TUF Latin America debut a success with 7.2M viewer peak

August 27, 2014

MMA Fighting reports that the debut episode of TUF Latin America featuring UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum as opposing coaches peaked at 7.2 million viewers on Televisa Ch. 5 in Mexico.

The viewer average was not available according to the article by Dave Meltzer.  But, according to the report TUF Latin America was the highest-rated show in Mexico in its time slot overall and in the 19-44 demo.  TUF Latin America is shown on Wednesday in Mexico and Friday through Sunday in 12 other Latin American countries.

The show will be offered on Fight Pass and Fox Deportes in the U.S.

Payout Perspective:

This is good news for the inaugural event as the continued strategy of exposing the UFC brand through TUF seems to be working in the Latin American market.  Obviously, it’s too soon to call the series a success but fans in Latin American countries are taking notice.  It will be interesting to see how many fans Cain will draw considering he’s not really a native speaker.  Yet, it appears that the fans do not care.

TUF 19 Episode 12: 586,000 viewers

July 10, 2014

MMA Payout has learned that the season finale of TUF last Wednesday received 586,000 viewers which was the third highest in the season.  Overall, the season average was 477,000 viewers.

TUF 19 Episode 12 Graph

Payout Perspective:

We will be trying to obtain the DVR number to round out the graph.

Unfortunately for UFC fans, this was one of the more disappointing seasons in the TUF franchise. The fights were boring, not a lot of characters were drawn out and even the coach’s challenge wasn’t that fun.  With the exception of a scoring controversy, there was nothing remarkable about season 19.  The irony is that both finals were action-packed first round finishes.

So what do we make of the ratings.  One thing that stands out was episode 11 registered one of the lowest (if not the lowest) rating ever on TUF.   However, it was the highest rated show on FS1 for that day.  This tells us that despite the decline that MMA fans have seen over the years, Fox execs are still pleased with its performance.  One of the things that Fox has been pleased with is the amount of people watching on the DVR as DVR +3 ratings have gone up gaining 278,000 viewers compared to TUF 18’s DVR +3 average of 250,000 viewers.

It will be interesting to see how TUF 20 is received with it being the all women house. One thing seems to be certain, TUF is here to stay.

Edgar and Penn top TUF 19 Finale salaries

July 7, 2014

MMA Junkie reports the salaries for Sunday night’s TUF 19 Finale which was held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.  The TUF 19 coaches were the top earners for the night.

TUF 19 Finale

Via MMA Junkie:

Frankie Edgar: $260,000 (includes $130,000 bonus)
def. B.J. Penn: $150,000

Corey Anderson: $16,000 (includes $8,000 bonus)
def. Matt Van Buren: $8,000

Eddie Gordon: $16,000 (includes $8,000 bonus)
def. Dhiego Lima: $8,000

Derrick Lewis: $20,000 (includes $10,000 bonus)
def. Guto Inocente: $8,000

Dustin Ortiz: $28,000 (includes $14,000 bonus)
def. Justin Scoggins: $12,000

Kevin Lee: $16,000 (includes $8,000 bonus)
def. Jesse Ronson: $8,000

Leandro Issa: $15,000 (includes $7,500 bonus)
def. Jumabieke Tuerxun: $8,000

Adriano Martins: $30,000 (includes $15,000 bonus)
def. Juan Manuel Puig: $8,000

Patrick Walsh: $16,000 (includes $8,000 bonus)
def. Daniel Spohn: $8,000

Sarah Moras: $18,000 (includes $8,000 bonus)*
def. Alexis Dufresne: $6,000* Dufresne was fined for not making weight and that portion went to Moras

Robert Drysdale: $16,000 (includes $8,000 bonus)
def. Keith Berish: $8,000

Payout Perspective:

There’s nothing unexpected here as the TUF cast members and the other fighters on the card earned the minimum $8K and $8k to win (except Dufresne who did not make weight and was fined).  $150K was the same amount BJ Penn made in his last fight against Rory MacDonald in December 2012.  Edgar received a $10K bump from the $120K show money he made at UFC 162.

TUF 19 Finale attendance, gate and bonuses

July 7, 2014

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses for Sunday’s TUF 19 Finale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.  The attendance and gate were the largest for any TUF Finale card.

The TUF 19 Finale drew 6,500 for a gate of $835,000.  The gate doubled that of the TUF 18 Finale which was held at the same venue.  As is custom now, no comps were revealed.

Bonuses were $50,000 each and were as follows:

Fight of the Night: Leandro Issa – Jumabieke Tuerxun

Performances of the Night:  Adriano Martins and Issa

Issa doubles up for his performance against Tuerxun.  Martins scored a KO over Juan Manuel Puig to earn his bonus.

Payout Perspective:

The TUF 19 Finale was aided by the fact that it was International Fight Week and there were ticket discounts for those that bought tickets to the UFC Fan Expo.  It also helped that BJ Penn was on the card.  The bonuses could have been given to the TUF winners Eddie Gordon and Corey Anderson.  It’s ironic that the last two fights for TUF 19 were the two most exciting the whole season.

TUF 19 Episode 11: 366,000 viewers

June 27, 2014

MMA Payout has learned that the 11th episode of TUF 19: Team Penn vs. Team Edgar drew 366,000 viewers according to Nielsen sources.  The live plus same day number is the lowest this season but was the most-watched show on FS1 on Wednesday.

In addition, the same night replay of TUF in the 10pmPT/1amET time slot received 94,000 viewers which up 6% in that time slot.  In the fight of the episode, Corey Anderson defeated Patrick Walsh by unanimous decision.

TUF 19 Episode 11 Graph

Payout Perspective:

The 11th episode is the lowest rated show of the season and possibly the lowest rating ever for TUF.  Interesting that although it pulled the low rating, it was still the most-watched show on the network for Wednesday.  The ratings are disappointing after it had achieved its second highest rating of the season for episode 10.  We will see if it can bounce back for the season finale.  The average for the season is 466,000 (live +SD).

TUF 19 Episode 9: 445,000

June 13, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that Wednesday’s 9th episode of TUF 19 received a viewership of 445,000.  The rating is a slight decrease from the prior week.

The same night replay at 1pm ET received a viewership of 162,000 viewers which doubled the average audience from the prior week’s replay.

Episode 1 – Live 595,000; DVR+3: 861,000

Episode 2 – Live 320,000; DVR +3: 628,000

Episode 3 – Live 421,000; DVR +3: 723,000

Episode 4 – Live 438,000; DVR +3: 773,000

Episode 5 – Live 417,000;

Episode 6 – Live 611,000

Episode 7 – Live 424,000; DVR +3: 676,000

Episode 8 – Live 497,000; DVR +3: 748,000

Episode 9 – Live 445,000

TUF 19 Episode 9 Graph

This week’s fight was a forgettable one in which Matt Van Buren defeated Chris Fields.

White expressed his dismay with all of the fighters as he intimated that this season’s fights have been boring.

Payout Perspective:

A couple things that can hurt a TUF season is the lack of personality in the house and the lack of quality fights on the show.  Unfortunately, we are getting both this season.  Just like this week’s fight, this week’s episode was forgettable and you can tell that White is upset by this.  Usually he talks to the semi-finalists about who they want to fight but this time around we just saw clips of the interviews.  I really cannot explain the uptick in the viewership of the replay.

TUF 19 Episode 8: 497,000 viewers

June 5, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that Episode 8 of TUF 19 received an average viewership of 497,000 viewers.  This week was slightly up from the prior week despite going up against the Stanley Cup.

Episode 8 featured the “Coaches’ Challenge” sponsored by Autozone which actually was a kayak  race between the coaches.  Despite Edgar’s protests that the challenge was rigged, BJ Penn won the race proving that he is a true Waterman.  In the fight of the episode, Eddie Gordon defeated Mike King.

TUF 19 Episode 8 Graph

Payout Perspective:

The live rating is a surprise considering the Stanley Cup featuring the two biggest media markets (NY and LA) were going on at the same time and the game went into overtime.  We should see a considerable bump from DVR viewership as one might assume many fans of both MMA and hockey recorded the show to watch hockey.

TUF 3 Brazil Finale Prelims: 560,000 viewers

June 3, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that the TUF 3 Brazil Finale Prelims airing on FS1 right before the main event earned an average viewership of 560,000.  The prelims which ran from 8:00pm-10:00pm preceded the 3 hour main card.

In terms of numbers the Prelims received a demo viewership of 0.35 in overall adults 18-49, 0.48 for males 18-49 and 0.41 for males 18-34.

Notably, the main card numbers were relatively the same with the exception of a rise in males 18-49.

Adults 18-49: 0.39, Males 18-49: 0.57, Males 18-34: 0.41.

Payout Perspective:

It’s rare to see a UFC prelims receive as many viewers as the main card.  560,000 is a good number considering the 2 event day, a Brazil card and the main card occurring later in the evening.

TUF Brazil 3 Finale attendance and bonuses

June 1, 2014

MMA Junkie reports on the attendance and bonuses from the UFC’s second event on Saturday, the TUF Brazil 3 Finale from San Paulo, Brazil.   Stipe Miocic led the way with the bonuses of $50,000 each.

The attendance and bonuses were announced at the post-fight press conference.

The bonuses were as follows:

Fight of the Night:  Kevin Souza-Mark Eddiva

Performance Bonuses:  Miocic and Warlley Alves.

Attendance of 8,986 was announced at the post-fight press conference.  The attendance was the best of the Brazilian UFC events so far this year.  UFC Fight Night 36 (Machida-Mousasi) drew 7,511 and UFC Fight Night 38 (Henderson-Rua) drew 6,828.  There was no mention of unsold tickets or comps when the attendance was announced.

Payout Perspective:

Miocic’s short work (35 seconds) of replacement Fabio Maldonado could have been the easiest $50K bonus ever.  Warlley Alves could be a legitimate UFC prospect and the Souza-Eddiva fight was just that, a fight with not much defense from either fighter.  The attendance was the best for a Brazil show this year which could mean that many people wanted to see Junior dos Santos (the original headliner) as Miocic-Maldonado is not really an attraction.   Or, they really wanted to see the UFC.

EA Sports UFC Video Game Features “The Ultimate Fighter” & Sponsors

May 11, 2014

With just about a month away from the official release date, EA Sports has finally released details for the career mode in the video game. The big news here is the addition of The Ultimate Fighter as a prerequisite for fighters to enter the UFC, which is something THQ never incorporated into their UFC video game in the past.


Payout Perspective:

Its actually surprising that the UFC has not previously incorporated TUF into any of their previous video games.  There are many naysayers when it comes to TUF, whether it’s the stale format, the lack of talent the show produces, or the declining ratings. The addition of TUF to the video game once again illustrates what type of value the show still has for the UFC in their eyes. Not only is TUF how the UFC has previously reached out to casuals and has converted many of them to PPV buyers, but its also their number one tool they will utilize towards breaking into new international territories.  This is the reason why I have repeatedly argued that TUF is more important than most fans realize. Not only did it save the company from going bankrupt when it was $40M in debt almost ten years ago, but it continues to be a key component in their business model.  Of course, no one can argue that the effectiveness of the show hasn’t considerably decreased since the explosion of free MMA programming all over network and cable television. Especially now that the UFC is on free network TV after their FOX TV deal.

Along with the TUF, career mode will also allow the fighters to sign deals with UFC approved sponsors.  The video features the following sponsors: EA Sports, Affliction, RVCA, Musclepharm, Bruce Lee Enterprises, Training Mask, Topps, Alienware, Bony Acai, and Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery to name a few.  The number of sponsors for a fighter are directly correlated to their popularity and success during their career. Their unlocked sponsors allow fighters to fill up their sponsorship banner and use their gear in the game.

As for the fighters MMA skill set, they will build up experience points throughout their career which can then be used to evolve and level up a fighter. The more experience and evolution points, the more advance moves a fighter can unlock.  There are three ability categories for each fighter, which consist of Ground, Stand-up, and Physical. These abilities can then be applied to fighter game-plans which give a fighter performance boosts in those areas.  Career longevity will be calculated for a fighter depending on his/her fighting style. If you fight smart and don’t take too much damage, you will have a longer longevity as supposed to an exciting brawler who takes a lot of damage.

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