March 16, 2017
UFC Fight Night 106 this past Saturday on FS1 drew 946,000 viewers per Sports TV Ratings. The prelims, which preceded the main card on FS1 drew 860,000 viewers.
The main card, airing from 10pm-1:04am on Saturday, featured Kelvin Gastelum defeating Vitor Belfort drew 531,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo. The prelims drew 379,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo.
|UFC Fight Night 2017|
|Event||Main Card||Main Card A18-49||Prelims||Prelims A18-49|
|UFC Fight Night 103||1,090,000||612,000||824,000||361,000|
|UFC Fight Night 104||1,158,000||590,000||834,000||420,000|
|UFC Fight Night 105||946,000||531,000||860,000||379,000|
The ratings reflect a decrease from the main card in the last two Fight Nights but the prelim viewership is up overall from this past Saturday. Notably, this time last year, UFC Fight Night 85 drew 1,149,000 (prelims drew 766,000) for Frank Mir-Mark Hunt in the main event. For a card from Brazil that did not have too much in terms of names (aside from Vitor Belfort), the ratings are pretty good.
March 7, 2017
The UFC 209 Prelims drew 1,033,000 viewers on FS1 Saturday night per Sports TV Ratings.
According to Sports TV Ratings, the event drew 510,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo.
In the featured fight of the prelims Marcin Tybura defeated Luis Henrique Barbosa. The prelims also featured two very good come-from-behind victories by Iuri Alcantara and Darren Elkins. The event peaked at 1,183,000 in the 9:15-9:30pm quarter hour.
In addition, the UFC weigh-ins on Friday night drew 210,000 viewers on FS1 and 97,000 in the adult 18-49 demo.
The pre-fight show on FS1 drew 453,000 viewers and the post-fight event on FS1 drew 205,000 viewers and 126,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo.
UFC PPV Prelims 2017
Based on the ratings of the prelims and the ancillary telecasts, I may have underestimated how this PPV does. Over 1 million viewers on a night where boxing and basketball were on network television is very good considering the competition.
March 7, 2017
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. In this edition, we take a look at UFC 209 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Woodley wins rematch with Wonderboy
The last seconds of the last round were really the most exciting part of this tactical fight. There was not a lot of action for the first four rounds and Woodley’s flurry at the end of round 5 may have been the most
Teymur defeats Vannata in FOTN co-main
Replacing Khabib Nurmogomenov and Tony Ferguson was a daunting task and Teymur and Vannata put on a respectable fight. Obviously, most MMA fans would have liked Khabib-Ferguson.
The get-in price as of Friday, was $62 on the secondary market although there were a lot of tickets available on Ticketmaster. The lowest price on Ticketmaster as of Friday was $95. Vivid Seats noted that most tickets on the secondary market were from California.
The event drew 13,150 for a gate of $2,385,230 at the T-Mobile Arena. It was by far the lowest out of the 4 events at the new arena. However, the other 3 (200, 202, and 207) had big names attached to those events.
The bonuses went to Darren Elkins, Iuri Alcantara, David Teymur and Lando Vannata. Elkins earned a Performance of the Night bonus for his come-from-behind win against Mirsad Bektic. Alcantara won via kneebar against Luke Sanders. Teymur and Vannata earned Fight of the Night.
Woodley earned $500,000 as he earned $400,000 to show and another $100,000 to win.
Stephen Thompson earned $380,000 for his narrow loss to Woodley.
Khabib lost out on $500,000 to show. Tony Ferguson was awarded his show purse of $250,000 but lost out on his chance to his win bonus of $250,000.
The other salaries are as follows as disclosed by the NAC (via MMA Junkie)
David Teymur: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Lando Vannata: $25,000
Daniel Kelly: $54,000 (includes $27,000 win bonus)
def. Rashad Evans: $150,000
Cynthia Calvillo: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Amanda Cooper: $17,000
Alistair Overeem: $750,000 (no win bonus)
def. Mark Hunt: $750,000
Marcin Tybura: $72,000 (includes $36,000 win bonus)
def. Luis Henrique: $16,000
Darren Elkins: $92,000 (includes $46,000 win bonus)
def. Mirsad Bektic: $21,000
Iuri Alcantara: $68,000 (includes $24,000 win bonus)
def. Luke Sanders: $12,000
Mark Godbeer: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Daniel Spitz: $12,000
Tyson Pedro: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Paul Craig: $12,000
Albert Morales: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Andre Soukhamthath: $10,000
Promotion of the Fight
The Embedded series seemed to focus on getting to know Khabib Nurmogomenov. They showed him a lot during the series including going to see Mike Tyson. Unfortunately, it did not turn out well for Khabib. It also gave us a glimpse of the return of GSP. Once again, there was no sponsor for the series.
The UFC Countdown show airing Sunday night on FS1 drew 80,000 viewers. I wouldn’t look too much into this as many fans watch it online instead of just the show.
Woodley and Wonderboy did media rounds together to promote the fight. Woodley brought up the issue of race during the media rounds. Dana White dismissed this issue and while praising Woodley also called him a “drama queen.” Whether or not you believe Woodley, his courage to talk about a controversial subject when many UFC fighters tip-toe around being controversial for fear of being punished by the company.
The St. Louis Cardinals supported the Missouri-born fighter.
Woodley is a Monster Energy sponsored athlete as evidenced by the “M” on his fight kit and holding the Monster can in the Octagon post-fight.
7-11 used UFC 209 for sponsorship activation as it offered a free Slurpee or Big Gulp by simply texting a number.
In addition to 7-11, MetroPCS, Harley Davidson, Budweiser and Monster Energy were in the Octagon.
The UFC continues its relationship with Netflix as this PPV it featured the series Ironfist.
The Sidekick Experience is a second screen experience where fans can go on the UFC Fan Page to watch Facebook Live of people talking about the fights.
Odds and ends
Maybe the best sponsor of Saturday night was actually Kung Fu Teas which was on the mat during the Keith Thurman-Danny Garcia Fight. It received great network exposure for a product I did not know existed. Also of note, Monster Headphones, a UFC sponsor, was in the ring for Thurman-Garcia.
Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would have placed the strap around Wonderboy had he defeated Woodley.
Bob Bennett showing up at the post-fight press conference to denounce a judge’s score in the main event sets bad precedent. It undermines his judges and brings into question close decisions. Press and fans will be looking to Bennett each time there is a questionable score.
There were over 500,000 google searches on Friday night for UFC 209 another 500,000 Saturday night and 100,000 for UFC may bode well for the final PPV buy rate.
The UFC and Dana White filed a Motion to Dismiss Mark Hunt’s lawsuit during fight week. Despite Hunt stating he was not thinking about it, one has to think it had to be on his mind a little bit. He is still being paid at a high level, $750,000. The pay puts him in the top 1-2% of UFC contracted fighters right now. This is something that the UFC will bring up during the lawsuit as it proceeds.
Perhaps unrelated to UFC 209, but Geico amplified its relationship with the UFC by having Cody Garbrandt star in its latest commercial.
The return of GSP and the announcement that he will take on Michael Bisping did alleviate some sting from the Khabib news. As for the press conference, what was the deal with Bisping being late and seemingly drunk? Very unprofessional for the champ.
This event was not going to do huge numbers but looked good from a hardcore MMA perspective as Khabib-Ferguson was a much-anticipated fight that was cancelled twice before this latest cancellation. It probably hurt some, but overall this PPV was not going to do big numbers. But, without Khabib-Ferguson, one would think this PPV does between 300-325K viewers.
February 22, 2017
UFC Fight Night 105 drew an average of 907,000 viewers on FS1 Sunday night per Sports TV Ratings. The prelims which preceded the event drew 760,000 viewers.
The main card featured Derrick Lewis and Travis Browne in the main event. Lewis earned the victory with a stoppage of Browne. The 2 hour prelims event featured four fights including Carla Esparza and Randa Markos.
The main card drew 435,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo while the prelims drew 330,000.
The FS1 fight card had stiff competition on Sunday night as it went up against the NBA All-Star game which aired on both TNT (drawing over 6.5M viewers) and TBS (over 1.2M viewers0. The 907K is not far off from last month’s Sunday night event featuring BJ Penn. That event, UFC Fight Night 103, drew 1.090 million viewers with the prelims garnering 824,000. Not a bad showing considering the competition on Sunday night.
February 14, 2017
The UFC 208 Prelims drew 824,000 viewers on FS1 Saturday night. The event aired from 8-10pm ET on Saturday preceding the PPV.
The event drew 420,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo per Sports TV Ratings. The show peaked at 1,046,000 viewers during the main fight of the telecast: Belal Muhammad’s win over Randy Brown.
Also of note related to UFC 208 programming, the weigh-ins drew just 80,000 viewers on FS1 from 6-7pm on Friday.
The pre-fight show on FS1 drew 259,000 viewers (142,000 in A18-49 demo) from 6:30-8pm ET. The post-fight show drew 207,000 viewers (111,000 in A18-49 demo) from 1:06-2:06amET.
If you wanted to draw any parallels here, UFC 206 Prelims in December drew 777,000 viewers. 206 drew 150,000 PPV buys. UFC 204 in October drew 678,000 viewers and ended up with 290,000 PPV buys. While it’s not an exact science, the prelims have been used as one of the indicators for PPV buy rates. Realistically, it may mean the actual PPV does somewhere between 200-350K PPV buys. I would believe it being on the lower end of this.
February 14, 2017
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. In this edition we take a look at the UFC’s second PPV in New York. This time at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York.
New champ of new women’s division
Germaine de Randamie narrowly defeated Holly Holm to win the inaugural UFC women’s Featherweight Division. The decision did not go without controversy as de Randamie won 47-48 but was not deducted a point after two clear shots after the bell. Joe Rogan was apoplectic that the referee did not deduct one point on the second shot after the bell.
Regardless, the title goes to de Randamie. She has offered up a rematch with Holm due to controversy but one would think that Cyborg gets the next shot if she is given a retroactive TUE.
Silva turns back the clock, Brunson
Anderson Silva showed he still has it with a victory over Derek Brunson. Perhaps Silva won via show but Brunson seemed too tentative. It was a very emotional scene for Silva post-fight as he has come to terms with his role as a fighter that will not compete for a title.
The Barclay’s Center was a sellout for UFC 208 with 15,628 fans for a live gate of $2,275,10. It was the highst grossing sporting event in arena history.
There were only 3 bonus winners since there was only one finish. Dusin Poirier and Jim Miller won for Fight of the Night while Jacare earned a Performance Bonus for stopping Tim Boetsch.
In tying in a sponsor, the UFC tweeted out the winners and included a link to Netflix’s new realtiy show Ultimate Beastmaster. It sounds like American Ninja Warrior.
— UFC (@ufc) February 12, 2017
Notably, Anderson Silva co-hosts the Brazilian version of Ultimate Beastmaster.
Promotion of the Fight
Holly Holm appeared on “Live with Kelly” to promote the event.
— UFC (@ufc) February 8, 2017
There was no sponsor for the Embedded series this time around and perhaps sponsors knew that this was going to be a dud this time around.
The usual sponsors were in the cage including MetroPCS, Harley Davidson, Toyo Tires, Budweiser, Halo Wars 2, the movie Fist Fight, Netflix’s The Ultimate Beastmaster and Monster Energy had the center.
Also, Microsoft’s Halo Wars 2 had the fighter prep point.
The movie Fist Fight starring Charlie Day and Ice Cube was featured during UFC 208. They also included a tweet associated with the event.
— Ice Cube (@icecube) February 12, 2017
Odds and ends
It was the first time, in a long time that a PPV did not have Mike Goldberg as Jon Anik and Daniel Cormier joined Joe Rogan. The three still need seasoning. If it was up to me, I would like Dominick Cruz in place of Cormier.
New walkout song for The Spider. Hard not to associate him with DMX’s “Ain’t No Sunshine.” But, the song that replaced it was performed by his son Kalyl.
— Dana White (@danawhite) February 11, 2017
Dana White went on Instagram during UFC 208.
Jacare Souza should get the next shot at Bisping. Period.
Tony Parker, whose San Antonio Spurs played the New York Knicks on Sunday. The Spurs lost.
UFC 208 drew over 200,000 google searches on Friday. Anderson Silva drew 50,000 on Saturday. Likely, the searches for Silva occurred after news that he had won. So, it’s likely those aren’t due to wanting to buy the PPV.
It’s hard to think that this will be a big buy rate. None of the fights were compelling from a causal viewer standpoint. UFC 206 had over 200K google searches this past December and I think that 208 will do a similar buy rate. Look for this event to do between 150,000 to 175,000 buys.
February 7, 2017
UFC Fight Night 104 drew 1.158 million viewers on Saturday night on FS1 per Sports TV Ratings. The prelims which preceded the main card drew another 834,000 on FS1.
Sports TV Ratings indicates that the main card (airing from 10pm-12:59am ET) which featured the return of The Korean Zombie as he KO’d Dennis Bermudez drew 590,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo. The prelims, which aired from 8-10pm ET drew 420,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.
The main card peaked at 1.286 million viewers during the 11:15-11:30pm quarter hour.
The ratings are less than the 1.3M viewers that watched UFC Fight Night 82 last Super Bowl weekend. You may recall that event was taken off PPV and made an FS1 card and featured Johny Hendricks-Stephen Thompson. The prelims drew 1.093M viewers.
Despite being lower than last year, the 1.158 million is strong considering the main card featured KZ-Bermudez. Obviously looking at the attendance, this card resembled more of a lower-tier Fight Night card than a bigger draw.
January 18, 2017
UFC Fight Night 103 drew 1.090 million viewers on FS1 Sunday night per Sports TV Ratings. The prelims drew 824,000 viewers on FS1.
UPDATED: The show peaked with 1,604,000 viewers between 12-12:15am. It was the No. 1 viewership in the A18-49 category from 8pm-12:15am ET. The postfight show averaged 364,000 which is tied for the 3rd largest-viewed FS1 UFC Fight Night Postfight ever.
The prelims aired from 8-10pm ET and scored 361,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo. The main card drew 612,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.
The main card featured BJ Penn’s return against Yair Rodriguez. The prelims main fight featured Drakkar Klose and Devin Powell.
The Fight Night ratings are the best since September 2016 at UFC Fight Night 95. The event featured Cristiane Cyborg Justino from Brazil. The event did well considering it went up against the NFL game featuring the Chiefs-Steelers and we thought that it might affect viewership. Certainly, the ratings appear to not be affected.
January 16, 2017
The next season of The Ultimate Fighter will feature bantamweight coaches T.J. Dillashaw and newly crowned champ Cody Garbrandt according to a UFC press release. The long-running series will continue with former competitors from past seasons on the show.
The new season begins on FS1 on April 19th with a two hour premiere.
No date yet for a fight between Garbrandt and Dillashaw although the press release indicated that they would fight after the season of TUF so this might put us at the July show of International Fight Week which would be a great co-main event. As for the series, I’m not sure if these two as coaches will garner more viewers than previous seasons although the curiosity of seeing past TUF fighters serves as a “Where are they now” sort of feel for people that have watched past seasons.
January 6, 2017
The UFC 207 Prelims peaked with more than 1.8 million viewers. The Friday night event on FS1 was up over 45% from last year’s UFC 195 prelims.
The event which featured Johny Hendricks and Neil Magny in the feature fight peaked during the last quarter hour 9:45-10pm ET.
In comparison’s to last year’s PPV show, UFC 195 which aired 1/2/16, it was up almost 50% from the prelims which also aired on FS1. It was up 42% in the A18-49 demo as well (813K v. 572K) last year.
All signs point to a good PPV buy rate with Ronda Rousey’s return.