC 236 and the Shields-Hammer event on Showtime.  A portion of the PBC on FS1 event aired on FS2 due to an overrun with MLB Baseball on FS1.

The Quillin-Truax fight went to a no decision after an inadvertent head butt caused a bad cut on Truax in the second round.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are low due in part to the later start time and perhaps the confusion with the airing of the event.  The MLB overrun likely was a detriment to viewership.  Also, the event was likely overshadowed by the Shield-Hammer fight on Showtime.

ShoBox featuring Shields-Hammer draws 339,000 viewers

April 16, 2019

Showtime Boxing Saturday featuring the Claressa Shields-Christina Hammer fight peaked at 369,000 viewers for the much-anticipated fight.  Overall, the fight unifying the middleweight title drew 339,000 viewers on the network according to Nielsen.

The event went up against the UFC PPV on ESPN+.  Shields had an easy time with Hammer winning a unanimous decision.

Payout Perspective:

The event was marketed by Showtime as a fight between two of the best female boxers in the world.  It was given its own All Access featuring the two fighters.  Despite the domination by Shields, it shows that it was willing to feature two women boxers. Yet, 339,000 viewers isn’t the needle mover you would hope for and the peak viewership did not exceed the 410,000 viewers that saw her on Showtime last summer.

UFC 236 prelims draw 893,000 viewers

April 16, 2019

The prelims for UFC 236 on ESPN drew 893,000 viewers according to Nielsen (via ShowBuzz Daily).  The event drew 498,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and a 0.60 share on Saturday.

The prelims featured Matt Frevola and Jalin Turner with Frevola winning an impressive unanimous decision.  The event served as the pre-cursor for the first PPV on ESPN+.

Notably, this time last year, UFC held an event on Fox and drew 2,020,000 viewers for the Dustin Poirier-Justin Gaethje matchup.  Ironically Poirier was in the main event for the PPV of UFC 236 as he won the interim lightweight championship.

Payout Perspective:

In my opinion, I thought that the prelims would certainly draw over 1 million viewers.  The Masters, NBA and NHL Playoffs were also on at points during Saturday which may have detracted from the prelims on ESPN.  The UFC on ESPN showed an increase of its viewership in the first appearances on the network.  Yet, this ratings seems to be slightly disappointing considering there were two title fights and was a ESPN+ PPV.

« Previous PageNext Page »