UFC 227: Payout Perspective

August 7, 2018

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 227 taking place in Los Angeles at the Staples Center.  The show featured two championship fights with one title change.

Dillashaw retains title in stoppage of Garbrandt

T.J. Dillashaw successfully defended his UFC Bantamweight title over Cody Garbrandt with a first round stoppage of the former champion.  Dillashaw is now 2-0 over his former stable mate.

Cejudo wins split decision over Mighty Mouse to end Johnson’s reign

Henry Cejudo’s wrestling was the key in a split decision victory over Demetrious Johnson to win the UFC Flyweight title.  Cejudo’s several takedowns and ability to pin down Johnson likely earned him the narrow victory.  Johnson indicated that he suffered a broken book and knee injury during the fight.  Still, the former champ almost pulled out the victory.

Johnson’s loss is his first since October 2011.  He successfully defended the title 11 times prior to this defeat and has to be considered as one of the greatest title runs ever in the UFC.

Attendance and Gate

The event was a sellout at Staples Center with 17,794 in attendance for a gate of $2.85 million.

Bonuses

Dillashaw, Cejudo, Johnson and Renato Moicano earned the $50,000 bonuses.  Dillashaw and Moicano drew the Performance Bonuses while Cejudo and Johnson earned the Fight of the Night.

Payouts

Mighty Mouse and Dillashaw earned the most out of the purses disclosed by the California State Athletic Commission.  The payouts are here.

Reebok Payouts

Notably, Cub Swanson and Thiago Santos were the only fighters outside of the title fight participants to earn 5 figures.

T.J. Dillashaw: $40,000
Cody Garbrandt: $30,000
Henry Cejudo: $30,000
Demetrious Johnson: $40,000
Renato Moicano: $5,000
Cub Swanson: $20,000
J.J. Aldrich: $4,000
Polyana Viana: $3,500
Thiago “Marreta” Santos: $10,000
Kevin Holland: $3,500
Pedro Munhoz: $5,000
Brett Johns: $4,000
Ricky Simon: $3,500
Montel Jackson: $3,500
Ricardo Ramos: $3,500
Kyung Ho Kang: $5,000
Sheymon Moraes: $3,500
Matt Sayles: $3,500
Alex Perez: $3,500
Jose Torres: $3,500
Weili Zhang: $3,500
Danielle Taylor: $4,000
Marlon Vera: $5,000
Wuliji Buren: $3,500

Sponsorships

Van Heusen made its first appearance in the Octagon as an official sponsor of the UFC.  Stephen Thompson and T.J. Dillashaw star in an online commercial for the men’s brand which is launching a flexible casual line.  It had the fighter prep point.

Fallout 76, a multiplayer action video game sponsored the Embedded Series this time around.

It was announced that Trifecta Nutrition was the “Official Meal Delivery Partner of the UFC.”  The deal is set to be worth $10 million dollars.  Notably, Blue Apron, another company within the same space as Trifecta Nutrition is experiencing issues with its company as its second quarter earnings didn’t match up to analyst expectations.

In addition to Van Heusen and Trifecta Nutrition, Harley Davidson, Modelo, MetroPCS, Motel6.com, UFC Fight Pass, Toyo Tires, Monster Energy/Circle K and the movie Mile 22 which stars Ronda Rousey were in the Octagon.  Monster Energy had the center.

There seemed to be a concerted effort to promote the Reebok walkout shirts from the fighters.

Ratings

UFC 227 Prelims on FX: 717,000, 0.3 in the A18-49 demo (3rd highest in cable)

UFC 227 Pre Fight Show on FX:  306,000

UFC 226 Post-Fight Show on FS1:  122,000

Odds and Ends

Likely overshadowing this event was the news that Conor McGregor was returning to fight against Khabib Nurmogomedov in October.

While the story died down, there were old social media posts made by Garbrandt where he used racially insensitive language.  He was able to explain the posts away and it was seemed to be disregarded once fight night came around.  There was the news that was contemplating pulling out of the fight due to issues with his back but decided to go through with it due to financial reasons.  You have to feel for Garbrandt who has a little baby and is looking to buy a house, get insurance and all the other things with becoming a regular adult trying to start a family.  During a prefight media event, he revealed he went to Vegas to get epidural injections in his back.

There were over 500,000 google searches on Saturday for UFC 227 which is the norm for PPV buys in the 200K range.

Cub Swanson stated that he paid for $26,000 for tickets for the event.  The SoCal native lost via submission in the first round.

Garbrandt and Mike Tyson are friends if you watched the Embedded series.

The Prelims were shuffled to FX due to MLB on FS1.  It was also a busy night for combat sports as there was boxing on Fox and another on HBO.

Conclusion

Based on the google searches and the prelim ratings, this PPV likely drew around 250,000-275,000 PPV buys.  Outside of Conor McGregor, its hard to see a lighter weight division title fight drawing near 300,000 PPV buys nowadays.

UFC Fight Night 134 on FS1 draws 492,000 viewers

July 24, 2018

UFC Fight Night 134 drew 492,000 for its Sunday morning telecast on FS1 according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The prelims drew 271,000 viewers on FS1.

The main event of the telecast featured Mauricio Rua taking on Anthony Smith in a light heavyweight showdown.  Smith earned the TKO victory.  The prelims featured Damir Hadzovic in his win over Nick Hein.

UFC Fight Night 134 took place in Hamburg, Germany.  The event aired Sunday morning and into the afternoon due to the start overseas.  The post-fight coverage on UFC which began at 2:00pm PT drew 156,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are down from UFC Fight Night 133 from Boise which drew 754,000 for the main card.  But, that event took place on a Saturday night. Usually, Sunday morning shows do not garner as many viewers as Saturday night shows.  UFC Fight Night 130 this past May did a respectable 552,000 viewers.  The event may have been affected by Tiger Woods’ return to The Open on NBC as he was in contention most of the day.  Golf aired at about the same time as the UFC and was an overwhelming ratings success.

UFC Fight Night 133 draws 754,000 viewers and prelims drew 572,000

July 17, 2018

UFC Fight Night 133 drew 754,000 viewers on FS1 Saturday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The prelims which preceded the main card on Saturday on FS1 drew 572,000 viewers.

The main card which featured the return of Junior dos Santos in a unanimous decision victory over Blagoy Ivanov drew 383,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and 0.46 household share. The 2 hour prelims drew 264,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and 0.33 in household share.  The prelims featured a fight between bantamweights Eddie Wineland and Alejandro Perez.  Perez won via unanimous decision.

Payout Perspective:

Good ratings on a night where boxing was on ESPN and ESPN + with the latter streaming the return of Manny Pacquiao.  The ratings are the best Fight Night event since UFC Fight Night 129 in May.  Last year’s Fight Night card post-International Fight Week PPV drew 402,000 for an event in Scotland.  The Boise card reported a sell-out and the ratings were very good on a night with a choice of combat sports to watch.

TUF 27 Finale main card draws just 499,000 viewers

July 9, 2018

The Ultimate Fighter 27 drew 499,000 viewers per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The prelims which preceded the main card on FS1 drew a nearly identical 493,000 viewers.

The main card numbers make it the lowest-rated TUF Finale to date.

The TUF 27 main event featured Brad Tavares taking on Israel Adesanya.  The Nigerian-born fighter dominated the fight and won via unanimous decision.  The prelims featured Montana De La Rosa as she submitted Rachael Ostovich via rear naked choke.

Both the main card and prelims drew 0.20 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

It’s rare that you don’t see a UFC event lose much interest from prelims going into the main card.  Yet, this event did just that…almost.  The ratings this year improved in DVR viewership but we see that the decreased viewing this season led to the lowest-rated main card of all time for the TUF Franchise.

TUF 27 Episode 11 draws 156,000 viewers on FS1

June 28, 2018

The penultimate episode of The Ultimate Fighter 27 drew 156,000 viewers on Friday on Wednesday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The 11th episode featured the coaches challenge which featured Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic in a hockey shootout.  The fight of the episode saw Team Cormier’s Joe Giannetti submit Team Miocic’s Allan Zuniga.  Giannetti advances to the final July 6th at the TUF Finale.

Ep        Live                 Live+3

1          201,000           298,000

2          186,000           296,000

3          246,000           366,000

4          207,000           357,000

5          176,000           362,000

6          196,000           398,000

7          275,000           437,000

8          248,000           443,000

9          290,000           462,000

10        219,000           402,000

11         156,000

Payout Perspective:

The 11th episode fell off from the past several episodes which hovered around the mid-200s.  The 156,000 is the lowest this season and shows that the season is starting to wear down.  Fortunately, the final episode is next week.

UFC 225 Prelims draw 667,000 on FS1

June 12, 2018

The UFC 225 Prelims drew 667,000 viewers on FS1 Saturday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The featured prelim bout of the telecast saw Curtis Blaydes stop Alistair Overeem with a vicious elbow while in Overeem’s guard in the third round of the fight.

According to ShowBuzz Daily, the event drew 323,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and a overall household rating of 0.42.  The event did better than two live telecasts on ESPN and ESPN2.  The College Track and Field Championships drew 311,000 viewers at the same time as the Prelims and a College Baseball SuperRegional between South Carolina and Arkansas drew 583,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

It would have been interesting to see if CM Punk and Curtis Blaydes switched places on the card how that might affect ratings and PPV buys.  The ratings are fair but do not indicate a larger audience for its PPV.

TUF 27 Episode 8 draws 248,000

June 7, 2018

TUF 27 Episode 8 drew 248,000 viewers per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The episode went up against the NBA Finals on ABC.  The fight of the episode saw Dulani Perry take on Tyler Diamond.  Diamond submitted Perry with a guillotine in the second round. The Team Cormier member moves into the Featherweight semifinals against Jay Cucciniello.

Payout Perspective:

The event was a decrease from last week but improves on last season’s 197,000 for its eighth episode.  Last year’s TUF 25 eighth episode drew 303,000 viewers.  Notably, episodes 5 and 6 saw dramatic increases in DVR viewership with each drawing over 100% the live viewership.  Last week saw the highest viewership after factoring DVR numbers.

UFC Fight Night 131 draws 517,000 viewers

June 4, 2018

UFC Fight Night 131 drew 517,000 viewers on Friday night on FS1.  The prelims drew 322,000 viewers.

The event was highlighted by Marlon Moraes and Jimmy Rivera.  Moraes earned the victory with a stoppage in mere seconds against Rivera.  The prelims saw Sijara Eubanks defeat Lauren Murphy in the featured fight of the prelims.

The post-fight show drew 181,000 viewers and 0.06 in the A18-49 demo.

The fights took place in Utica, New York.

Payout Perspective:

The Friday night event was unusual since most of the Fight Nights occur Saturday or Sunday which may have been the reason for the lower ratings.  Also, the fights featured the “lower-t0-middle class” tier of UFC fighters.

 

UFC Fight Night 130 draws 552,000 viewers Sunday on FS1

May 30, 2018

The main card for UFC Fight Night 130 Sunday morning/afternoon drew 552,000 viewers on FS1 according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The post-fight show on FS1 outdrew the morning prelims.

The post-fight show drew a 2018-high of 392,000 viewers and 0.14 in the A18-49 demo on FS1 Sunday afternoon.  The post-fight show aired for 24 minutes due to the overrun of the main card.

The main card featured Stephen Thompson taking on Darren Till with Till taking the victory.  The event drew 0.20 in the A18-49 demo.  The prelims, which began at 8:00 am on the west coast drew 308,000 viewers and 0.10 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

Sunday morning’s event did better than last year’s Memorial Day Sunday event in Sweden as that event drew 496,000 viewers.  The post-fight show likely drew more eyes simply because it was on in the afternoon.  Also, The Indianapolis 500 may have taken away some viewers as it drew 4.91 million viewers on Sunday morning on ABC.

TUF 27 episode 6 draws 196,000 viewers.

May 24, 2018

The Ultimate Fighter season 27 episode 6 drew 196,000 viewers on FS1 Wednesday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  It is the third episode this season under 200,000 viewers.

In the fight of the episode, Team Cormier’s Ricky Steele defeated Team Miocic’s Suman Mokhtarian via unanimous decision.

Payout Perspective:

TUF 25’s episode 6 last spring drew 372,000 viewers and TUF 26’s episode 6 drew 242,000 viewers.  The telecast went up against the NBA Playoffs on TNT and Game 7 of the NHL Hockey Playoffs on NBC Sports Network.  Still, its hard not to see that live viewership is waning as most are recording and watching for later.

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