UFC on Fox 18 Prelims draw 702,000 viewers

February 2, 2016

UFC on Fox 18 Prelims drew 702,000 viewers on FS1 on Saturday night according to Sports TV Ratings.

The event on Fox Sports 2 which preceded the Fox event improved over the 693,000 viewers on UFC on Fox 17 this past December.

The showcase fight of the 3-hour prelim event saw Tarec Saffiedine defeat Jake Ellenberger.

The event did slightly better than preliminary fight on the Kovalev-Pascual main event on HBO.  That fight drew 701,000 viewers for the 39-minute fight.

Payout Perspective:

There’s a big difference when the UFC on Fox events have its prelims on the network versus FS1.  In comparison, UFC on Fox 16 which aired on Fox drew 1.3 million viewers as opposed to the 693K (17) and 702K (18) over the last two Fox cards where the prelims were on FS1.  Of course, time on the Fox network is valuable so putting prelims on Fox every time a Fox card airs might not be feasible.

Bellator 148 draws 566,000 viewers

February 1, 2016

Bellator MMA 148 drew 566,000 viewers on Friday night according to Sports TV Ratings.  The event is off approximately 18% from the last Bellator event this past December.

The event on Friday featured Paul Daley in his first round KO of Andy Uhrich.  His quick work sets up his fight with Josh Koscheck nicely.

Bellator 148 – 566,000 viewers

In other ratings, the UFC Weigh-Ins for UFC on Fox 18 which aired from 7-8pm ET drew 156,000 viewers according to Sports TV Ratings.

Payout Perspective:

Bellator actually did better in ratings than any live cable sports programming on Friday outside of the Australian Open Women’s Final on ESPN.  It outdid the X Games on ESPN which drew 544,000 viewers.  Notably, the X Games was a 4-hour block which started at 7:00pm and went until 11:00pm.  The ratings are below 2015 levels as last year averaged approximately 749,000 viewers.  Of course, this is just one event with a big tentpole event due in a couple weeks.

UFC on Fox 18 Reebok Payouts

January 31, 2016

The UFC announced its payouts from the Reebok sponsorship deal.  The apparel company paid out $137,500 for Saturday night’s event with UFC vets Anthony Johnson, Ryan Bader and Jake Ellenberger cashing in.

Via MMA Junkie:

Anthony Johnson: $15,000
def. Ryan Bader: $15,000

Ben Rothwell: $5,000
def. Josh Barnett: $5,000

Jimmie Rivera: $2,500
def. Iuri Alcantara: $10,000

Bryan Barberena: $2,500
def. Sage Northcutt: $2,500

Tarec Saffiedine: $5,000
def. Jake Ellenberger: $15,000

Diego Ferreira: $2,500
def. Olivier Aubin-Mercier: $2,500

Rafael Natal: $10,000
def. Kevin Casey: $2,500

Wilson Reis: $5,000
def. Dustin Ortiz: $5,000

Alexander Yakovlev: $2,500
def. George Sullivan: $2,500

Alex Caceres: $10,000
def. Masio Fullen: $2,500

Randy Brown: $2,500
def. Matt Dwyer: $2,500

Damon Jackson: $2,500
def. Levan Makashvili: $2,500

Tony Martin: $2,500
def. Felipe Olivieri: $2,500

As we know, the Athlete Outfitting program pays fighters based on time served with Zuffa which would include WEC and Strikeforce when both entities were owned by the UFC.

Fighters with 1-5 fights: $2,500

Fighters with 6-10 fights: $5,000

Fighters with 11-15 fights: $10,000

Fighters with 16-20 fights: $15,000

Fighters with 21 fights or more: $20,000

Champions: $40,000

Title Challengers: $30,000

Payout Perspective:

Barnett receives only $5,000 despite his lengthy career and the fact he would likely garner much more than $5,000 in sponsorship money if there was no Reebok deal.  He has 9 UFC fights spanning back to 2000 but his time in Strikeforce was pre-Zuffa.  Similar to Barnett, it was Ben Rothwell’s 9th UFC fight despite being a long-term pro.  The $137,500 reflects the fact that most of the fighters on the card have less than 10 fights and there were no title fights making this a relatively inexpensive night for Reebok payouts.

UFC on Fox 18 draws 2.43M in overnight ratings

January 31, 2016

UFC Fight Night 18 on Fox Saturday night drew an overnight average of 2.43 million viewers with an 0.8 rating among adults 18-49 and a 3 share per Television By Numbers.

The event aired on Fox from 8:00pm-10:00pm ET with the main event between Anthony Johnson and Ryan Bader ending prior to 10:00pm.  UFC on Fox drew stiff competition as it went up against the NBA in primetime with the San Antonio Spurs playing the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Dateline Mystery on NBC drew the most viewers overnight with 4.75 million and a 0.9 rating in the adult 18-49 demo.  It also received a 3 share.  The NBA game which started at 8:30pm ET drew 3.17 million with a 1.1 rating in the adult 14-49 and a 4 share.

UFC on Fox Ratings
Overnights Live + SD
UFC on Fox 1 5,700,000
UFC on Fox 2 4,570,000
UFC on Fox 3 2,250,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 4 2,360,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 5 3,410,000 4,400,000
UFC on Fox 6 3,770,000 4,220,000
UFC on Fox 7 3,300,000 3,700,000
UFC on Fox 8 2,040,000 2,380,000
UFC on Fox 9 2,410,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 10 2,550,000 3,220,000
UFC on Fox 11 1,990,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 12 2,020,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 13 2,270,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 14 2,820,000 3,049,000
UFC on Fox 15 2,430,000 2,745,000
UFC on Fox 16 2,290,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 17 2,280,000 2,781,000
UFC on Fox 18 2,430,000

UFC on Fox 18 Ratings Payout Perspective:

Pretty good ratings considering the main event was not between two “brand name” opponents or for a title belt.  However, in comparison to last January’s UFC show on Fox which pulled 2.82 million viewers and the previous 2 January events did much better (2013 – 3.77M overnight 2014 – 2.55M, 2014 –  2.82M).  The NBA probably pulled away some of the target demo.  The event is pretty comparable to the PBC event last weekend on the network which drew about 2.5M when all was said and done. MMA Payout will keep you posted on the updated ratings.

Feb. 6th event becomes UFC Fight Night

January 28, 2016

The UFC announced on Wednesday that UFC 196 originally scheduled for PPV on Saturday, February 6th will now be called “UFC Fight Night: Hendricks vs. Thompson.”  The full card will be shown on FS1 with the exception of the Fight Pass Exclusive prelims.

The PPV was scrapped earlier in the week after both Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum pulled out of the UFC Heavyweight title fight.  Originally Cain was replaced with Stipe Miocic, but when Werdum heard the news of the scratch by the former champ, he pulled out as well claiming injury.

Johny Hendricks and Stephen Thompson will be the feature bout for this event in Las Vegas.

Payout Perspective:

The de-designation of the UFC event likely preserves the company’s July event of UFC 200.  It also means that the UFC will probably insert another PPV event somewhere in its calendar to account for the loss of this one.  One might see this as a make good for distributors who will lose out on next weekend’s PPV.  Regardless of the shuffle, it was likely the best move for the UFC to move the event to live television.  A short term loss may still be a future gain for the company if it can schedule a card that the casual fan will be interested in purchasing.

UFC 196 moves to FS1

January 26, 2016

Yahoo! Sports reports that UFC 196 has been switched from PPV to an FS1 broadcast.  After the main event of Cain Velasquez-Fabricio Werdum disintegrated when both fighters pulled out within 24 hours, the UFC made the move to scrap the PPV and move it to its broadcast partner.

The FS1 main event will be a welterweight bout between Johny Hendricks and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.  Despite the fact that several UFC fighters indicated that they would volunteer to fight Stipe Miocic, the initial replacement for Cain, the UFC decided to take it off PPV.

The UFC typically runs a Super Bowl weekend card in Las Vegas to capitalize on the hype for the last game of the NFL season.  The loss of the UFC Heavyweight title fight so close to the event led the UFC to make this decision.

Payout Perspective:

With a UFC on Fox event this week, the UFC can now advertise two consecutive weeks of “free” (we get it, you pay for cable) fights on TV.  With so many events upcoming and the UFC still trying to line up fights for its big show in July, UFC 200, there was no way the company could get a respectable fill-in fight at such short notice.  While there may be some issues with its PPV distributors, the UFC would have probably done

WSOF 27 draws 211,000 viewers

January 26, 2016

The World Series of Fighting 27 drew 213,000 viewers on Friday night on NBC Sports Network according to Sports TV Ratings.  The immediate replay drew 111,000 viewers.

WSOF 27 featured Caros Fodor facing Luiz Firmino in the main event.  Firmino scored the upset over Fodor with a 3 round unanimous decision.

The Friday night ratings reflect a 24% increase from the company’s last event on NBCSN in December 2015.  The event aired 10pm-12am and then the replay ran from 12am-2am.

The NBA game between Indiana and Golden State on ESPN won the time slot with slightly over 2 million viewers between 10:35pm and 1:00am ET.

Payout Perspective:

A promising start to the year for WSOF. 213,000 viewers does not seem much but take a look at the WSOF track record and it is a good showing for a card with a lot of talent many have not heard of unless you follow WSOF.  The 2015 NBCSN average for WSOF programming was 189,000 viewers.

PBC on Fox draws 2.24M viewers

January 24, 2016

Premier Boxing Champions drew 2.24 million viewers on Fox Saturday night according to Television By Numbers.  It also received a 0.7 rating in the adult 18-49 demo and a 3 share.

Although PBC finished last in terms of overall average viewers for its 8-10pm ET time slot, it was first in Adult 18-49 rating and share for at least the first half hour (8-8:30pm).  It was soon replaced by the NBA game featuring Chicago and Cleveland.  Notably, a rerun of NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS drew 4.85 million viewers (8-9pm) and the NBA Saturday Primetime game between Chicago and Cleveland drew 3.69 million viewers with a 1.4 rating for adults 18-49 and a 5 share.  Also of note, U.S. Figure Skating on NBC drew 3.69 million viewers from 8-11pm.

PBC on Fox featured Danny Garcia versus Robert Guerrero in an entertaining 12 round fight which Garcia won.

Payout Perspective:

In comparison, UFC on Fox 17 this past December drew 2.28M viewers.  This appears the average for a live combat sporting events for this time slot.  Obviously, the NBA game during prime time featuring LeBron James was stiff competition for a boxing event with boxers you would only know if you followed the sport.

The Wrestling Post – Ross replaces Ranallo as New Japan announcer

January 21, 2016

AXS TV announced that former WWE announcer Jim Ross will join AXS TV’s “New Japan Pro Wrestling” as its play-by-play commentator.  Ross will join former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett to call the action starting Friday, March 4th.

Via the AXS TV press release:

A WWE Hall of Famer, Ross was known as the voice of WWE for nearly two decades, bringing his incomparable broadcasting talent to hundreds of TV and pay-per-view broadcasts for the organization. No stranger to New Japan Pro Wrestling, Oklahoma native Ross also called the first-ever, live English-language broadcast of NJPW with Wrestle Kingdom 9 in 2015.

“I’m excited to join the AXS TV team in presenting the amazing athletes of the New Japan Pro Wrestling brand,” said Ross. “I’m a major fan of NJPW and look forward to joining Josh Barnett to form the best broadcast team in the genre. Business just picked up!”

Ross replaces Mauro Ranallo who departed the broadcast team to join the WWE and its Smackdown broadcast team as it moved to the USA Network from SyFy.

Payout Take:  You may recall that Ross was dismissed by the WWE after an incident during a sponsored panel talk at Summerslam in 2013.  Ross was the fall guy for an obvious inebriated Ric Flair during a panel discussion for WWE 2k14.  The WWE announced that Ross was retiring but its clear that that was not the real reason.  Since then, Ross has started his own podcast, called an MMA event with Chael Sonnen as well as Wrestle Kingdom 9 in 2015.  Ross should be a very good addition to the popular show which airs on Friday nights.

UFC Fight Night 81 draws 2.288M viewers; Prelims post impressive 1.767M

January 20, 2016

UFC Fight Night 81 drew 2.288 million viewers on Sunday night (10-12:40 am EST) on FS1 via Sports TV Ratings.  It was the highest-rated sports cable TV show airing on Sunday night.  The Prelims, which preceded the main card on Sunday, drew a big 1.767 million viewers on FS1.

UPDATED: Fight Night peak 2.464 million between the 10:45-11pm ET quarter hour during the main event.  It drew 1.410 million viewers in the A18-49 category.  The prelims drew 1.025M in the A18-49 demo according to Fox Sports.  This, and the 1.767 million viewer rating, made the prelims the highest-rated non-PPV prelim event on FS1 in both categories.

UFC Fight Night featured T.J. Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz in the main event with Cruz winning the bantamweight championship via split decision.  The main event did not start until midnight on the east coast and although no peak viewership has been announced yet one might assume it occurred during this overrun.

The prelims (airing from 8-10pm EST)  featured Patrick Cote-Ben Saunders in the last fight before the main card.  Cote won via KO in the second round.

Additionally, the UFC Fight Night Prefight show (7-8pm EST) on FS1 drew 312,000 viewers.  Also, the Fox Sports Live on FS1 which followed the overrun of the main card drew 1.391 million viewers making UFC-related programming 3 out of the top 4 shows for sports cable on Sunday (NFL Countdown on ESPN drew 1.87M viewers via Sports TV Ratings).

Payout Perspective:

It was the second year that the UFC and NFL collaborated in promoting a Sunday night Fight Night from Boston.  The UFC event served as a dessert for many sports fans after watching NFL Playoffs during the day.  The main card ratings, which drew a 1.4 rating, is down from last year’s 2.8 million (1.7 rating) UFC Fight Night 59 which featured Conor McGregor.  You might recall that last year’s event occurred during NFL Championship Sunday and that the UFC did an Embedded series to promote McGregor for the event.  Despite being lower than last year, it’s a very good rating for a bantamweight fight.

This time around the prelims did vastly better than last year’s 908,000 viewers.  The 1.767 million viewers were better than all of the UFC PPV Prelims on FS1 last year with the exception of the 1.9M of UFC 194.  MMA Payout will update these ratings with peak viewership numbers later today.

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