Bellator 194 draws 476,000 viewers on Paramount

February 20, 2018

Bellator MMA Live 194 on the Paramount Network drew 476,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The event featured the second fight in the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix with Matt Mitrione defeating Roy Nelson.  The telecast also featured Patricky Friere as he stopped Derek Campos in the first round.

Bellator
Event Rating DVR + 3 Peak
192 770,000 1,000,000 1,500,000
193 470,000 534,000 715,000
194 476,000

Payout Perspective:

The event did slightly better than last month’s Bellator 193 but is below of 2017’s average of 614,000 viewers.  Through just 3 events this year, the average is down to 572,000 viewers.  One would have suspected this event doing better than 476,000 viewers since it featured the Heavyweight Grand Prix.   But, it was going up against the Winter Olympics so that may have come into play.

 

 

UFC 221 Prelims on FS1 draw 697,000 viewers

February 13, 2018

The UFC 221 on FS1 drew 697,000 viewers Saturday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The telecast featured Dong Hyun Kim earned a split decision over Damien Brown.

Also on the telecast, Israel Adesanya stopped Rob Wilkinson, Alex Volkanovski stopped Jeremy Kennedy and Justin Formiga submitted Ben Nguyen.

The two-hour telecast drew 0.21 in the A18-49 demo.

Also, the post-fight show on FS1 drew 188,000 viewers.  The 52-minute wrapup show which started a little after 1:00 am on the east coast drew 0.08 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

Predictably, the event drew lower than UFC 220 last month.  This is likely due to the Olympics as well as the less-than-stellar hype for this PPV.  This ratings may mean that the PPV buys did not do well domestically despite the local excitement for the event in Perth.

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN draws 741,000 viewers Saturday night

February 7, 2018

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Saturday night drew 741,000 viewers according to Nielsen (via ShowBuzz Daily).  The event drew 0.21 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

The event featured Zurdo Ramirez as he defeated Habib Ahmed in the 6th round to successfully defend his World Boxing Organization super middleweight title.  In addition, Jerwin Ancajas, dubbed as the heir apparent to Manny Pacquiao stopped Israel Gonzalez in defense of his International Boxing Federation super flyweight title.

Payout Perspective:

The event came on ESPN slightly late due to the NCAA men’s basketball game between Michigan State and Indiana.  It did not do as well as November’s event which drew 1.487M viewers.  Still, it did well considering the card were for those well-versed in boxing as the fighters on the telecast did not carry much casual viewer cache.

UFC Fight Night 125 draws 839,000 on FS1; Prelims on FS2 361,000

February 6, 2018

UFC Fight Night 125 on FS1 drew 839,000 viewers on Saturday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The Prelims, which aired on FS2, drew 361,000 viewers.

The main card was highlighted by Lyoto Machida defeating Eryk Anders via split decision in the main event.  The prelims feature bout saw Sergio Moraes defeat Tim Means via split decision.

The post-fight wrap-up show on FS1 drew 231,000 viewers and 0.09 in the A18-49 demo from 10:26pm-11:26 pm PT

The Prelims rating on FS2 improved over this past October’s UFC Fight Night 119 prelims when it was also pre-empted on FS1.  Notably, that post-fight show drew 265,000 on FS1.

Payout Perspective:

The main card ratings improve upon October’s UFC card in Brazil which drew just 558,000 viewers for Machida against Derek Brunson.  The card went up against the NBA on ABC and boxing on ESPN.  Good ratings for the Prelims as well for it being on FS2 due to college basketball.

Showtime lands Joshua-Parker rights in U.S.

February 5, 2018

ESPN reports that Showtime has secured the U.S. rights to the Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker heavyweight title fight on March 31st.

The fight will unify three world title belts.  The fight will take place at Principality Stadium in Wales where its anticipated that 80,000 will be in attendance.  The event will air 2pm PT/5pm ET.

The event adds to the robust boxing schedule Showtime has scheduled for the first part of 2018.  This includes Deontay Wilder is scheduled to fight Luis Ortiz on March 3rd in Brooklyn.

Assuming wins by Joshua and Wilder would place the two on a collision course later this year.

Payout Perspective:

Joshua’s star is rising in the U.S. as shown by his victory over Wladimir Klitschko last April.  He’s a star in Europe and is beginning to gain traction in the U.S.  Showtime’s move seems like a good move considering they could likely be the distributor for a potential Joshua-Wilder PPV later this year.

Bellator 193 draws 470,000 viewers on Paramount

January 29, 2018

Bellator 193 drew 470,000 viewers on Paramount Television Friday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event featured Lorenz Larkin as he picked up a win over Fernando Gonzalez.

The event drew 0.16 in the A18-49 demo.  Last week Bellator’s tentpole event drew 770,000 viewers on Paramount.

The ratings are the lowest since last month’s Bellator 190 which drew just 394,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Notwithstanding the tentpole events, the Bellator shows are drawing less viewers.  Last year, there were 7 events which drew less than 500,000 viewers.  The year before there was just one.  Two events in, we see one of the two events already south of 500,000 viewers.

PFL finds new TV deal with familiar partner

January 29, 2018

The Professional Fighter’s League is back with NBC Sports Network as part of a one year revenue sharing deal according to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal.

Previously the World Series of Fighting, the organization went through a regime change and renamed itself the PFL.  This year it will offer a league setup with the promise that fighters on its roster will get regular fights and offer a league-style makeup for its six weight divisions culminating with a $10 million prize for fighters at the end of the year.

The article indicates that Jon Miller, NBC Sports Networks’ head of programming reached out to the new PFL heads as he has previously worked with PFL Executive Chairman Russ Ramsey and PFL President of Event Production Carlos Silva. Miller was also fond of CEO Peter Murray, who Miller worked with at the NFL and Under Armour.

In addition to NBC Sports network, Facebook has agreed to pick up the streaming rights for the PFL which include events that are not carried by NBCSN and will carry the first three hours of a PFL event before NBCSN takes over.

Payout Perspective:

The deal appears to be better than the previous WSOF “time buys” in which the organization purchased time from NBCSN.  Although no financial terms were not disclosed, it would seem that revenue sharing would mean that at least a portion of the advertising dollars and sponsorships from the televised event would go back to the network.  This may give a little more incentive for NBCSN to promote PFL.  The online streaming proved to be successful with the organization’s fans with PFL’s one event last year.  We still don’t have a solid date for the PFL to start but with this news, we should expect it happening sooner than later.

Bellator 192 DVR ratings bump event average to 1M total viewers

January 26, 2018

Bellator 192 averaged 1 million viewers peaking with 1.5 million during the Chael Sonnen-Rampage Jackson fight according to Nielsen in DVR + 3 ratings.  The numbers reflect the combination of Paramount and CMT.

The average viewership for the Sonnen-Jackson fight drew 1.4 million viewers while the Rory MacDonald-Douglas Lima fight drew 1.2 million viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The numbers do not divide out the Parmount and CMT ratings although I would suspect that Paramount’s peak viewership would include most of the former Spike TV audience.  In Live + Same Day Viewership Bellator 192 drew 770,000 viewers on Paramount and 161,000 on CMT.  The Sonnen-Rampage first round averaged 1.2m viewers while MacDonald-Lima averaged 1.1 million viewers.  The numbers do show that this event was recorded in light of the UFC and/or boxing events on at the same time.

Bellator 192 peaks with 1.34M viewers

January 23, 2018

Bellator MMA averaged 931,000 total viewers on the Paramount Network and CMT.  It peaked with 1,340,000 million during the Chael Sonnen-Rampage Jackson fight.

The first round between Sonnen and Rampage averaged 1.2 million viewers.  The Rory MacDonald-Douglas Lima bout drew 1.1 million viewers.

According to the release, Bellator 192 was the most watched event for the franchise since Bellator 170: Sonnen-Ortiz last January.

Via Bellator release:

In its timeslot (9:00pm-12:30am), Bellator 192 on Paramount Network ranked #3 with Men 18-49 and #4 with Men 18-34 in all of cable.  Bellator 192 was also the most watched combat sports event that evening on cable. (DVR +3 numbers will be available later this week)

Payout Perspective:

Bellator drew 770,000 on Paramount and 161,000 on CMT.  For Bellator 180, CMT viewership was 143,000.  180 was the first event where Viacom has decided to broadcast the event on CMT.  It’s an interesting strategy.  While it does not pick up a lot more viewers, I think the idea is to broadcast it to a broader audience/demo.  We’ll see if this helps the overall viewership.

UFC 220 Prelims draw 905,000 on FS1, Bellator 192 770,00 viewers on Paramount

January 23, 2018

The UFC 220 Prelims on FS1 drew 905,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The prelims overlapped with Bellator 192 on Paramount which drew 770,000 viewers.

UPDATED:  Bellator 192 was also on CMT network.  Thanks to a reader who pointed this out.  Based on the combined ratings Bellator 192 drew 931,000 viewers (CMT chipped in with the additional 161,000 viewers)

The UFC Prelims were highlighted by Julio Arce versus Dan Ige.  The event on FS1 drew 0.39 in the A18-49 demo.  In comparison, last year’s first PPV, UFC 208, which occurred in February drew 824,000 viewers. Bellator 192 featured Rampage Jackson and Chael Sonnen as it began the Heavyweight Grand Prix.  It also saw Rory MacDonald win the welterweight belt from Douglas Lima.  The event drew 0.32 in the A18-49 demo.

In addition, on Saturday night, the UFC Prefight Show on FS1 drew 286,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Bellator 192 was the highest-rated Bellator event on Spike TV, now Paramount, since March 2017’s Bellator 175 which featured Rampage against King Mo.  Bellator 180 had a higher viewership in the aggregate but was shown on Spike and CMT.  While the event produced the best ratings in almost 10 months, it still does not come close to the initial tentpole events which drew near 1 million viewers.  Obviously, the head-to-head with the prelims and the UFC PPV hurt Bellator this time around.  For the UFC Prelims, the 905,000 is a nice rating considering the fights did not have any “named” fighter on them which bodes well for the PPV buys.

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