April 24, 2013
MMA Junkie reports that Matt Mitrione will be fighting Brendan Schaub at UFC on Fox 8 this July. After the UFC announced his suspension on April 8th for his comments on transgender fighter Fallon Fox, it appears he is no longer suspended.
As you recall, Mitrione’s comments on The MMA Hour which were directed at Fox drew the ire of the UFC as it issued a statement suspending Mitrione for a violation of the UFC Code of Conduct. The UFC even released a copy of its Code of Conduct as an apparent sign of transparency and a caution to other fighters.
It appears that Mitrione’s suspension has been lifted as just 16 days after the infraction, the UFC has set him up for a summer fight.
Hopefully the UFC will address the situation and the reasons why it lifted its suspension of Mitrione and did not address the conditions for its reinstatement. Its an obvious question and whether Mitrione has done his penance or if he has met with UFC officials to discuss what happened, an explanation should occur to satisfy the LBGT community and others that his comments may have offended. For the UFC, an explanation also would serve notice to the rest of the roster that the Code of Conduct is not an idle document and a suspension will not be in name only.
April 23, 2013
The ratings are less than December’s UFC on Fox 6 which featured Henderson in the main event. The Seattle show received 4.39 million viewers for a 2.5 rating.
By itself, the Henderson-Melendez match which mostly aired during the time overrun scored 4.96 million viewers for a 2.7 rating. This was lower than Henderson-Diaz (5.7 million) and Johnson-Dodson (5.2 million)
Via MMA Fighting:
The positives were in the demographics, as in the Male 18-34 age group, the 2.2 rating was more than double the combined average of ABC, CBS and NBC programming in competition (1.0). FOX also outrated the other three major networks combined in Males 18-49 (2.7 to 1.6) and Males 25-54 (2.8 to 2.2). One thing notable from these numbers is that the show did far stronger numbers with males 35-49 than those who were 18-34, the latter of which is UFC’s usual prime demographic.
The numbers reflect that Saturday’s event was 3rd lowest rated UFC on Fox event out of 7. The article suggests that the NFL cross-promotion of the UFC events aids in UFC viewership for its network events.
The ratings are somewhat disappointing considering this UFC on Fox card was one of the best cards the UFC’s has had on Fox. In fact, it has overshadowed this Saturday’s PPV. But, how much does the NFL influence have over UFC events? Fox bumpers during each and every NFL broadcast during the season and a controversial skit demonstrated the UFC-Fox synergy. And based on the numbers it looks like the NFL’s influence helps with UFC viewership.
April 20, 2013
MMA Junkie reports the attendance and gate for the UFC on Fox 7 was 13,506 for a gate of $1.333 million. In addition, $50,000 bonuses were given for Fight of the Night and two KOs as there were plenty of knockouts but no submissions.
The bonuses were as follows:
Fight of the Night: Matt Brown vs. Jordan Mein
KO of the Night: Josh Thomson
KO of the Night: Yoel Romero
A great prelims and main card that was certainly PPV worthy. An interesting night with no submissions and a healthy amount of KOs. Not a good night for the Skrap Pack as Nate Diaz took a stiff leg kick from Josh Thomson and Gilbert Melendez lost a tough split decision to Benson Henderson. Overall, an exciting night of fights on FX and Fox.
April 9, 2013
The Sports Business Journal (subscription required) reports that Fox Sports and Golden Boy Promotions have struck a deal for boxing to be on the new Fox Sports 1 Network. The deal goes through 2015 with an option for 2016.
Although no official numbers were divulged, it is believed the rights fees to be $100,000 per show. FS1 will carry a Monday night boxing series with 24 episodes per year. The deal also includes 24 shows on Fox Deportes to be held Saturday nights from Mexico.
Golden Boy signed a multiyear deal reported to be in the six figure range with Fox Sports Media Group last year in which the promotion had 12 shows divided between Fuel TV and Fox Sports Net.
Golden Boy has already secured Corona as lead sponsor for the series.
The move shows Fox’s commitment to combat sports as it has the UFC as one of its anchors to the new FS1. The addition of boxing means more combat sports content for viewers. This deal is much better than Golden Boy’s previous situation as the Fox Sports Media deal had GBP’s shows on at odd times and on delay on Fox’s regional sports networks. In this deal, its believed that there would be consistent times for the shows.
January 29, 2013
MMA Fighting reports the full numbers from Saturday’s UFC on Fox 6 card. The numbers which now include the west coast viewership have bumped up the average to 4.4 million viewers.
The ratings are similar to December’s UFC on Fox 5 show which received 4.4 million viewers and hit a high of 5.7 million during the main event. West coast viewers that saw the show at 5:00 p.m. were at 4,219,000 viewers and a 2.39 rating. The main event drew a high of 5.2 million viewers.
Via MMA Fighting:
UFC on FOX 6 show scored a 2.09 overall in the 18-49 demographic. No other network show that night topped a 1.0. Advertisers for UFC programming are usually aiming for males 18-49. The show, which sold out of all ad inventory, did a 3.01 in males 18-49 and 3.02 in males 18-34.
Good news for the UFC as Saturday night’s event showed that the lower weight divisions can carry a card. The previous numbers have reflected a disparity between main events 155 and below versus the upper weight divisions. The conclusion that lower weight divisions don’t sell can now be challenged. We will see what happens this week with the Edgar-Aldo headliner. Its interesting that the UFC decided to utilize this as the main attraction to market on a card where Overeem and Rashad Evans are fighting.
January 27, 2013
Television By Numbers reports that Saturday night’s UFC on Fox 6 won key demos Saturday night on Fox. The fights featuring a Flyweight title match earned a viewer average of 3.766 million viewers.
UFC on Fox 6: Dodson v. Johnson earned a 1.8 rating in the 18-49 demo which was up 13% from December 9th’s UFC on Fox 5 rating. The rating won the time slot for the demo.
UFC outdueled Figure Skating on NBC as the two live sporting events went up against each other.
Other numbers from the night:
Attendance at the United Center in Chicago was 16,091 with a paid attendance of $1.27 million (via MMA Junkie).
Fight of the Night: Dodson v. Johnson
KO of the Night: Anthony Pettis
Submission of the Night:Ryan Bader
Each earned $50K. (h/t: MMA Junkie)
A very good night for the UFC (despite production issues and twitter reports in some regions that Fox switched to a rerun of the “The Big Bang Theory” during the main event) as we are starting to see UFC-Fox relationship is starting to click. Last month, the Fox show did well but many pointed to the top level names and talent on the card that gave it the ratings boost. This time, we saw that a Flyweight main event held up in the ratings. Of course, Rampage on the card did help and we will know later this week if the ratings fell off after Jackson-Texeira. Still, Anthony Pettis and Ricardo Lamas did their part in keeping viewers interested in the first hour of the two plus hour show. The last two network shows are a good sign for the UFC. We will see if this can translate in a big PPV buy for this weeks Edgar-Aldo showdown.
December 12, 2012
MMA Junkie reports that UFC on Fox 5 prelims on FX scored an average of 1.2 million viewers. It is the first time that UFC on Fox Prelims have aired on FX.
The three hour card showed all 7 prelim bouts as the one Facebook fight involving John Albert and Scotty Jorgenson was shown as well. The rating on Saturday hit the average for prelim bouts on FX.
A good viewership for a three hour card as the other prelims previously airing on FX were two hours. The move to show the Fox prelims made sense considering the prelims would give another chance to hype the stacked network card. It’s interesting to see Fox move more fights to FX as opposed to Fuel considering it was once thought that Fuel would be the de facto UFC channel. However, with FX in more homes the move makes sense.
December 8, 2012
MMA Payout had the opportunity to attend the UFC on Fox 5 weigh-ins for tonight. From what we learned, at 10:00am, there was a line at the KeyArena for the 4:00pm weigh-ins.
Will the 209 be able to take the title in the 206?
Despite needing additional time to lose weight, Nate Diaz looked ready for his title shot. Benson Henderson sported a Gary Payton throwback to grab further fan support at the weigh-ins. It will be an interesting matchup between the two with many lightweights (see Donald Cerrone, Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez to name a few) in line for the winner.
Rua-Gustaffson will determine next challenger to Jon Jones*
Jon Jones will be in the building tonight to scout his next opponent at 205. But, how long could the winner wait for their shot. *With Chael Sonnen set for spring 2013 after TUF 17, one of these guys will fight Jones. Of course, if Jones fights Silva after Sonnen then one of these guys may have to wait until 2014 for a shot.
Prodigy versus Prodigy
Guess who’s back? BJ Penn’s facial expressions are always good at weigh-ins and to see it close up was amazing. As he got on stage for the weigh-in, he looked like a guy that just caught the kid that stole from him. I’m not insinuating Rory MacDonald steals just to be clear. A win for MacDonald will springboard his UFC career and at only 23 you might be able to call him the new Prodigy. The UFC would definitely need to start marketing the Canadian if he can take out Penn.
Some other notes:
- Seattle was a pro-BJ Penn crowd. There were tons of BJ Penn “Just Scrap” shirts and RVCA brand shirts.
- Despite being from Stockton, there were a ton of Nate Diaz fans. As it played the UFC Road to the Octagon on the big screen before weigh-ins started, there was an eruption from the crowd as the Nate Diaz segment ran.
- Last time the UFC was in Seattle for Fight Night, Mario Miranda donned a Shawn Kemp Seattle Supersonics throwback at weigh-ins. Last night, Benson Henderson wore a GP throwback and got some love from The Glove on twitter for doing so.
- The weigh-ins were heavily attended as the KeyArena staff had to open up the upper bowl for fans.
I will be in attendance this afternoon for the fights. Follow me on twitter @dilletaunt for some pics and in arena scoop at UFC on Fox 5.
December 3, 2012
UFC head Dana White starred as a homeless man during the NFL pregame show on Fox yesterday to promote this Saturday’s UFC on Fox 5. While most thought the Fox synergy was innocuous in one of the show’s weekly skits, some took to twitter to criticize White for his depiction of the homeless.
White had a small part in the skit although the NFL studio team pointed out that it was White making the cameo as the homeless man. The likely reason for the criticism was the sign held by White which read: “Please Help!!! Need Food AKA Booze”
The purpose of having White appear in the skit is obvious as the network heavily promoted UFC on Fox 5 yesterday. In addition to White’s appearance, the UFC on Fox 5 promo seemed to appear in every other bumper during each NFL on Fox game Sunday. Also, the network aired “UFC Road to the Octagon” after its games on Sunday.
As for the twitter issues, we don’t know if it was White’s idea for what the sign read, but he still took offense to the criticism. Certainly, the homeless issue may be sensitive to some and inferring that homeless people are all drunks would cause some to criticize that part of the skit. This issue should blow over but it’s a lesson in being sensitive to all audiences.
August 15, 2012
The USA Today reports that the UFC is planning to have Benson Henderson defend his lightweight title against Nate Diaz on December 8th at UFC on Fox 5. In addition, it appears that BJ Penn will return against Rory MacDonald and Shogun Rua will take on Alexsander Gustafsson.
At this point, only early season college and NBA pro basketball and the Army-Navy game would oppose this card on December 8th. Thus, this card has the potential for many fringe viewers to take a look at the UFC.
Although no location has been set the speculation is that Seattle’s Key Arena will be the location of the event. In a press conference earlier this year, Dana White indicated Seattle was on the list of places it would go in 2012 but did not give specifics. With every other date spoken for except UFC on Fox 5, Seattle seems like the location. It would make sense considering Benson Henderson grew up in Federal Way, Washington – just 30 minutes outside of Seattle.
If you have been waiting for a good card, this is one of the better ones just from the announcement of the 3 fights. As everyone is thinking in their head, let’s hope everyone remains healthy.
But from the business perspective, it appears that the UFC wants to make sure the network gets a great card as it closes out the first year of its business relationship. The backdrop of what should be a sold out arena and having a hometown champion make a defense against one of the hottest fighters in the division should lend to the spectacle of the event.
Not to mention the return of the legendary BJ Penn. Also, the Rua-Gustafsson adds some flavor to the early part of the main card. Folks that saw UFC on Fox 4 should remember Rua and viewers will be introduced to the young up and coming light heavyweight.
Does this card hurt its PPV cards, notably its end of the year card? Maybe. However, I think there must be a good faith showing to Fox that the UFC can deliver a good number for the network. The card should also should shed some light on the question of whether the lighter weight divisions can carry a show. Yes, you do have light heavyweights in the co-main event, but 2 of the top 3 cards are lightweights.
From another perspective, the strength of this card could help future viewership of PPV cards which is the intended Zuffa strategy. Strong free tv cards will have fans wanting more and purchasing its PPV. Right now, that hasn’t happened. As MMA Supremacy points out, another reason for this card is to strengthen ratings so the product becomes attractive to potential sponsors and alleviates the concerns of current ones.
By the way, If you think I’m advocating for Seattle to get this card, you are right. Location aside, the card looks great on paper…now let’s hope no one gets hurt.