October 27, 2016
Bellator 162 last Friday night drew 659,000 viewers in adjusted DVR +3 ratings. Its an increase from the 562,000 viewers in Live + SD.
The event peaked at 956,000 viewers during the main event between Shlemenko and Grove.
The ratings made it the third-highest cable sporting event last Friday night behind two college football games on ESPN.
October 24, 2016
Bellator 162 drew 582,000 viewers on Spike TV Friday night per Sports TV Ratings. It’s a slight decrease of over 15% from Bellator 161.
In the main event, Alexander Shlemenko defeated Kendall Grove in the main event. According to Sports TV Ratings, it drew 259,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo.
College Football ruled Friday night with the Oregon-Cal game on ESPN drawing over 1.5 million viewers despite the fact it went into the middle of the night. Prior to that, the South Florida-Temple game drew 1.3 million viewers. While there were some interesting matchups and the first of likely many promos between Tito Ortiz and Chael Sonnen, there was nothing to tune into that you would have regretted missing.
October 19, 2016
Bellator’s Scott Coker announced on ESPN’s Sportscenter that Chael Sonnen will take on Tito Ortiz which will headline a show on January 21, 2017 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Sonnen announced his return to the sport last month. He has participated in grappling matches and served as a WSOF color commentator during his time away from active action.
Ortiz has not fought since a submission loss to Liam McGeary in September 2015.
Bellator is getting the same treatment as the UFC as ESPN is giving the Viacom-owned company the same platform to announce major news. Sonnen-Ortiz will have some good promotion leading up to the fight but we will see how much the actual fight will live up to the lead-up. Certainly, the shoulder programming, which we anticipate to be on SpikeTV, should provide some interesting color. We assume that this will be Bellator’s next tent-pole event.
October 18, 2016
The World Series of Fighting announced a New Year’s Eve show in New York which will feature a trio of main events that will be broadcast on NBC Sports and on NBC the afternoon of December 31st.
Justin Gaethje will defend his lightweight title against Joao Zeferino. Jon Fitch will face Jake Shields and Marlon Moraes will defend his bantamweight title against an opponent yet to be named.
The event will be live on NBCSN from 3pm-4pm ET and the rest of the show will be on NBC from 4pm-6pm ET. It will be the second time that the WSOF will be on NBC Sports Network. The event will take place at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
In order to have this event, the WSOF cancelled two preceding events.
The event will be great, but there is a glaring typo on the WSOF web site.
The show is a big one for the organization and the NBC exposure should help it. Then again, a New Year’s Eve show might not garner as many fans as you might think with people preparing for festivities later that night. Last year, SpikeTV featured “Breakfast with Fedor” with tape delayed fights from the Rizin show in Japan. It drew only 141,000 viewers and peaked at 271,000. One would think that being on NBC should grab more viewers despite competing with college football bowls.
October 13, 2016
The Ultimate Fighter 24 Episode 7 drew 439,000 viewers on FS1 Wednesday night per Sports TV Ratings. It was the second-highest ratings of the season for the show.
The episode featured the coach’s challenge which involved golfing this season. It gave a chance for the showcase TopGolf in Las Vegas.
In the fight of the show, Tim Elliott submitted Charlie Allianz with a bulldog choke.
The episode drew 253,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo. It’s the highest rating in the demo this season.
It was the start of the NHL season but there was no MLB playoffs for TUF to compete with on Wednesday. This season’s episode improved from last year’s TUF 22 ep 7 which drew 379,000 viewers. Last season, ep 7 drew 377,000. The 439,000 viewers is second in ratings this season only to episode 3.
October 12, 2016
The Ultimate Fighter 24 Episode 5 increased to 574,000 in DVR +3 adjusted viewership via Nielsen.
Last week’s episode drew 366,000 viewers in live plus same day viewership on FS1. It increased 37% from last Wednesday.
The average DVR + 3 rating is 594,500. It averages an increase of approximately 40% from the Live + SD rating.
October 11, 2016
The UFC 204 Prelims drew 678,000 viewers on FS1 on Saturday night per Sports TV Ratings. It is the lowest rated FS1 PPV Prelims thus far this year.
The event, which was held in Manchester, England featured Brad Pickett and Iuri Alcantara in the final event of the FS1 Prelims. Alcantara won via submission. The event also was featured at the end of the PPV telecast.
The event also scored 368,000 viewers in the Adult 18-49 demo.
*Note that in the above chart UFC 201 aired on FS2 and not FS1.
The PPV prefight show which aired prior to the prelims on FS1 drew 277,000 viewers and 114,000 in the Adult 18-49 demo. The post-fight show which aired on FS2 from 12:25am-2:00am drew 37,000 viewers and 16,000 in the Adult 18-49 demo.
The viewership was down which may be due in part to college football and the card. It is a decrease from the other prelims which have averaged over 1M viewers (minus 201 and thanks to some big cards this year). FS1 had bundled the prelims along with college football in its ads leading up to Saturday. However, it appears that a lot of the casual viewers watched college games.
October 10, 2016
World Series of Fighting 33 drew 146,000 viewers on Friday night on NBC Sports Network according to Sports TV Ratings.
In addition, it drew 51,000 viewers in the Adult 18-49 demo. The event featured David Branch and Vinny Magalhaes with Branch earning the win. The event aired from 11:00pm-2:00am ET.
The late night event for east coast viewers probably led to the decline in ratings. Aside from WSOF 31, this past Friday’s event was the lowest of the year.
October 10, 2016
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at UFC 204 from Manchester, England which pitted Michael Bisping defending his UFC middleweight title against Dan Henderson.
Bisping outlasts Hendo
The rematch was 7 years in the making and despite the time in between fights, everyone knew the backstory from UFC 100. Hendo hit an “H Bomb” that knocked out Bisping and then landed on the Brit with another shot while he was on the ground. This was the story that sold the fight otherwise the matchmaking never made sense aside from Bisping wanting to avenge a loss.
The fight itself was great. Hendo almost recreated his KO of Bisping in round 1 and picked his spots which stung Bisping and bloodied his eyes. However, Bisping’s excellent cardio kept him in the fight and staying on top of the 46-year-old appeared to be the critical factor in the decision.
A matchup with Jacare Souza seems like the most logical matchup for Bisping but we’ll see what happens next.
Mousasi stops Belfort
Vitor Belfort’s days as a top-level fighter are over as Gegard Mousasi had little difficulty with the former champion. Belfort looked much different in terms of body composition than previous fights and for a black belt did not handle being mounted too well.
Mousasi called out Anderson Silva in his post-fight interview in what you can call a “resume builder” for the middleweight.
Attendance and Gate
The event took place at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England and drew 16,000 for a live gate of $1.96 million. The attendance was impressive considering the event took place in the middle of the night to accommodate American PPV.
The attendance and gate come in second to UFC 105 held at the same arena. That event which featured Randy Couture-Brandon Vera drew 16,693 for a $2 million gate.
$50,000 bonuses went to Hendo-Bisping for Fight of the Night and Iuri Alcantara and Jimi Manuwa for Performances of the Night. Mike Perry and Danny Roberts and Stefan Struve could have won bonuses too.
Promotion of the Fight
The UFC did its usual promotional events for the fight. As seen on the Embedded series, Dan Henderson visited the Manchester City Football Club. Bisping is a fan of Manchester United, the rival club.
Monster Energy Drink, UFC Fight Pass and Bud Light were thenotable mainstay sponsors for the night. In addition, video game Gears of War 4 and “What Now?” the upcoming Kevin Hart comedy also had signage in the Octagon. Also, Twinzz.com, a European hat maker was also in the Octagon. IconicFaceOff.com which features a Conor McGregor commercial on its web site was also on the mat. Also, UFC 205 signage including it’s “Can’t Wait” tag was in the Octagon.
Odds and ends
UFC 204 had 500,000 plus searches on Friday in the US. I couldn’t find the number of US searches for Saturday for UFC 204 which might be an oversight or the fact that there were other searches more popular than the event. However, in the UK UFC 204 registered 200,000 plus searches on Saturday
The post-fight show usually on FS1 was switched to FS2 due to college football.
Brian Stann served as the color commentator in place of Joe Rogan and was fantastic.
The trailer for UFC 205 were shown during the telecast.
Appealing to their apparel sponsor, one of the Embedded showed a picture of a young Michael Bisping wearing a Reebok sweatshirt. Also, an episode showed Hendo picking out a cup for the fight.
The PPV ended early due to the early stoppages in the first 4 main card fights and the telecast filled it with the Brad Pickett-Iuri Alcintara fight.
Since this fight did not occur in the U.S., it seems that there was less buzz for it. Then again, if you did not like the main event, there was not much for the casual viewer. While the Bisping-Hendo fight brought some history and curiosity I don’t think Bisping is a PPV draw unless he’s fighting a name brand opponent. Hendo is great but he is not a PPV draw. UFC 199 featuring Rockhold-Bisping drew 320,000 buys. But, with this happening during college football season, the PPV will likely do 275,000 PPV buys.
October 6, 2016
TUF 24 Episode 6 drew 366,000 viewers on FS1 Wednesday night per Sports TV Ratings. It’s an increase over last week’s episode.
In the fight of the show, Matt “Danger” Schnell defeated Matt Rizzo via submission.
The episode is down from last fall’s TUF 22 Ep 6 (585,000) and last spring’s TUF 23 Ep 6 (444,000).
You might remember Schnell from the MTV reality show about MMA fighters a couple years back. It was a very entertaining fight if you had a chance to watch. As for the ratings, it went up against the MLB Wild Card game featuring the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets which drew 7.4 million viewers on ESPN per Sports TV Ratings.