UFC on Fox 15 Prelims and final overnight ratings for main card

April 24, 2015

Before we enter the weekend, via a Nielsen source we report that the Prelims from this past Saturday’s UFC on Fox 15 airing prior to the Fox network drew 1.4 million viewers.  In addition, the UFC on Fox main card rating came up to 2.7 million from 2.43 million.

The only other time that the UFC on Fox Prelims aired on Fox was in July 2014 when UFC on Fox 12 drew 1.3 million viewers.

This past Saturday’s Prelims event featured Beneil Dariush defeating Jim Miller by unanimous decision.  The 2 hour Prelim event aired from 6:00pm to 8:00pm ET.

Payout Perspective:

Prelims improved from its last airing on the network and we shall if it has another opportunity to do the same in July with what looks to be a stacked card.  The Prelims went up against the NBA and NHL Playoffs.  The final numbers for the main card fell short of the last two UFC on Fox cards but did better than last April’s UFC on Fox 11 event which drew 2.5 million viewers.

Ratings from Saturday night’s events on HBO-Showtime

April 23, 2015

ESPN’s Dan Rafael reports the ratings from Saturday’s boxing events on HBO and Showtime.  The shows went head to head with two intriguing main events.

HBO had the much anticipated fight between Lucas Matthysse and Ruslan Provodnikov drew 1.243 million subscribers and peaked at 1.38 million.

Rafael also reports that the fight between Julio Cesar Chavez-Andrzej Fonfara on Showtime drew 618,000 viewers with a peak of 836,000.  Fonfara upset Chavez in the latter’s return to the ring.  The last time Chavez fought was on an HBO card that drew an average of 1.4 million HBO subscribers.  On the Showtime undercard, the fight between Amir Iman and Walter Castillo averaged 346,000 viewers with a peak at 427,000.

Prior to the Matthysse-Provodnikov fight, Terrence Crawford knocked out Thomas Dulorme.  That fight drew 1.0004 million viewers peaking at 1.084 million viewers.  Crawford’s last fight on HBO in December drew 836,000 subscribers of the premium network peaking at 936,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

In addition to dueling boxing events, Saturday night was the UFC on Fox, NHL and NBA Playoffs so there was lot for sports fans to pick.  However, for boxing fans the big event of the night was the showdown between Matthysse and Provodnikov which many thought was a draw despite Matthysse pulling out the victory.  It was also a nice bounce back for Terrence Crawford in terms of viewers as he had disappointing numbers in December despite being backed by a Pacquiao replay.  This time, being linked with Matthysse-Provodnikov likely helped too.  Yet, the average for Chavez Fonfara has to be considered a disappointment based on Chavez’ name value.  Of course, it could be extrinsic factors about JCC that may turn boxing fans off

SBJ looks into the finances of PBC on NBC deal

April 20, 2015

The Sports Business Journal (the article is free to non-subscribers) has an exclusive report on how Al Haymon developed his deal to launch PBC on NBC.  Based on public documents obtained by Bill King of the SBJ, it appears that Haymon’s investors have paid NBC over $425 million.

The story begins with the initial pitch to NBC starting in late 2013 where fighters advised under Al Haymon would be showcased on NBC on weekend afternoons and Saturday nights.  To entice the network execs, he offered a time-buy which would front the money for the venture.  But, he also asked for more than the standard pay to play model.  He wanted NBC in on the production of the programs as well as offering “Olympic-level” features to introduce his fighters to the audience.

The financials for the undertaking include a $371.3 million investment by Ivy Asset Strategy Fund, in what King determined to be Haymon Boxing.  A second fund, WRA Asset Strategy. listed an investment of $42.2 million in Haymon Boxing and a third fund, Ivy Funds VIP Asset Strategy showed an investment of $18.5 million.  Waddell & Reed fund manager Ryan Caldwell and Haymon attorney Mike Ring helped facilitate the deal.  Caldwell co-managed a fund that put $1.5 billion into Formula One racing.

The $432 million and the unique structure of the two year deal convinced NBC to invest production costs as well as delivering well-known names as on-air talent (i.e., Al Michaels, Bob Costs, Sugar Ray Leonard) to its broadcasts.

The article differentiates the UFC dive into television as the sport was introducing MMA whereas PBC sees itself as “reviving” the sport.

So far so good for PBC on network television.  In two network telecasts, it scored wins in the valuable 18-49 demo.  And while the second network showing on April 11th drew less than its March debut on NBC, the vibes from fans have been positive.

The obvious question is whether more people will start to tune in.  While boxing fans are bullish on Haymon and the programming, an accompanying SBJ Turnkey Sports Poll to the article indicates that only 10% of those responding to the poll knew of PBC’s debut on NBC and watched.  However, 38% stated they heard of the debut but did not watch and another 51% were not aware of PBC on NBC.  In addition, another Turnkey Sports Poll question indicated that 62% of those polled would not watch the upcoming May 2nd fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

Payout Perspective:

It’s an interesting read (which you can do without the need of a subscription at this point) about the financial backing of PBC.  It also shows the business acumen of Haymon and his financial backers.  While there is risk by Haymon, et al., he was able to convince NBC (as well his other network partners) to take part in the endeavor.  By requesting NBC production help including top-shelf on-air talent, it offered legitimacy to the program.

Will it catch on?  The Turnkey poll appears that there is still room to grow and perhaps boxing has been shelved for a while and out of the minds of the mainstream viewer but with promotion, it could grow.   One thing is for certain, it appears that Haymon and his investors are willing to take an initial financial hit for a long-term return on its investment.

UFC on Fox 15 draws 2.43 million viewers in overnight ratings

April 19, 2015

Televison By Numbers reports that the UFC on Fox 15 event on Fox Saturday night drew an average of 2.43 million viewers which narrowly edged out the New York Rangers-Pittsburgh Penguins NHL game on NBC.

UFC on Fox 15 scored 2.43 million viewers, a 0.9 rating among the 18-49 demo and a 4 share.  The event ran from 8:00pm-10:00pm.  There was little, if any overrun as Luke Rockhold stopped Lyoto Machida in the main event.  The NHL on NBC (8:00pm-11:00pm) drew similar ratings with 2.41 million viewers, a similar 0.9 rating in the 18-49 category and a 3 share.

The UFC event was also up against the NBA Playoffs which aired on cable.

UFC on Fox 11 event which aired about the same time last year drew an initial overnight rating of 1.99 million viewers and was adjusted up to 2.5 million viewers.

In terms of overall viewership for the night, TV By Numbers is reporting that 48 Hours on CBS drew 6.25 million viewers in the 10pm slot Saturday

UFC on Fox 15 ratings

Payout Perspective:

This is a very good rating for the UFC considering it went up against the NHL Playoffs.  While it’s only the first round, one would think that the New York-Pittsburgh matchup would draw considerable interest from the two of the biggest television markets.  MMA Payout will have more on the ratings as they come in.

 UFC on Fox Ratings
UFC on Fox 1 5,700,000
UFC on Fox 2 4,570,000
UFC on Fox 3 2,250,000
UFC on Fox 4 2,360,000
UFC on Fox 5 3,410,000
UFC on Fox 6 4,220,000
UFC on Fox 7 3,300,000
UFC on Fox 8 2,380,000
UFC on Fox 9 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 10 3,220,000
UFC on Fox 11 1,980,000
UFC on Fox 12 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 13 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 14 2,820,000
UFC on Fox 15 2,430,000

UPDATED: PBC on NBC averages 2.9 million viewers

April 13, 2015

The adjusted viewership for Saturday night’s PBC primetime telecast on NBC drew 2.9 million viewers. The show peaked with 3.4 million viewers.

The ratings reflect a 15% drop from its debut in March which drew an average of 3.4 million peaking at 4.2 million.

NBC Sports PR tweeted out further info:

More information on the ratings can be found in our initial post.

Payout Perspective:

It’s clear from the numbers that the second network telecast of Al Haymon’s PBC did not do as well as the debut.  The show’s peak this time around was the average viewership for the debut.  What is interesting is the positive spin in coverage of these boxing ratings as opposed to what you might read from MMA ratings.  The last NBC Sports tweet is indicative of the positive view on the ratings.  While we might conclude that boxing will do well in the 18-49 category, the 190% seems overblown as to the actual amount of difference.  Moreover, it does not factor in the amount expended in the marketing and promotion of PFC versus those afternoon boxing telecasts.  Regardless, the viewership is good for the sport no matter how you want to view it.

WSOF 20 draws 128,000 viewers

April 13, 2015

MMA Payout has learned from Nielsen sources that the World Series of Fighting 20 airing Friday night on NBC Sports Network drew just 128,000 viewers.

The event which aired from 9:00 – 11:30pm ET featured David Branch against Jesse McElligott.  Branch won via submission with what looked like a version of the Von Flue choke.  In addition, Ben Fedor aka Phoenix Jones made his promotional debut.  However, he lost to Emmanuel Walo.

World Series of Fighting
WSOF 1 198,000
WSOF 2 210,000
WSOF 3 201,000
WSOF 4 264,000
WSOF 5 227,000
WSOF 6 161,000
WSOF 7 94,000
WSOF 8 212,000
WSOF 9 242,000
WSOF 10 365,000
WSOF 11 781,000
WSOF 12 206,000
WSOF 13 246,000
WSOF 14 229,000
WSOF 15 179,000
WSOF 16 181,000
WSOF 17 222,000
WSOF 18 209,000
WSOF 19 216,000
WSOF 20 128,000


Payout Perspective:

This is a disappointing rating for WSOF which ran opposite Bellator on SpikeTV.  Even with some of the publicity it received from the signing of Phoenix Jones, the ratings were down.  It’s the first time it’s gone sub-200K since WSOF 16.

Bellator 136 draws 655,000 viewers

April 13, 2015

MMA Payout has learned from Nielsen sources that Bellator 136 on Friday drew a viewership of 655,000 viewers.  It is up slightly from last month’s event.

The main event (which aired from 9:00-11:30pm ET on SpikeTV) had Will Brooks taking on Dave Jansen with the Brooks earning the unanimous decision.

The event drew a 0.2 rating in the 18-49 demo.

Bellator Events in 2015

Bellator 132:  767,000

Bellator 133:  565,000

Bellator 134:  872,000

Bellator 135:  607,000

Bellator 136:  655,000

Bellator 2015 through 136

Payout Perspective:

The average for Bellator in 2015 increases to 693,000 in overnight viewership.  The Masters Golf Tournament was the clear cable sports winner on Friday drawing 2.95 million viewers from 3:00-7:30pm ET.  Notably NASCAR on FS1 from 8:30pm-11:03pm ET drew 678,000 viewers.  WSOF also aired on Friday night as well with less success as the two organization went head to head for most of its respective telecasts.

PBC on NBC draws 2.62 million viewers, down from network debut

April 12, 2015

The second event for Premier Boxing Champions on NBC network television drew 2.62 million viewers in Live + Same Day ratings according to Television By Numbers.  It also drew a 0.7 rating in the 18-49 demo and 3 share for its 8:30pm-11:00pm airing.

The ratings are down from its debut in March of 3.13 million viewers in fast overnights and the adjusted viewership of 3.4 million.  We might expect an adjustment of the 2.62 million but it likely won’t exceed the PBC debut on NBC.

PBC featured Danny Garcia defeating Lamont Peterson and an entertaining opener on the show with Andy Lee and Peter Quillin fighting to a draw.  The Lee-Quillin fight was the more exciting of the two as Lee fought back from two knockdowns to score one of his own and getting a draw.

NASCAR Sprint Cup on Fox outdrew PBC Boxing with its 2 hour showing on the network from 8-10pm.  It drew 4.65 million viewers with a 0.9 rating and 4 share.

In the quarter hours TV By Numbers breaks down PBC’s ratings:

8:30-9:00 – 0.7 rating, 3 share, 2.62 million

9:00-9:30 – 0.7 rating, 3 share, 2.62 million

9:30-10:00 –0.7 rating, 3 share, 2.80 million

10:00-10:30 – 0.9 rating, 3 share, 2.97 million

10:30-11:00 – 0.9 rating, 3 share, 3.07 million

Payout Perspective:

PBC went up against the NCAA College Hockey Championship Game on ESPN and NASCAR on Fox.  Also of note, in the 10:00-11:00 hour, 48 Hours on CBS outdrew PBC in total viewers 5.07M to 3.07M.  Despite not doing as well as its debut, the production of the show was well done.  It’s clear it’s a big investment when Bob Costas is on the show.  We will see if viewership picks up over time.  Certainly, Haymon, et al are prepared to stick it out with its investment.

Glory Kickboxing 20 draws 359,000 viewers on Good Friday

April 9, 2015

Glory Kickboxing: Dubai on SpikeTV which aired last Friday drew an average of 359,000 viewers according to Nielsen sources.

The event, a part of Spike TV’s new Friday night rebranding for combat sports aired from 10:00pm to 12:07am on the east coast. It featured two world title fights.

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

Glory 16: 498,000 viewers

Glory 17 – 487,000 viewers

Glory 18 – 352,000 viewers

Glory 19 – 542,000 viewers

Glory 20 – 359,000 viewers

Payout Perspective:

Disappointing ratings for the event as it is a sharp decrease from February.  Perhaps it was Good Friday and the holiday weekend that had people not tuning into the event.

UFC Fight Night 63: 389K viewers; prelims 304K viewers

April 7, 2015

MMA Payout has learned from Nielsen sources that UFC Fight Night 63: Mendes vs. Lamas on Fox Sports 1 on Saturday drew 389,000 viewers for its main card which aired Saturday afternoon from 1:00pm ET to 4:00pm ET. The event peaked with 489,000 viewers from 1:30pm to 1:45 pm ET.

The Saturday night replay (8:00pm ET to 11:00pm ET) on FS1 drew another 350,000 additional viewers peaking with 493,000 viewers in the final quarter hour of the show.

A Sunday night replay from 4:00 to 7:00 pm ET on FS1 averaged 294,000 viewers and 144,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

UFC Fight Night 63 ratings

Payout Perspective:

The low ratings were likely considering it was on Easter weekend as well as during the day (prelims starting at 8am on the west coast) on Saturday. Although I am partial to the Saturday morning UFC shows, it probably does not bode well for the general viewing audience. In addition to the UFC, there was the debut of boxing on CBS starting at 12pm on the west coast. There was also the Final Four which also opposed the Saturday night replay.

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