Hopkins and Pac-Bradley II ratings from Saturday

April 23, 2014

Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports tweeted the ratings for the live event featuring Bernard Hopkins on Showtime and the HBO replay of Pacquiao-Bradley II. The controversial split decision of Hopkins-Shumenov narrowly beat the replay of Pacquiao-Bradley II.

Hopkins’ victory scored just 760,000 Showtime subscribers while the undercard fared better. Shawn Porter’s dominating KO victory over Paulie Malignaggi scored 897,000 viewers and Peter Quillin’s win over Lukas Konecny received 622,000 viewers.

The replay of the Pacquiao-Bradley fight from April 12th did 689,000 viewers on HBO.

Payout Perspective:

Perhaps the Showtime card was overlooked as Hopkins did much better last October with 1 million viewers while Paulie Malignaggi did 1.28 million viewers in his fight against Adrien Broner last June and both were on the same card.  I did not realize Paulie was on the same card as Hopkins until I tuned in.  The rematch between Pacquiao and Bradley was respectable considering everyone knew the result. These fights went up against the UFC on Fox 11 card in some sections of the country.

UFC on Fox 11 ratings adjusted up to 2.5 million viewers

April 22, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Fox source that the Live plus Same Day ratings for Saturday’s UFC on Fox 11 event raised the initial overnight of 1.99 million to 2.5 million viewers.  The peak of 3.3 million viewers occurred during the main event between Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne.

The main event received a 2.0 rating with a 4 share and averaged 1.4 for Men 18-34 and a 2.0 with Men 18-49.  Per the Fox source, “[T]o put those demo ratings in better perspective, Saturday night’s Fox UFC Saturday Main Event would have placed within the Top Five Primetime programs of the week among the Broadcast Networks on Men 18-34 and within the Top 10 with Men 18-49.”

Saturday’s show drove Fox to win the male demos (Men 25-54 and Adults 18-49) in primetime among the networks and second to ESPN’s NBA coverage on cable.

In terms of the overall event it drew a 1.6 rating and a 3 share based on the adjusted ratings.  The Live plus Same Day includes the time slot overrun and the number of viewers who watched the event the same day but not live (i.e., via DVR).  The DVR +3 numbers will not be out until later this week.

Payout Perspective:

The significant bump was due to factoring in the overrun for the main event.  The numbers may not be pleasing overall but Fox likely is interested in how it is doing among its key demos (i.e., males and adults 18-49).  Dave Meltzer of MMA Fighting pointed out that Fox events outside of the NFL and college football season have not done as well as those within football season due to the promotional push during football.  While the numbers are still at the bottom of the curve for UFC on Fox shows, it’s unlikely that network executives are going to pull the plug.

UFC on Fox 11 Prelims on FS1: 521,000 viewers

April 22, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Fox source that the UFC on Fox 11 Prelims received an average viewership of 521,000 viewers. In the male 18-49 category, the UFC Prelims received 244,000 viewers.

The three hour Prelims event went up against the first day of the NBA Playoffs, the NHL Playoffs and MLB games during this time period.

UFC on Fox Prelims on FS1

UFC on Fox 9 – 613,000 (Dec. 2013)

UFC on Fox 10 – 713,000 (Jan. 2014)

UFC on Fox 11 – 521,000 viewers (April 2014)

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are disappointing but were up against an afternoon full of other sports on Easter weekend.  Notably, the NBA first round games on ESPN lead the way on Saturday for cable ratings according to TV By Numbers.  The Prelims featured the return of Thiago Alves as he fought Seth Baczynski in the eventual Fight of the Night.  There was also Khabib Nurmagomedov who we will likely see in a main event (or co-main event) in the near future.

Bellator 117 overnight rating: 617,000

April 22, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from Nielsen sources that Friday’s Bellator MMA Live 117 received an overnight rating of 613,000 viewers.  The peak came around 10:57pm during the Lima-Hawn fight.

The main event for Friday was Douglas Lima’s destruction of Rick Hawn as Lima won the Bellator welterweight title. Lima’s stoppage of Hawn actually had the show off the air right around 11:00pm ET (8:00pm PT if you watched it live on the west coast) despite it having another 15 minutes or so left in the program.

Bellator 117 overnight ratings

Bellator 117 overnight ratings

The ratings are up slightly from last Friday and bring the 10th season average to 683,625 for overnights and the peak to 938,625.

Payout Perspective:

It was Good Friday last week but maybe not so much for Bellator programming. The ratings are up from last week but are still off the overnight ratings average. There was nothing of note that it went up against except perhaps NHL Playoff hockey. We will see if the DVR +3 ratings give it any sort of boost.

UFC on Fox 11 overnight rating: 1.99M viewers

April 20, 2014

Television By Numbers reports that the overnight ratings for UFC on Fox 11 received 1.99 million viewers for a 0.8 rating and 3 share for Saturday night.   It was the lowest rating for a UFC network show and was last in terms of average viewers in its time slot among network shows.

UFC on FOX Ratings:

UFC on FOX  1: 5.70M viewers (3.1 rating)

UFC on FOX  2: 4.70M viewers (2.6 rating)

UFC on FOX  3: 2.42M viewers (1.5 rating)

UFC on FOX  4: 2.44M viewers (1.4 rating)

UFC on FOX  5: 4.40M viewers (2.5 rating)

UFC on FOX  6: 4.22M viewers (2.4 rating)

UFC on FOX  7: 3.70M viewers (2.2 rating)

UFC on FOX  8: 2.38M viewers (1.5 rating)

UFC on FOX  9: 2.80M viewers (1.8 rating)

UFC on FOX 10: 3.22M viewers (1.9 rating)

UFC on FOX 11: 1.99M viewer (0.8 rating)

Average UFC on FOX Viewership: 3.45M viewers.

UFC on Fox Overnights

UFC on Fox Overnights

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are disappointing considering the card and the fact that the event was a sell out in Orlando.  Winning the time slot for network television was the annual Easter tradition of ABC showing of “The Ten Commandments.”  The movie scored 5.87 million viewers and 1.0 rating among adults 18-49 with a 4 share.  In terms of overall viewership, UFC on Fox 11 lost out to a rerun of Mike and Molly on CBS which received 2.20 million average viewers.

The numbers do not account for the overrun which was about 20 minutes but the first look at the ratings is definitely not what people expected.  It could be that the UFC is running too many shows together that viewers are either picking or choosing what to watch or just inundated with the amount of shows that they cannot keep track.  Yesterday’s network show was very entertaining yet was the lowest rated UFC show on Fox so far.  MMA Payout will keep you posted of adjusted ratings as they become available.

TUF 19 debut and UFC TUF Nations ratings

April 17, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source the ratings from Wednesday night of UFC programming.  Notably, the debut of TUF scored just an overnight average of 595,000 viewers.

Preceding TUF was the UFC TUF Nations Finale from Quebec City.  The Prelims which started at 2pmPT/4pmET received a viewership of 263,000 viewers whereas the main card starting at 4pmPT/7pmET received 641,000 viewers.

TUF Nations Finale (April 2014) FS1

TUF Nations (prelims) 263,000 viewers

TUF Nations (main card) 641,000 viewers

TUF Finale 18 (December 2013) FS1

TUF 18 Finale (prelims): 938,000 viewers

TUF 18 Finale (main card): 1,129,000 viewers

TUF Finale 17 (August 2013) FX

TUF 17 (main card): 1.7 million

TUF Finale 16 (December 2012) FX

TUF 16 (prelims on Fuel TV) 104,000

TUF 16 (main card): 1.3 million

According to a Fox source, the main event of the TUF Finale was the most watched program on FS1 on Wednesday.

The two hour season debut of TUF 19 featuring coaches Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn drew only 595,000 viewers although the show was delayed until 7:19pm/10:19pm for the TUF Finale overrun.

TUF-19

TUF 18’s season average was at 639,000 viewers in its first season on FS1.  Notably, TUF 17: Jones v. Sonnen scored an average of 1.2M in its last season on FX.

Payout Perspective:

First TUF featured the 2 hour debut with fights to get in the house.  I always find this an entertaining episode although ratings do not show it.  It may be MMA fatigue as FS1 had 7 hours of UFC (more if you watched on Fight Pass and then watched the 1 hour special on an MMA fighter after).  As previously noted Fox Sports execs are looking at the TUF franchised differently when evaluating ratings.  Last year it noted same day viewership was down 22 percent last season which featured Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate.  Live +7 was down only 10 percent but increased in viewership in the male demos of 18-49 and 25-54.  We’ll try to keep track of the reruns and compare how it does during different time slots.  Yet, the opening night numbers have to be a little disappointing.

Some odds and ends from TUF 19:

-Will Dana wear different MMA web site’s shirt each episode?  Last night was Fightland.

-Bellator champ doesn’t even get into the house and then is buried.  Ouch.

-Too bad the guy with the Polar Bear ears didn’t make it into the house.  He would have been interesting to watch.

As for the ratings from TUF Nations, Wednesday nights may not be the night for these events.  It will be interesting to see if FS1 considers Sundays for TUF when it is not carrying MLB or NASCAR.  Wednesday had a number of good matchups and notable names on the card but the ratings did not reflect this despite being the most watched show on FS1.

Bellator 116 DVR +3: 642,000 viewers

April 17, 2014

MMA Payout has learned the DVR +3 ratings for Friday’s Bellator 116 have bumped the overall rating to 642,000 viewers with a peak of 919,000 occurring approximately at 10:46 p.m.

Bellator MMA 110 – 880,000, overnight; 1.1M Peak, DVR +3 – 1M, Peak – 1.1M
Bellator MMA 111 – 653,000, overnight; 964,000 Peak; DVR +3 – 718,000, Peak 964,000
Bellator MMA 112 – 699,000, overnight; 1.037 Peak; DVR +3 – 748,000, Peak – 1.22M
Bellator MMA 113 – 507,000, overnight; 871,000 Peak; DVR +3 – 567,000, Peak 970,000
Bellator MMA 114 – 711,000, overnight; 882,000 Peak; DVR+3 – 800,000, Peak 1.03M
Bellator MMA 115 – 830,000, overnight; 874,000 Peak; DVR +3 – 874,000, Peak 1.232M
Bellator MMA116 – 572,000, overnight; 782,000 Peak; DVR +3 – 642,000, Peak 919,000

Bellator 116 DVR+3 graph

Payout Perspective:

Another week of modest gains with the DVR +3 ratings for Bellator.  It bumps the ratings average for this season (including DVR ratings) to 764,163 and the peak to 1,064,571.

Glory 15 Istanbul: 354,000 viewers

April 16, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that Saturday’s ratings for Glory 15: Instanbul received an average viewership of 354,000.  The peak almost doubled the average viewership with 720,000 viewers.

Glory 115

Glory Ratings on Spike TV:

Glory 11: 381,000 viewers

Glory 12: 476,000 viewers

Glory 13: 659,000 viewers

Glory 14: 495,000 viewers

Glory 15: 354,000 viewers

The show was seen on tape delay for most of us on Spike TV and will be remembered for the unfortunate leg injury suffered by Tyrone Spong in the finals of the Light Heavyweight Championship tournament.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings have taken a dip despite the peak viewership hitting 720,000 viewers.  We don’t have the information on this but one might suppose the peak occurred during the main event which would have been the Spong injury.  Spike TV is supporting Glory with shoulder programming and we might expect more of this aid as it announced a PPV in Los Angeles this June.  But, perhaps the tape delay of the fights hurt ratings and/or the Pacquiao-Bradley PPV (although you could have watched both easily).  Still, the ratings are down for the second straight event.

Pacquiao-Bradley II Payout Perspective

April 16, 2014

Welcome to a special edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at Pacquiao-Bradley II taking place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Pacquiao ousts Bradley

It was even until the middle rounds when Timothy Bradley began to fade and Manny Pacquiao poured it on.  Bradley showboated a little and tried to feign he was not hurt by Pacquiao’s punches.  Either he was going to be a genius or he was trying to lose. Even when Bradley invited Pacquiao into skirmishes and attempted to emulate the same strategy as Juan Manuel Marquez with his KO in December 2012, Pacquiao seemed to win them and/or evade the big shot.

Pacquiao now faces the winner of Juan Manuel Marquez-Mike Alvarado on May 17th.  Most fans would probably like to see Pacquiao-JMM 5 because of the built-in storylines.  Their last battle drew 1.15 million PPV buys and would likely equal or eclipse that number.

Even though Pacquiao should face the JMM-Alvarado winner, the LA Times is reporting that the Pacquiao camp is lobbying for a shot at Mayweather.  Will this happen?  Don’t hold your breath.  However, the bargaining leverage is all with Mayweather.  Its Pacquiao with the reported money problems and he has been the one to concede the stricter drug testing and is willing to listen to a less than 50% split of a fight.  So, does that put pressure on Mayweather, or is this paragraph wasted time?  We have two different promotions and if you are Mayweather, only public perception would lead you to a fight with Pacquiao.  Does Mayweather really care about the public?

Attendance

Top Rank reported a sell out for the MGM Grand Garden Arena with 15,601 in attendance.  The weigh-ins a day earlier were at capacity as well with approximately 4,500 witnessing Pacquiao and Bradley weigh in and flex for those in attendance.

On Tuesday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission announced 14,099 tickets were sold for a total gate of $7.9 million.  H/t: Steve Kim


The gate was approximately $7,865,100 which is the lowest in years for Pacquiao.  The gate falls 24th on the list of top boxing gates for Nevada.  Pacquiao-Hatton in 2009 received an $8.8 million gate (15,368 in attendance) comes right before Pacquiao-Bradley II.

Payouts

It was reported that Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley would earn $6 million each.  However, Bob Arum indicated that Pacquiao would make no less than $20 million.  Both would receive PPV upside as well.

The undercard payouts are as follows via Bad Left Hook:

Ray Beltran ($85,000) vs Arash Usmanee ($80,000)

Khabib Allakhverdiev ($250,000) vs Jessie Vargas ($90,000)

and Bryan Vasquez ($55,000) vs Jose Felix Jr ($40,000)

Promotion of the Fight

As is custom with a big fight, Pacquiao made an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show.  Bradley made an appearance on the NBA on TNT in which he was interviewed during a Laker game.

Top Rank Boxing also utilized its web site to hype the fight as well as livestream the weigh-ins.

The customary repeats of Bradley and Pacquiao’s greatest fights including their first encounter were shown on HBO and on the Audience network.

It’s notable that less showings of HBO’s 24/7 series occurred over the multiple networks owned by Time Warner.  You may recall in past fights that the series could be seen on TNT, TBS and even CNN.  This time around, there was little cross-pollination.

HBO added a special on-location, live pre-fight show the Thursday before the fight in addition to its usual 24/7 shows.

One thing that drew the ire of Bob Arum was the fact that the MGM Grand had signs for Floyd Mayweather’s May 3rd fight.  The signs were more prominent than those of Pacquiao-Bradley II which was pointed out by Arum whenever he could.  Indirectly, this likely upset sponsor Tecate, since Mayweather fights are sponsored by Corona.  There’s obvious brand confusion ther.  Mayweather has fought at the MGM 9 straight times and it appeared that the loyalty took precedence over the Pacquiao-Bradley rematch.  It may also be due to the fact that Mayweather’s promotion has a contractual agreement to hype the fight at the MGM a certain time before the fight which may be the reason.

Sponsorships

The sponsors for this event include Tecate, Smart Communications, the leading wireless services provider for the Philippines

Tecate had its usual PPV rebate offer for those purchasing its beer at selected retailers.

The newest and most visible sponsor was Sony with its PlayStation 4 platform receiving high visibility during the fight including trailers of the PS4 gaming experience.  An example of this activation had PS4 running trailers in between fighter weigh-ins during the live stream on Top Rank’s web site.

Bradley wore a variety of hats to promote certain sponsors.  During his NBA on TNT interview, he wore a SaxonyInvest.com hat.  During the 24/7 series, he wore a Pocial hat which is a social networking web site that connects people through polls.  I am not sure if this is a great way to brand yourself but certainly Bradley is getting paid for these advertisements.

Bradley is still sponsored by Nike and had custom “Desert Storm” gear for the fight.  He also was sponsored by Lexani – a high end car wheel manufacturer. The shirt was on display at the weigh-ins.

Juan Diaz sported a Body Armor hat in the corner of Bradley during the fight.

Pacquiao’s cornermen must have received Mitshubishis as the Cerritos, California and South Coast Dealerships were plainly visible as patches on Buboy and others in Pacquiao’s corner.

Odds and Ends

An interesting takeaway from the 24/7 series is that Timothy’s wife, Monica Bradley, has taken over as his manager.  According to the show, she brokered Bradley’s new deal with Top Rank including the financial terms for this fight.  Bradley earned $6 million for his second fight with Pacquiao which is $1 million more than he earned in the first fight.  It’s a big question as to whether or not it’s a good idea to have your spouse represent you.  Negotiations can get heated and while it’s easier to grasp what your client wants, there may be an issue as to if you can separate yourself from the personal relationship.

Some may have noticed that Freddie Roach wore an Under Armour shirt at weigh-ins.  It seemed a bit odd considering that Pacquiao is sponsored by Nike and has worn Pacquiao Nike gear in the past.

The LA Times had an interesting article on the enforcement of PPV fees on bars that intend to show fights.  The charge is dependent on the size of the bar and the more seats in a bar, the more the bar has to pay.  As an example, a 50 seat bar is charged $1,600 for showing the PPV, a 51-100 seat bar is charged $2,200.  For those bars that may attempt to evade the fees, promoters employ enforcement that sues bars showing the PPV without paying.  Zuffa employs similar enforcement to protect itself from piracy.

With this fight, it’s likely that Pacquiao solidifies his spot as PPV royalty as he moves closer to the second spot of all-time top PPV performers.  Oscar de la Hoya currently owns second while Floyd Mayweather tops the list.

And yes, there was Pacquiao’s mother.

Conclusion

This fight had more storylines yet seemed to lack the hype or buzz of previous Pacquiao fights.  Nevertheless, this is one of those fights that people will find and would be willing to pay the $70 to watch.  Industry experts estimated the buy rate at 700,000 while Arum suggests a more optimistic buy rate of somewhere over 1 million.  Their last fight was 890,000.  Notwithstanding Pacquiao-Rios this past November, Manny is still a valued commodity in the boxing PPV landscape while Bradley is still an entertaining fighter on the rise.  We may just throw out that fight in Macau as an anomaly.  Perhaps I may be just bullish on Pacquiao and refuse to see the writing on the wall, but I believe that this fight will do better than their first fight and hit 1 million PPV buys.

Bellator 116: 572,000 viewers

April 15, 2014

MMA Payout has learned through a Nielsen source that this past Friday’s Bellator 116 received an average viewership of just 572,000 viewers.  Its peak occurred midway through the card with 782,000 viewers.

Friday’s Bellator 116 featuring Blagoi Ivanov vs Lavar Johnson, Joey Beltran vs Vladimir Matyushenko, and Alexander Volkov vs Mighty Mo, which was a substantial decrease from the prior week overnight of Bellator 115 which scored 830,000 viewers in overnight ratings.  Friday’s overnights reflect the second lowest rating for the 10th season and the lowest peak of the season.

Bellator MMA – 110  880,000, overnight; 1.1M Peak
Bellator MMA – 111  653,000, overnight; 964K Peak
Bellator MMA – 112  699,000, overnight; 1.037 Peak
Bellator MMA – 113  507,000, overnight; 871,000 Peak
Bellator MMA – 114  711,000, overnight; 882,000 Peak
Bellator MMA – 115  830,000, overnight; 1,131,000 Peak
Bellator MMA – 116 572,000, overnight; 782,000 Peak

Bellator 116 overnight graph

Payout Perspective:

Disappointing ratings considering that last week Bellator cracked the cable top 100 according to Television By Numbers.  The fighters on the card did not stand out in particular and the ratings reflect this.  The peak occurred mid-way through the event which is not usual considering most of the peak viewership this season has happened during the main event.

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