December 19, 2014
MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer reports that TSN appears to have retained UFC programming in Canada. The inference of the deal was made as January network scheduling for TSN came out including UFC programming.
For those not in Canada, TSN is the U.S. version of ESPN down to similar logos. TSN is owned by Bell Media with a small share held by ESPN.
Negotiations for the UFC television rights in Canada had gone quite the last couple weeks although rumors had TSN as the front runner.
Meltzer indicated that UFC popularity has fallen off due to the loss of GSP and the inundation of UFC events.
The television rights were previously held by Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. Sportsnet signed a 4 year deal with the UFC in 2011. However, this year Sportsnet signed deals with the NHL (a monster 12-year, $5.2 billion deal) and WWE which likely meant that it would not re-up with the UFC.
No official announcement was made by the UFC or TSN.
The anticipated deal with TSN was made more likely after the Sportsnet-NHL deal. Previously, TSN had the rights to the NHL and with Sportsnet taking control of the broadcast and multimedia rights of the nation’s most popular sport, TSN has a big void to fill. The UFC has pledged 4 or 5 events in Canada in 2015 and we will see if the new network will bring back interest in the UFC.
December 18, 2014
UFC on Fox 13 this past Saturday peaked with 3.8 million viewers during the Junior dos Santos-Stipe Miocic fight. The overall rating for the 2 and a half hour show, which was adjusted from the overnight rating, was 2.8 million viewers.
It was first in network programming in key demos including men 18-34 (1.2M), men 18-49 (1.4M) and adults 18-34 (1.1M). UFC on Fox 13 drew a 2.27M viewer overnight ratings.
The UFC on Fox 13 Prelims on FS1 Saturday which preceded the network fights drew an average of 654,000 viewers for a 0.58 rating. The prelims were up 7% from last December’s similarly situated UFC on Fox prelim card which drew 613,000 viewers.
The ratings are identical with last December’s ratings. This UFC on Fox is usually aided by the NFL boost as the event is promoted on NFL on Fox Football broadcasts. In contrast to this year’s Heavyweight main event, December 2013 saw Demetrious Johnson defending his Flyweight title against Joseph Benavidez. UFC on Fox 13 did well in the key demos which should make Fox execs happy.
December 18, 2014
Phil “CM Punk” Brooks participated in the ESPN “car wash” yesterday at the network’s campus in Connecticut. The whirlwind of interviews on the various ESPN shows detailing his signing with the UFC should hype up an anticipated debut sometime in 2015.
For his part, Punk (who has the rights to the name CM Punk) has not provided any details on when he will debut, where he will train or what weight class he will compete in. He touched on why he wanted to fight and the differences between WWE and UFC.
I have not seen all of the Punk interviews from yesterday but I assume that ESPN was told to stay away from any questions related to the fighter lawsuit filed against the UFC on Tuesday. It would have been interesting considering a lot of the complaints he had about the WWE mirror issues experienced by fighters in the UFC. The “car wash” treatment is big for an individual with no fights under his belt, yet enters the UFC with a lot of mainstream publicity. We will see how visible Punk will be for the UFC in 2015.
December 17, 2014
MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that TUF 20 Episode 12 drew an additional 244,000 viewers for a total of 752,000 viewers for the regular season finale.
The increase in the 12th episode of 244,000 viewers brings the average increase in viewers from DVR watching to 275,000. The Live +3 ratings for TUF 20 drew a season average of 788,000 viewers. The live rating for the season was 513,000 viewers.
The average boost in viewership of 275,000 viewers is slightly lower than TUF 19’s Live + 3 average of 278,000, but better than TUF 18’s Live + 3 of 250,000 viewers. It was not the most exciting season although when originally revealed there was a lot of hope for a new women’s division and the coaches for the show. Yet, Pettis and Melendez were not over the top personalities that a viewer would tune in to watch. The TUF franchise is still getting viewers although not at the same clip as we’ve previously been accustomed to on Spike. We’ll see what, if anything, the UFC does its next go round with TUF.
December 16, 2014
MMA Payout has learned from a Niesen source that the TUF 20 Finale on FS1 Friday drew an average of 989,000 peaking at 1,219,000 viewers during the main event between Carla Esparza and Rose Namajunas.
The Prelims which preceded the main card on Friday night between 7:00pmET-9:00pm ET produced 719,000 viewers.
The TUF 20 Finale main card provided a boost to Fox Sports Live’s Postfight coverage average 300,000 viewers from 11:48pmET-1:00am. The ratings post-fight were a 39% jump from last year’s December average.
Last December, the TUF 18 Finale on FS1 drew 1.13M viewers and the prelims drew 938,000 viewers.
This past July, the TUF 19 Finale on FS1 drew 1M viewers and the prelims drew 774,000 viewers.
It’s the lowest ratings for a TUF Finale on FS1 thus far (main card and prelims). And while the post-fight coverage may have been up this time around, the viewership was down. Of course, this may be due to a number of factors including two UFC events on back to back nights. Also, the previous two events were not on Friday night. TUF 18’s final card was on a Saturday and TUF 19 (which was the second event of a back to back) was on a Sunday. TUF 20 did not have as strong a main event as the previous two TUF Finales (18 had Nate Diaz-Gray Maynard; 19 had Penn-Edgar).
December 14, 2014
Television By Numbers reports that UFC on Fox 13 drew 2.27 million viewers in overnight ratings Saturday night. It drew a 3 share and 0.9 rating. It placed second in network viewing with the old holiday classic of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer drawing over 5 million viewers opposing the UFC.
UFC on Fox Ratings
UFC on Fox 1: 5.7 million
UFC on Fox 2: 4.57 million
UFC on Fox 3: 2.25 million
UFC on Fox 4: 2.36 million
UFC on Fox 5: 3.41 million
UFC on Fox 6: 4.22 million
UFC on Fox 7: 3.3 million
UFC on Fox 8: 2.38 million
UFC on Fox 9: 2.9 million
UFC on Fox 10: 3.22 million
UFC on Fox 11: 1.98 million
UFC on Fox 12: 2.5 million
UFC on Fox 13: 2.27 million
The ratings are off 10% from last December. The 2.27 million viewers do not account for the overrun from 7PT/10pm ET-7:30PT/10:30pm ET. The main event aired during the overrun so one might expect this number to rise here. Coming in second to the holiday classic cartoons on network TV is not out of the ordinary since this happened last year too. MMA Payout will have more on the complete ratings for the event as we get it.
December 13, 2014
UFC on Fox 13 drew 15,300 for a gate of $1.5 million. The Talking Stick Resort Arena holds approximately 18,500 for basketball, 16,200 for ice hockey and 15,500 for arena football.
UFC on Fox cards for 2014
UFC on Fox 12 San Jose, CA: 11,482, $735,317
UFC on Fox 11 Orlando, FL: 17,000, $1.65M
UFC on Fox 10 Chicago, IL: 10,895, $863,665
The bonuses for Saturday night were announced post-fight with JDS-Miocic receiving Fight of the Night honors. Matt Mitrione and Ian Entswhistle earned Performances of the Night. Each won $50,000 each.
This UFC on Fox card drew the second highest attendance and gate of the Fox cards for this year. It was the first time that the UFC made it to Phoenix. This was the same for Orlando earlier this year which may be the reason for the good numbers for both cities.
December 13, 2014
The UFC returned to The Palms after Dana White and the venue’s casino had a falling out in 2012. Earlier this year, The Palms sought to make amends with White by awarding him his own championship belt. It seemed to have worked as TUF 20 took place at The Palms.
You may recall that the TUF 19 Finale was held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center as was International Fight Week. It drew 6,500 for a gate of $835,000.
The finale of TUF 18 drew 4,346 for a gate of $322,742 at the Mandalay Bay.
In addition, the bonuses for the night were handed out to Carla Esparza, Yancy Medeiros, Jessica Penne and Randa Markos.
Esparza and Medeiros were granted “Performance of the Night” and Penne and Markos earned “Fight of the Night.” Each won $50,000.
Also, Rose Namajunas, Randa Markos and Joanne Calderwood earned the bonuses on the show. Namajunas earned $50,000. Namajunas and Calderwood won for best fight. Namajunas also earned a best performance along with Markos.
December 11, 2014
MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that last night’s regular season finale of TUF 20 scored 508,000 viewers. The adult 18-49 was steady with 336,000 viewers for the 12th and final episode of the season.
The 336,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo was the season average. The season average (overnight viewership ratings) for TUF 20 drew to 515,000 viewers.
Episode 1: 536,000
Episode 2: 574,000
Episode 3: 433,000
Episode 4: 577,000
Episode 5: 509,000
Episode 6: 500,000
Episode 7: 494,000
Episode 8: 578,000
Episode 9: 381,000
Episode 10: 534,000
Episode 11: 532,000
Episode 12: 508,000
In the finale, Carla Esparza (the No. 1 ranked woman in the house) defeated Jessica Penne via Unanimous Decision. In the other semifinal, Rose Namajunas defeated Randa Markos via submission. It will be Esparza-Namajunas on Friday night.
Notably, the CM Punk interview which occurred after the episode on Fox Sports Live drew 182,000 viewers. According to a Nielsen source, the viewership for FSL was up 147% in the adult 18-49 demo with 136,000 viewers versus the 55,000 average.
Disappointing for the end of the season for TUF which featured the two semifinal fights. Despite some good fights, the ratings did not reflect the quality. Sounds fairly familiar to the last couple seasons. TUF 20 last night was really the lead-in to the Phil (“CM Punk”) Brooks interview. Fox Sports Live sported very good ratings due to the interview which reflects the fact that Brooks has produced that “curiosity” buzz and it looks like the UFC may have done well with its calculated risk.
December 10, 2014
MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that the 11th episode of TUF 20 last week drew an adjusted Live plus 3 viewership of 724,000 viewers. The bump in viewers watching the 11th episode on their DVRs was the lowest of this season.
UPDATE: For those wondering, TUF 19 DVR +3 ratings were 278,000, TUF 18 DVR +3 ratings were 250,000
It’s a little disappointing to see a decrease in the DVR viewership as the season draws to a close. One would think that more people would want to see the fights as the end draws near. As it is, the average viewership increase is approximately 278,000 viewers which is in line with last season’s.