More info on UFC Fight Night 49 ratings including prelims

August 27, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from Nielsen sources that the UFC Fight Night 49 Prelims received a viewership rating of 113,000 on FS2 and also drew 97,000 viewers on FS1 due to an MLB rain delay.  In addition, the main card on FS1 drew a peak viewership of 962,000 viewers.

First, more main card information.  The 3 hours card averaged 689,000 viewers as previously reported which is off 6% from UFC Fight Night 47.  The show was up 5% in adults 18-49 and up 7% in males 18-49.

The prelims were on both networks due to a baseball rain delay.  So, FS2 had the 2 hour show and also ran 1 hour on FS1.

Fight Nights on FS1 or FS2 in 2014

UFC Fight Night 49  689,000 viewers  Prelims 113,000 viewers (FS2)

UFC Fight Night 47  735,000 viewers  Prelims  116,000 viewers

UFC Fight Night 45  640,000 viewers Prelims 415,000 viewers

UFC Fight Night 44  702,000 viewers Prelims 500,000 viewers

UFC Fight Night 42  1,217,000 viewers  Prelims  812,000 viewers

UFC Fight Night 40  735,000 viewers  Prelims 125,000 (FS2)

UFC Fight Night 38  936,000 viewers  Prelims  270,000

UFC Fight Night 36 1,400,000 viewers

UFC Fight Night 35 629,000 viewers  Prelims 220,000

UFC FN Prelims thru 49

UFC FN thru 49

UFC Fight Night 49: 689,000 viewers

August 26, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from Nielsen sources that Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 49 on FS1 received an average live viewership of 689,000 viewers.  The rating is down slightly from UFC Fight Night 47 which drew 735,000.

In the main event on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 49, Rafael dos Anjos scored the upset with a KO of former UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson.

No word on the prelim rating although that may be a little difficult since it was on FS1 and FS2 and different points of the night due to MLB.

Payout Perspective:

The viewership number is based on live not same day viewers which may bump up this number due to those watching on the DVR.  It was a long card and the second UFC card of the day which may had viewers pass on the card or DVR it and watch it later.  Henderson is usually a better draw with his last showing on FS1 in June as a prime example (1.2M viewers for UFC FN 42).

Glory appoints new CEO, returns to Spike for ’15

August 20, 2014

Glory Sports International announced that it has appointed Jon J. Franklin as Global Chief Executive via company press release.  It also announced that it has extended its agreement with Spike TV to provide original kickboxing programming through 2015.

Via Glory press release:

GLORY Sports International and its board of directors today [August 19, 2014] appointed Jon J. Franklin as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. In this role, Franklin will oversee management of the world’s premier kickboxing league, with coverage in over 170 global territories.

Since 2002, Franklin has been President of The Sports and Entertainment Company (Sports-EntCo), a sports and entertainment marketing firm that assisted with production, programming, sponsorship, and logistics for GLORY events in the United States.

“I look forward to working with Jon in this new capacity. He has been a big part of our incredible success thus far and is uniquely suited to lead GLORY into the next phase of development,” said Pierre Andurand, GLORY Chairman and Co-Founder. “With Jon at the helm, we are confident that 2015 will be a banner year in the evolution of our brand as a leading combat sports league in the United States and abroad”.

Previously, Franklin spent 15 years in senior roles at IMG-Media and has also served as President of Golden Gloves Boxing LLC and AP-X, a division of America Presents Boxing.

“I’m honored to have been a part of GLORY’s growth into one of the top fight promotions worldwide, but the work is not done,” said Franklin. “I truly believe that we have the best athletes in the world, with production for both live audiences and home viewers that is second to none. As we move into the new year, I can’t wait to share GLORY’s global vision for kickboxing with our fans.”

Andrew Whitaker, who served as CEO previously, will assume an advisory role withGLORY as a consultant for business development.

Payout Perspective:

The big news for kickboxing fans is that Glory will be returning to Spike TV in 2015.  We will see if there will be a new direction for the company in 2015 with the appointment of Franklin.  It will be interesting to see how it intends to increase the brand and whether it will make another attempt at a PPV or focus on events on Spike.

UFC Fight Night 47: 735,000 viewers

August 19, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from Nielsen sources that this past Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 47 received an average of 735,000 viewers. The prelims for the event on Fox Sports 2 received an average viewership of 116,000 viewers.

UFC Fight Night 47 which featured Ryan Bader defeating Ovince St. Preux in the main event was up almost 5% from UFC Fight Night 45, the previous Fight Night on FS1.  Below is a graph of the Fight Nights on FS1 since the beginning of the year.  It excludes those Fight Nights on Fight Pass since viewership numbers for those events are not released.

UFC FN TV Ratings 2014

According to Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand, UFC Fight Night 47 was the top audience on FS1 for the week.

Payout Perspective:

Due to a programming conflict with MLB, the prelims were on FS2 and thus the reason for the low number. Based on Ourand’s tweet, it reflects the value UFC has to the network. The average viewership for UFC Fight Night events on FS1 since the start of the year is a little over 862,000 viewers.

Garcia on Showtime scores 608K viewers

August 12, 2014

ESPN’s Dan Rafael tweeted the ratings for this past Saturday’s boxing event on Showtime which featured Danny Garcia received an average viewership of 608,000 of its subscribers.

Rafael noted that HBO boxing events on its network average 957K viewers while Showtime averages 587K.  Of course, this is based on subscribers and HBO has more subscribers.

In the main event, Danny Garcia dismissed Rod Salka via 2nd round TKO.  The fight peaked at 850K viewers with an average of 808K.  Also, Lamont Peterson’s fought on the card and his fight averaged 648K viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Garcia’s lopsided win was expected considering that the WBC or the WBA sanctioned it.  Despite the lack of compelling fights on the card, the Showtime event surpassed its average.  Still, there could have been more compelling fights (namely, Garcia-Peterson) than the ones on Saturday.

Jones-Cormier showdown postponed to UFC 182

August 12, 2014

It was officially announced on FS1’s America’s Pregame that Jon Jones is out of UFC 178 due to a leg injury and his title fight with Daniel Cormier has been postponed until the January 3, 2015 card.  In its place, Demetrious Johnson will face Chris Cariaso for the flyweight title.

The news of Jones’ injury stalls the momentum between the Jones-Cormier feud which was amplified by last week’s media day brawl at the MGM Grand.  It followed with “hot mics” picking up some unrefined banter between the two which was not to be for public consumption.  Yet, it perked everyone’s interest.

Now, it appears that the UFC will replace this hot feud with another title fight featuring Johnson.  Of course, the last time Johnson headlined (at UFC 174), it was the lowest PPV output in 10 years.

Payout Perspective:

UFC 178 will still have Connor McGregor on the card so there is still buzz to be made.  However, replacing Jones-Cormier with Johnson-Cariaso is a disappointment (and its neither Johnson or Cariaso’s fault).  Unfortunately for Johnson, he has yet to translate into a PPV draw and his June showing at UFC 174 reflects the fact that he is not a main eventer.  On the bright side, both Jones and Cormier will get time to nurse their respective injuries so that they will be fresh for UFC 182 on Jan. 3rd 2015.

WSOF 12: 206,000 viewers

August 12, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that Saturday night’s World Series of Fighting 12 on NBC Sports Network received an average viewership of 206,000.  It was the third lowest rating ever for WSOF.

WSOF Ratings 1-11 (1-10 and 12 on NBC Sports Network)

WSOF 1 – 198,000 viewers

WSOF 2 – 210,000 viewers

WSOF 3 – 201,000 viewers

WSOF 4 – 264,000 viewers

WSOF 5 – 227,000 viewers

WSOF 6 – 161,000 viewers

WSOF 7 – 94,000 viewers

WSOF 8 – 212,000 viewers

WSOF 9 – 242,000 viewers

WSOF 10 – 365,000 viewers

WSOF 11 – 781,000 viewers (NBC)

WSOF 12 – 206,000 viewers

Payout Perspective:

It’s unfortunate that WSOF did not have a stronger card here since it went unopposed versus any other MMA organizations.  There was little buzz and the event itself was unremarkable. The main event was Luis Palomino defeating Lewis Gonzalez via head kick.

Kovalev draws 990K viewers on HBO

August 6, 2014

ESPN’s Dan Rafael tweeted the ratings from this past Saturday’s HBO Boxing event which featured Sergey Kovalev-Blake Caparello and Brandon Rios- Diego Chaves.  Notably, the Kovalev fight drew the highest viewership on Saturday.

Kovalev-Caparello drew 990,000 viewers and was the 8th most viewed US fight this year and peaked at 1.052 million.  The actual main event of Rios-Chaves drew 936,000 viewers with a peak of 1.003 million. The Rios-Chavez fight was the 14th most watch US fight this year.

The first fight of the broadcast featured Jessie Vargas as he beat Anton Novikov.  The average for that fight was 728,000 with a peak of 839,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The Rios-Chavez fight ended in a controversial DQ in favor of Brandon Rios while Kovalev knocked down Caparello three times in the second round for a TKO.  Maybe the rumored Bernard Hopkins fight (which became a reality after the fight) was the reason more people tuned into his fight than the Rios-Chavez matchup.  Yet, it is still rare that viewers watch the fight before the main event but not the main event.  Regardless, Kovalev now has the big fight that he wanted and it’s against B-Hop this fall.

Spike TV to air Glory 17 PPV this Friday

August 5, 2014

Spike TV will air Glory’s PPV from this past June on Friday, August 8th per a Glory press release.  “Last Man Standing,” Glory’s inaugural PPV will air at 10/9c on Spike TV.

The replay will get people ready for the live Glory event, Glory 18:Chicago, which will be held on Saturday, August 9th on Spike TV.

Payout Perspective:

This will be the second re-air of a PPV on Spike TV this summer as it recently aired Bellator’s inaugural PPV in May.  The replay which featured King Mo-Rampage and Michael Chandler-Will Brooks drew 890,000 viewers in July with an adjusted peak (DVR +3) of over 1.4 million viewers.  It drew 100,000 PPV buys in May.  Glory’s PPV was not as successful despite positive social media buzz the night of the PPV on June 21st.  According to Liverkick (via the Wrestling Observer), it drew an unofficial 6,000 PPV buys.  Obviously, showing it on Spike will get more people to watch the event as well

NSAC will review video before determining action in Jones-DC melee

August 4, 2014

The Nevada State Athletic Commission has not ruled on whether there will be any repercussions following today’s brawl during a promotional square off for UFC 178 between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.

The fisticuffs (click the link) between the two main event fighters on September 27th occurred during the standard face to face between fighters.  However, Jones head-butted Cormier and Cormier shoved Jones off of him causing a different kind of press scrum in which the UFC 178 backdrop was sent flying as well as staff trying to separate the two.

The two continued their feud with joint appearances on ESPN’s SportsCenter and then Fox Sports 1.

(H/t:  MMA Junkie)

Payout Perspective:

One might think that if the NSAC had jurisdiction over this appearance, it would levy some sort of monetary fine as a deterrent for future events.  Notwithstanding any fine, the UFC probably makes this up in the amount of social media buzz and press it received.  While the brawl may not be the most professional thing, it is something that draws interest as it’s out of the ordinary.  The brawl shows the passionate hate between the two.  In the past, these types of bitter rivalries have helped sell PPVs.  Think Rashad-Rampage (UFC 114 1 million PPV buys), Silva-Sonnen II (UFC 148 925K PPV buys), Tate-Rousey (UFC 148 1.02 million, of course Weidman-Silva helped) and even Jones-Evans at UFC 145 drew 700K buys.

What was missing from this matchup was a backstory as to why these two hate each other.  There is enough lead time to build this.  In an unusual quiet time for the UFC (due in part to the cancellation of UFC 176), the Jones-DC rivalry is heating up and should have enough promotion time to make September 27th a must see for the casual PPV fan.

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