PBC on Fox Sports Sunday night drew 761,000 viewers

January 15, 2019

PBC on Fox Sports 1 Sunday night drew 761,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event drew 210,000 in the A18-49 demo and a 0.5 overall share.

The event featured Jose Uzcategui taking on Caleb Plant for the 168-pound IBF belt.  The Challenger, Plant, took the belt in an upset.

The telecast featured two other fights with KOs in them.

Payout Perspective:

This is a very good rating for an event that took advantage of the advertising during the Divisional Playoff weekend on Fox.  The Sunday night main event started after the Saints-Eagles game so that may have helped with fans.  This is a good start for the year for PBC on FS1 as it takes over full-time from the UFC.

UFC 232 Payout Perspective

January 2, 2019

Welcome to another edition of UFC Payout Perspective.  This time around we take a look at UFC 232 which took place at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Jones tops Gus, calls for DC

Inside the Octagon, Jon Jones showed why you may consider him one of the best of all-time.  He thoroughly dominated Alexander Gustafsson and ended the fight by imposing his will on Gus, taking his back and reigning punches down on him to force the stoppage.

However, its outside the Octagon controversy and drama which makes people wince when they hear Jon Jones and USADA.  Moreover, the outright falsehoods and mistruths spewed by the people in control of the promotion makes you want to take a shower to clean off the grime of their words.

Jones made it clear he wants Daniel Cormier and it seems like the most logical fight to make.  While Anthony Smith and Corey Anderson made their overtures to the Champ, it’s clear that Cormier would be the fight that would draw most interest.

Nunes stops Cyborg, becomes double Champ

Amanda Nunes has now stopped, Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg.  The latter two Nunes stopped in the first round in impressive fashion.  Perhaps the KO of Cyborg was more impressive considering she had not lost since 2005.  Nunes used her superior speed to stun her with some big shots.

Nunes is now the Women’s Featherweight and Bantamweight champions.  The question is how it will market Nunes.  A lot of online debate took place over why the UFC has not marketed Nunes in the past.  It’s clear that she is the best women’s UFC athlete of all time despite the mainstream notoriety of Ronda Rousey and the dominance of Cris Cyborg.  It seemed as though the demolition of Cyborg validated UFC’s greatness.  Cyborg was the once-feared women’s MMA fighter that was too big and skilled for most women.  But, Nunes’ speed, accuracy and punching power proved too much for Cyborg.

Attendance, gate and bonuses

Despite the short notice, the event was a sell out with 15,862 for a gate of over $2 million.  To be specific, the gate was $2,066,604.  The Fight of the Night went to Chad Mendes and Alexander Volkanovski.  The Performance Bonuses went to Ryan Hall and Amanda Nunes.

The event was moved earlier this week from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to The Forum in Inglewood, California for Jon Jones.

Notably, UFC 199 drew 15,587 for a live gate of $2,1687,675 in June 2016.  The fight featured last minute replacement Michael Bisping winning the middleweight title from Luke Rockhold.

Lance Pugmire indicated that his sources said that the attendance would be soft.  But that was not the case.  Let’s read these tweets as this occurred within 30 minutes.

Next tweet from Lance in which the UFC gets to him.

There was also this…

And then after the event…

Payouts

There were 10 fighters that grossed over six figures for UFC 232.  It was topped by the headliners splitting $1M a piece.  $500K for Gus and $500K for Jones for those that were unaware.

Of those clearing six figures, Andre Arlovski ($300,000), BJ Penn ($150K) and Carlos Condit ($115K) are well-paid fighters that aren’t living up to their pay scale at this time.  Chad Mendes, who just came back from a USADA ban, made $87K plus $50K for Fight of the Night.  But then stated he would retire.

Sponsorships

Perhaps the most noticeable for UFC 232 was a new “cryptocurrency sponsor” Litecoin.

Also, of note PokerStars continued its sponsorship and it appears it will be the official fight odds for the UFC.  Pari Match, an overseas book for the UFC, was also present in the Octagon.

There were a lot of sponsors in the Octagon for this end of the year event.  They included Monster and convenience store AM/PM sharing a post.  Another post included Pari Mutual, Toyo Tires, TriFecta Nutrition, Nemiroff Vodka, EA’s UFC3 video game, Modelo, Metro PCS, P3, Air Asia, Pari Match, Harley Davidson, Poker Stars, the movie “Happy Death Day 2U,” and Monster had the center.

It was announced that TriFecta Nutrition would be used in helping athletes with its nutrition.  P3 also appeared on the fighter shorts.

Nemiroff is spending a lot on its UFC sponsorship from the outset.

Cyborg signed an individual deal with Monster Energy.  Jon Jones also was sponsored by Monster Energy.

It was interesting to note that Amanda Nunes had to place tape over her headphones (likely Beats) because the UFC has Monster Headphones as its sponsor.

Ratings

The UFC Weigh-Ins drew 123,000 viewers on FS1.  The UFC Countdown Show on ESPN2 Friday drew 99,000 viewers.

The UFC Pre-fight show on FS1 drew 198,000 viewers according to Nielsen (via ShowBuzz)

The UFC Prelims scored just its second rating over 1 million when the UFC 232 Prelims drew 1.148 million viewers.

The UFC Post Fight Show on FS1 drew 227,000 viewers.

Odds and ends

$6 Million.  The amount that Dana White claims the UFC spent to switch the event from Las Vegas to Inglewood, California.  One has to wonder when they put a deposit on the building.  Or, does the UFC have a practice of securing other sites just in case.

As the UFC begins its partnership with ESPN, the Worldwide Leader aired the UFC 232 Countdown show on ESPN2.

With Carlos Condit taking on Michael Chiesa, I noticed that both fighters had cats on their right oblique.  Chiesa had some new ink with a Tiger and Condit has had his lion on his side for some time.

UFC announced a lot of original and new content for UFC Fight Pass in 2019.  This includes a gambling show which will be interesting to see how that goes.

Notably, Chuck Liddell was in attendance at UFC 232.  White had revealed Liddell’s pay in a Kevin Iole article earlier in the month, but I guess there is no hard feelings when you are comped tickets.

Anyone else notice that Conor McGregor’s Proper Twelve Whiskey was a sponsor and ran commercial during the PFL’s Championships on New Year’s Eve.

Cris Cyborg was a champion in defeat as you can see with the troll job of Ronda Rousey. She took the KO in stride and congratulated Nunes for her victory.

The UFC announced its events for the second quarter of 2019 and there’s a lot of them.  Most on ESPN+

There were over 2 million google searches on Saturday night for UFC 232 which was behind Alabama vs Oklahoma in North America.  Jon Jones vs. Gustafsson drew 200,000 searches the same night.  Cat Zingano had an additional 100,000 searches likely due to the toe poke she received.

Conclusion

It was a strong ending for the UFC on FS1 with over 1 million viewers and the google searches on Saturday looks as though there was above average interest in the event.  Whether it was due to Jon Jones’ issues or the title fights, UFC 232 probably made out well even though the last minute change of venue really hurt fans.  I would expect a buy rate of between 350-375K total buys including traditional and digital.

 

 

UFC 232 Prelims draw 1.148M on FS1

January 2, 2019

The UFC 232 PPV Prelims on FS1 drew 1.148 million viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The feature bout of the two-hour show featured Heavyweight Andre Arlovski and Walt Harris in a less-than-exciting matchup won by Harris.  The show also had Meagan Anderson and Cat Zingano which ended in a disappointing one round stoppage after Zingano was injured via toe to the eye.  BJ Penn opened the show as he was submitted by Ryan Hall.

The event drew 630,000 in the A18-49 demo and a 0.55 share according to ShowBuzz Daily.

It was the very last event on FS1 and it was the second highest-rated Prelims show in 2018 to UFC 229.

Payout Perspective:

This was the second Prelims that drew over 1 million viewers in 2018 which makes one believe that the UFC 232 PPV did well if you believe that many fans tune in to the FS1 broadcast and then are converted to purchase the PPV and/or had already purchased the PPV.  The show did have some interesting matchups but were not geared to the casual fight fan.  So, you might assume that many were intrigued by the Jon Jones situation.

UFC on Fox 31 Live+SD draws 1.828M, Prelims does 256K on FS1

December 20, 2018

UFC on Fox 31 drew 1.828 million viewers in its Live +SD viewing on Saturday according to Nielsen.  The event peaked with 2.402 million viewers during the overrun between 7:25-7:30pm PT.

According to Fox Sports, the streaming services telecast average minute audience of 16,000.

The prelims drew 256,000 viewers.  The Fox Sports streaming service drew an average minute audience of 5,784.

The post fight show drew 123,000 viewers which is up 7% from last December’s post-fight event.  The Prefight Show drew 61,000 viewers.

The main card featured Al Iaquinta’s win over Kevin Lee.

 

UFC on Fox Ratings
Overnights Live + SD
UFC on Fox 1 5,700,000
UFC on Fox 2 4,570,000
UFC on Fox 3 2,250,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 4 2,360,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 5 3,410,000 4,400,000
UFC on Fox 6 3,770,000 4,220,000
UFC on Fox 7 3,300,000 3,700,000
UFC on Fox 8 2,040,000 2,380,000
UFC on Fox 9 2,410,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 10 2,550,000 3,220,000
UFC on Fox 11 1,990,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 12 2,020,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 13 2,270,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 14 2,820,000 3,049,000
UFC on Fox 15 2,430,000 2,745,000
UFC on Fox 16 2,290,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 17 2,280,000 2,781,000
UFC on Fox 18 2,430,000 2,685,000
UFC on Fox 19 2,130,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 20 2,440,000 2,975,000
UFC on Fox 21 2,200,000 1,983,000
UFC on Fox 22 2,690,000 3,178,000
UFC on Fox 23 2,020,000 2,189,000
UFC on Fox 24 1,740,000 1,996,000
UFC on Fox 25 1,640,000 2,046,000
UFC on Fox 26 1,780,000 2,107,000
UFC on Fox 27 1,590,000 1,770,000
UFC on Fox 28 1,820,000 2,037,000
UFC on Fox 29 1,780,000 2,020,000
UFC on Fox 30 1,460,000 1,678,000
UFC on Fox 31 2,150,000 1,828,000

 

Payout Perspective:

The event was down from last December’s event and the fast-national number did not rise after including west coast viewership.  The possibility why the number was down was due to some preemptions in markets that Nielsen meters or other programming during the UFC on Fox time slot broadcast.  The show was close to the UFC on Fox 2018 average.  The prelims ratings were the lowest ever when airing on FS1.

UFC 231: Payout Perspective

December 12, 2018

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 231 taking place from Toronto, Ontario, Canada where Max Holloway reminded people he is still one of the greatest in the UFC today.

Holloway forces doctor stoppage

Returning to form, Max Holloway successfully defended his Featherweight title by stopping Brian Ortega after the fourth round.  Holloway exuded confidence throughout and made one of the top challengers to his title look slow.  Ortega showed his heart throughout but was beat up to the point that he could not see out of one of his eyes forcing the stoppage between rounds.

Holloway’s cardio, quickness and ability to make subtle changes to stay out of range is remarkable and its hard to see another current Featherweight taking his title.  Although it is not going to happen, it would be fun to see him get his rematch against Conor McGregor in 2019.   Ortega is still a force in this division but just wasn’t on Holloway’s level.  He’ll be back although I would suggest he take some time to recover.

Shevchenko wins 125-pound women’s title

Valentina Shevchenko just has Joanna Jedrzejczyk number.  Shevchenko dominated the former strawweight champion for a 5 round unanimous decision over Joanna.  The fight was not even close.  It was a masterpiece by Shevchenko.

Attendance, gate and bonuses

Toronto continues to be a city the UFC counts on for big attendance.  It sold out ScotiaBank Arena per UFC officials with over 19,000 fans and a $2.4 million gate.

Fight of the Night:  Ortega and Holloway

Performance Bonuses:  Holloway and Santos

All won $50K in addition to their reported purses.

Ratings

UFC 231 Pre-Fight Show on FS1:  211,000

UFC 231 Prelims: 786,000

UFC 231 Post-Fight Show: 136,000

It was a busy Saturday night of combat sports with HBO’s final boxing offering, Showtime’s replay of the Fury-Wilder fight and the Lomachenko fight on ESPN.  The ratings were up from last month’s PPV Prelims which may be a good sign.

Pre-Fight Hype

Max Holloay and Brian Ortega did a lot of media going into this fight.  There was the Holloway-Drake meetup at a Toronto Raptors game which MMA folks were giddy about.  Holloway also did a GQ video where he explained his tattoos.  The mag has done this in the past and it’s a pretty cool piece.  Also of interest, he was on the Alex Wong (Stevie LeBron) podcast early in the week and said that last spring’s unexpected pull out of April’s fight with Khabib was a surprise to him as UFC officials and Holloway’s team requested he pull out and seek more medical evaluation.

ESPN, the future home of the UFC, did a great long-form piece on Ortega and his background.

Sponsorships

Two interesting sponsors from Saturday night included PokerStars and online betting web site Pari Match had signage in the Octagon.  Look for this trend to continue and/or the UFC secures an “official” online betting site as a sponsor.

In the Octagon was Toyo Tires, Nemiroff Vodka, MetroPCS, Circle K, P3, Monster Energy, Motel 6 and Monster Energy had the center.

Also of note, Hooters was on the mat for UFC 231.

P3 were on the Reebok kits of the fighters.  According to multiple reports, the fighters are not directly receiving payment for wearing the logo.  Instead, P3 is paying the UFC.

UFC sponsor Bixler jewelry also appeared on the Embedded episodes giving Valentina some UFC 231 swag.

Odds and ends

It looked as though Max Holloway had a Reebok-branded bandana that stated his phrase, “It is what it is,” on it at the weigh-ins.

The Jimi Manuwa-Thiago Santos fight on the PPV was a heavy-hitting affair.

Worst “almost crime of the night”: Hakeem Dawodu just winning via split decision.

Dana White threw a tantrum when asked about Greg Hardy being on the same card as a domestic violence survivor.  The new media relations ploy is to act pissed when you don’t want to ask a question.

Also helpful for UFC media relations, it was discovered that a Bloody Elbow writer critical of the UFC is also into bestiality and kiddie porn.  This will lead to a new managerial technique of google searching writers that you don’t like.  If nothing is found, see Dana White’s tactics above.

Conclusion

The two championship fights seem to be the way the UFC hopes to stack its PPV cards where there is not a huge name to build around.  If Holloway can remain healthy, the UFC could probably do a standalone PPV with Holloway defending in Hawaii.  Not only would they sell out the venue, but get some decent PPV buys from it.  But, that would require the UFC to relax their ask from the state of Hawaii.  As for this event, 500K google searches and on a busy night of combat sports probably puts it around 275,000-300,000 PPV buys.  Perhaps above average for these types of non-“big card” fights.

UFC 231 Prelims draw 786,000 viewers on FS1

December 11, 2018

The UFC 231 Prelims on FS1 drew 786,000 viewers on Saturday night.  The event featured the strawweight matchup between Nina Ansaroff and Claudia Gadelha with Ansaroff pulling off the upset victory.

The event drew 394,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and a 0.46 share per ShowBuzz Daily.

The UFC 231 prefight show drew 211,000 viewers on FS1 and a 0.08 in the A18-49 demo for a 90-minute show.  The post-fight show drew 136,000 viewers and a 0.06 in the A18-49 demo for a 60 telecast.

Payout Perspective:

The Prelims ratings fared well considering the uncertainty of how the PPV would sell.  The pre-fight show as 90 minutes and still drew a respectable 211,000 viewers.  The PPV ran over 10pm PT so the post-fight show ran late.

ONE signs television deal with Turner Sports

December 11, 2018

ESPN reports that ONE Championship has signed a three-year broadcast deal with Turner Sports.  According to the report by Ariel Helwani, the deal for the Singapore-based company begins on January 1, 2019.

The company will have 24 events to air live on TNT beginning next year and on its digital platforms including B/R Live.  Financial details were not announced.

The first televised event is schedule for January 19, 2019 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The company had promised a North American deal earlier this year.  It has made some significant signings with former UFC fighters including Eddie Alvarez, Demetrious Johnson (technically via “trade”) and most recently Sage Northcutt.  It also signed Miesha Tate as a ONE exec.  With those moves, it seemed as though the company was ready for a big move.

Turner Sports had been in discussions for the UFC media rights and one point and it appears that the company sought to expand its live content.  B/R Live most recently aired the Phil Mickelson-Tiger Woods one on one golf round the Friday after Thanksgiving.  However, the attempt to market it on PPV was a bust with technical glitches causing the match to be aired for free and refunding those that paid $19.99 to watch.

Payout Perspective:

This is an interesting venture for Turner Sports as TNT has a much broader base than Fox Sports or Paramount.  As of this past September, TNT is received in approximately 89.573 million homes.  In comparison, Fox Sports 1, where the UFC currently resides is in 83,290 million homes.  Paramount Network, home of Bellator, is seen in 80,240 million homes.  NBC Sports Network, home of the PFL, is in 83,404 homes. Notably, ESPN, the future home of the UFC, came in at 85,988 million.

 

In my opinion, the signing of ONE Championship is more for the B/R Live digital content than it is for TNT.  The company is trying to expand its digital reach and signing a deal with ONE Championship gets it into the sport.  Aside from its anchor sports of NBA and golf, TNT airs esports on Friday night to steady, but not outstanding ratings.  Yet, it maintained a viewership base of younger viewers.  This will be an interesting signing and we will see if the casual viewer will acclimate to ONE.

UFC Fight Night 142 draws 702,000 viewers, prelims 471,000

December 4, 2018

UFC Fight Night 142 from Adelaide, Australia drew 702,000 on Saturday night according to Nielsen.  The prelims drew 471,000 viewers.

The main card featured Junior dos Santos as he defeated local favorite Tai Tuivasa.  The former UFC heavyweight champion stopped the previously undefeated Tuivasa in the second round.  The main card drew 396,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo per ShowBuzz Daily.

The prelims featured Alexey Kunchenko as he defeated Yushin Okami via unanimous decision.  The event drew 210,000 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are good considering that there was a lot of combat sports on Saturday including the big Fury-Wilder fight, Bellator and Showtime Boxing.  Considering that this card was on the second of a back-to-back UFC telecast, the ratings are solid.

TUF Finale 28 main card draws 399,000 viewers on FS1

December 3, 2018

The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale drew 399,000 viewers on FS1 Friday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The prelims which preceded the event drew 353,000 viewers.

The main card saw Kamaru Usman defeat Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision.  There was a slight overrun for the event.  In addition, two TUF champions were crowned in Juan Espino and Macy Chiasson.

The TUF 28 post-fight show on FS1 drew 139,000 at 1:07am ET on FS1.

In the final bout of the prelims, Kevin Aguilar defeated Rick Glenn by unanimous decision.

Payout Perspective:

The finale drew over 100,000 less viewers last year for the main card.  It fell off only slightly from the prelims.  The ratings may be due to a heavy-sports Friday night as well as the unfortunate slow-demise of this series.  While there were other interesting fights the show, it looks like fight fans were not interested in back-to-back UFC cards.

TUF 28 Episode 11 draws 159,000 viewers

November 26, 2018

The penultimate episode of TUF 28 drew 159,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving episode featured the final Heavyweight fight of the house as Juan Francisco Espino Dieppa defeated Maurice Greene via submission.  Espino will now face Justin Frazier a the TUF Finale on November 30th.  The final fight of the season will be Leah Letson taking on Macy Chiasson.

The episode also featured the team challenge which was a 5K race between Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum.

TUF 28
Live + SD
Episode 1 186,000
Episode 2 195,000
Episode 3 183,000
Episode 4 205,000
Episode 5 174,000
Episode 6 173,000
Episode 7 128,000
Episode 8 147,000
Episode 9 119,000
Episode 10 152,000
Episode 11 159,000

Payout Perspective:

The season average rests at 166,000 viewers although DVR ratings prop up the ratings for the TUF season.  The team challenge is usually a highlight of the season for me but this time around it just seemed like an afterthought running around a track.  One thing that is interesting is noting the perceived lack of cardio on the part of Gastelum for not being able to run 3.1 miles.  While it looked to be a hot day in Vegas, one hopes Gastelum is working on his cardio leading up to the two fighting.

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