UFC on Fox 28 draws 1.82M viewers in overnight ratings

February 25, 2018

UFC on Fox 28 drew 1.8 million viewers on Fox Saturday night’s fast overnight ratings.  Despite stiff competition from the NBA and the Olympics the event was able to stave off its worst ratings since being shown on the network.

The event drew 1.82 million viewers, a 0.6 rating in the A18-49 demo and a 3 share according to Television By Numbers.  The ratings do no include the overrun into the 8pm PT hour.

The telecast featured Jeremy Stephens taking on Josh Emmett in a featherweight matchup.  Stephens KO’d Emmett to earn the victory.

The UFC on Fox went up against the Winter Olympics on NBC, the NBA on ABC and a rerun of Big Brother on CBS in the first hour and a 48-Hours rerun in the second.  Both replays on CBS outdid the two hours of MMA on Fox.

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

Payout Perspective:

The low ratings were expected.  If there is any solace is that it improved on last month’s dismal UFC on Fox ratings.  It also improved from PBC on Fox ratings last week.  Up against the Olympics which drew over 9 million viewers and NBA basketball chipped away at any sort of casual viewership.

UFC 221 Prelims on FS1 draw 697,000 viewers

February 13, 2018

The UFC 221 on FS1 drew 697,000 viewers Saturday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The telecast featured Dong Hyun Kim earned a split decision over Damien Brown.

Also on the telecast, Israel Adesanya stopped Rob Wilkinson, Alex Volkanovski stopped Jeremy Kennedy and Justin Formiga submitted Ben Nguyen.

The two-hour telecast drew 0.21 in the A18-49 demo.

Also, the post-fight show on FS1 drew 188,000 viewers.  The 52-minute wrapup show which started a little after 1:00 am on the east coast drew 0.08 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

Predictably, the event drew lower than UFC 220 last month.  This is likely due to the Olympics as well as the less-than-stellar hype for this PPV.  This ratings may mean that the PPV buys did not do well domestically despite the local excitement for the event in Perth.

UFC Fight Night 125 draws 839,000 on FS1; Prelims on FS2 361,000

February 6, 2018

UFC Fight Night 125 on FS1 drew 839,000 viewers on Saturday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The Prelims, which aired on FS2, drew 361,000 viewers.

The main card was highlighted by Lyoto Machida defeating Eryk Anders via split decision in the main event.  The prelims feature bout saw Sergio Moraes defeat Tim Means via split decision.

The post-fight wrap-up show on FS1 drew 231,000 viewers and 0.09 in the A18-49 demo from 10:26pm-11:26 pm PT

The Prelims rating on FS2 improved over this past October’s UFC Fight Night 119 prelims when it was also pre-empted on FS1.  Notably, that post-fight show drew 265,000 on FS1.

Payout Perspective:

The main card ratings improve upon October’s UFC card in Brazil which drew just 558,000 viewers for Machida against Derek Brunson.  The card went up against the NBA on ABC and boxing on ESPN.  Good ratings for the Prelims as well for it being on FS2 due to college basketball.

UFC 220: Payout Perspective

January 22, 2018

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time, we take a look at UFC 220 taking place at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Miocic handles Ngannou

Stipe Miocic defeated Francis Ngannou via unanimous decision in what was an easy win for the defending champion.  Despite Ngannou’s punching power, he did not have any cardio or any type of grappling acumen to defend himself against Miocic.  This is confounding since this was the obvious test for the challenger since most of his fights are standing up.  Ngannou had no defense to the ground game by Miocic and was visibly exhausted most of the fight.

Truly a disappointing showing for Ngannou who was thought to be ready for his shot.  Obviously, he is a one-dimensional fighter at this point.  The good news is that he is still a very good one-dimensional fighter.  He just needs to extend his grasp of MMA and more cardio.

For Miocic, it truly was a very good game plan.  Even when he was not doing anything to Ngannou, he was leaning on him getting him tired.

Dana White indicated that a Daniel Cormier-Miocic fight would be a good matchup although DC confirmed that he would like to see his stablemate, Cain Velasquez get a shot by the end of the year.

For Ngannou?  Derrick Lewis, a guy who has had his own trouble with cardio was trolling the man from Cameroon last night and that might be a fun fight to see so long as it lasts just one round.

Cormier outclasses Volkan

Daniel Cormier proved that there are different levels of UFC fighter as he soundly handled Vokan Oezdimir and stopped him in the second round.  Cormier, still haunted by the ghosts of Jon Jones, gave a post-fight promo talking about getting his championship back.  Regardless of how much he tucks in his shirt to his pants and has a dad bod, he is still one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.  As he says, it’s not easy going against him.

Attendance, Gate and Bonuses

Boston fans came out for UFC 220 as the event was a sellout or close to it with the most fans-ever attending a UFC event at the TD Garden.  There were 16,015 fans in attendance with a gate of $2.45 million.  The gate was slightly less than UFC 118’s $2.8 million which had a main event of Edgar-Penn II.

The demand was down on the secondary market with the median price for tickets falling as of this past Thursday from $384 per ticket to $368 per ticket.  The get-in price on the secondary market was $136.  Ticketmaster had seats available although they were close to a sell out as of Friday.

The bonuses went to Cormier, Abdul Razak Alhassan, Calvin Kattar and Shane Burgos.  Each earned $50,000.  Alhassan and Cormier earned the Performance bonuses while Kattar and Burgos drew Fight of the Night.

Promotion of the Fight

This felt like a big event for the UFC as it tried to kick off 2018 on a high.  Embedded was front and center as the tool to promote the event via social media.  This time around, there were no sponsors attached to the event.  It did show a lot of the promotion (i.e., media obligations, ESPN interviews, appearances) in addition to the training the main camps endured.

One of the more unique opportunities was Daniel Cormier being interviewed for Complex Magazine regarding his shoe game.  As someone that is somewhat of a sneakerhead, this was a good way to tie in Cormier with a personal interest with the underlying goal of promoting UFC 220.

Sponsorships

It was the first time that Modelo was a part of a UFC PPV.  The beer maker took over for Bud Light as the “Official Beer” of the UFC.  It was front and center during the UFC Prelims as the studio shots had the logo prominently displayed.  It was also on the canvas and Octagon posts.

BodyArmor also made its first appearance on a UFC PPV with the stools, drinks and towels having the logo.

Although no announcement has yet been made, Wish Shopping may be the next sponsor to fall in line with the UFC.  The company, which features online shopping, was one of the sponsors for The Money Fight this past August.  It also sponsors the Los Angeles Lakers.  During the PPV, it sponsored the Fighter Descriptions.

Gruntstyle.com, MetroPCS, Body Armor, Toyo Tires, Performance Inspired, Modelo, EA’s UFC 3, Monster Energy had the center of the Octagon.  7-11 shared an Octagon post with Monster Energy.   The upcoming video game also had the fighter prep point.

MetroPCS offered its Periscope analysis during the event with Forrest Griffin, Demetrious Johnson, Tyron Woodley and Cody Garbrandt.

Performance Inspired also sponsored the UFC bonus announcements.

EA UFC3 offered up the video game versions of the main event participants.

Odds and Ends

As most know, the event went up against Bellator 192 on the reboot of SpikeTV now known as The Paramount Network.

Francis Ngannou, a native of Cameroon, had some choice words for the President.  I also wrote about it here.

The weirdest news out of this week was the internet feud between Daniel Cormier and professional wrestlers, The Young Bucks.  The two went back and forth before third parties decided to be jerks and both sides decided for cooler heads to prevail.

There were over 1 million google searches for UFC 220 on Saturday.  In comparison Bellator 192 had over 200,000.

UFC 220 was $5 more ($64.99) than PPVs last year.  If you wanted the 4K version it cost $74.99.

Luke Rockhold, a training partner of Cormier, trained in Florida with Volkan which caused somewhat of a stir but for the fact Rockhold immediately dispelled a myth of a fissure between himself and DC.

Conclusion

The google searches and promotion of the event leads me to believe that we should see a better than normal buy rate for this event.  While UFC 219’s mid-300s was a success despite the consensus feel that it was not, look for UFC 220 to do slightly better.  Perhaps the 350-375K range.

UFC Fight Night St. Louis draws 1.285 million viewers; prelims 1.079 million

January 17, 2018

UFC Fight Night St. Louis drew 1.285 million viewers on FS1 Sunday per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The prelims drew 1.079 million viewers on FS1.

The event surpassed last year’s event which took place on the same Sunday of the MLK Holiday weekend in January.  The event, which featured BJ Penn-Yair Rodriguez drew slightly over 1 million viewers and 824,000 for the prelims.

The event featured Jeremy Stephens taking on Doo Ho Choi.  Stephens stopped Choi in the second round for the win.  On the prelim card, James Krause defeated Alex White via unanimous decision.

According to ShowBuzz Daily, the main card drew 0.48 in the A18-49 demo.  The prelims drew 0.38 in the A18-49 demo.

In addition, the post-fight show drew 342,000 viewers and 0.14 viewers in the A18-49 demo.  The pre-fight show drew 147,000 viewers and 0.06 in the A18-49 demo.  The prelims on Fox Deportes drew 104,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are a good sign for the company as the card on its face was underwhelming but still drew 1.28 million viewers for the main card and over 1 million for the prelims.  It could be that people were looking for something to watch and there was not a great alternative.  Still, the ratings are promising moving into the new year.

2017: The year in boxing

January 6, 2018

2017 was a great year for boxing which saw some great fights and the spectacle that was Mayweather-McGregor.

The year started off with the talk about Mayweather-McGregor as the UFC’s lightweight champion stirred the pot by going on a rant on Instagram where he wrote “F*** the UFC.”  Dana White warned that if Conor went on without the UFC it would be an “epic fall.”

January also saw Al Haymon get a court victory with a dismissal of Golden Boy’s Antitrust lawsuit.  In a ruling which did not include oral argument, the Judge determined that Golden Boy did not come fort with genuine issues of fact to support its claims.  Most importantly, and a word of caution for the Plaintiffs in the UFC Antitrust lawsuit, the Judge reiterated that the antitrust laws protect competition, not competitors.

Although Golden Boy suffered the loss in court, it inked a deal with ESPN with 42 fights airing on ESPN starting in March 2017.  As the prevailing party, they requested legal costs in the amount nearing $35,0000.  Golden Boy appealed the dismissal but it appears that the sides resolved the case as the appeal was dismissed by agreement of the parties.

The Deontay Wilder-Alexander Povetkin/World of Boxing lawsuit went to trial in February and it did not take long for a jury to decide that Povetkin took Meldonium after January 1, 2016.  However, the case continues with the parties litigating the other claims as well as the issue who receives the millions of dollars that has been placed in escrow.

Wilder was also sued by rival Dominic Breazeale for a hotel melee.  The case was thrown out as the episode happened in Alabama but Breazeale sued in California.

Showtime Boxing had the highest rating of 2017 with Adrian Broner taking on Adrian Granados drawing 779,000 viewers.  The fight also aired on Twitter as the service continued to expand its offering of streamingClaressa Shields became the first female boxer to headline an event on premium network television. In March.

The GGG-Daniel Jacobs PPV drew between 130-150K PPV buys.  GGG’s next PPV appearance against Canelo would draw much higher as the draw drew 1.2 million buys.  The fight also had a higher price tag than usual:  $79.99 HD.  A rematch for May 2018 seems imminent.

March saw the second highest-rating for network viewership as Keith Thurman faced Danny Garcia in the battle of unbeatens on CBS.  The fight drew 5.1 million viewers while the overall telecast drew 2.7 million viewers.

After going through a lot of money, the viability of the PBC obtaining a media rights deal was brought into question.  Its deal with Spike TV ended but the organization found a home on FS1.

In 2017, it seemed as those everyone applied for a boxing license:  Conor, Nate Diaz, Cyborg…

Anthony Joshua faced Vladimir Klitschko in one of the biggest fights of the year.  The event aired live on Showtime and tape delay on HBO.

May’s Canelo Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. PPV drew 1.3 million buys and its replay on HBO drew 769,000 viewers.

In May, we took a look at where was Boxing’s next PPV star.  Aside from Canelo Alvarez, there are several contenders to be the next star on PPV including Anthony Joshua.

In June, The Money Fight was announced.

Also in June, Top Rank announced that it had a deal with ESPN to air fights with the first one being Manny Pacquiao fighting Jeff Horn in Australia on July 1st.  The debut earned big numbers as Pacquiao lost a controversial decision to Horn.

The Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev II PPV in June drew between 130-135K PPV buys.

July saw a 4-city tour to promote the Mayweather-McGregor bouts.  It was an ambitious tour that fans clamored to be a part.  It was announced that the PPV price would be $99.95 HD.

The Money Fight drew huge numbers and was a big financial success.  We wrote about it here.  The event had streaming issues on both UFC Fight Pass and Showtime platforms.  As you might expect, there were lawsuits which are still matriculating through the court system.

Despite the big event, HBO ran an event featuring Miguel Cotto and it did well considering as it drew 730,000 viewers.

Capitalizing on the publicity of The Money Fight, announced an ESPN deal which will include airing its fight library on an OTT service that will launch in 2018.

Austin Trout sued the WBO which included claims under the Ali Act.  The case was moved to federal court in Puerto Rico where the WBO is seeking to dismiss the case and move it to arbitration.  The case will be an interesting look as to whether the court will allow a claim under the Ali Act will go to arbitration.

In September, Magomed Abdusalamov settled with the state of New York for $22 million for injuries sustained in a fight in 2013.  Abdusalamov was left with a brain injury and paralysis due to improper conduct and lack of training by the New York State Athletic Commission.

A huge ESPN fight between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeux drew 1.73 million viewers.  The overall telecast drew 1.487 million viewers.

In December, Showtime announced Mayweather-McGregor drew 4.3 million domestic PPV buys.  This is off from the 6.7 million Dana White had stated.  After hearing of the announcement, White took issue with Showtime’s numbers.

One of the bigger stories to watch going into 2018 is the announcement by Dana White that he will be promoting boxing.  Zuffa Boxing, a t-shirt worn by White during The Money Fight press tour, was a hint that White was up to something.  White made it official late in the year.  He indicated that he was meeting with Floyd Mayweather.  Despite stating that he will never work with Showtime again, he said he would be willing work with other promoters with the exception of Bob Arum.

UFC 219 Prelims draw 914,000 viewers

January 3, 2018

The UFC 219 Prelims on FS1 drew 914,000 viewers Saturday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The prelims featured Khalil Rountree against Michal Oleksiejczuk with the Polish light heavyweight picking up the victory.

The event drew 0.32 in the A18-49 demo.  The prelims scored the 4th highest rating for 2017 out of 12 aired prelims.

Also of note, the prefight show on FS1 drew 209,000 viewers from 6:39pm to 8:00 pm ET and 0.08 in the A18-49 demo.  The post-fight show drew 119,000 viewers from 1:04am to 2:15am ET and 0.05 in the A18-49 demo.

The prelims drew 76,000 viewers on Fox Deportes.

Payout Perspective:

While it pales in comparison to last December’s UFC 207 which drew 1,511,000 viewers, the 914,000 viewers is a strong rating for a relatively uninspiring prelim card.  Notably, the prelims aired about the same time as the Orange Bowl on ESPN which drew over 11 million viewers.  We shall see if the viewership translated into PPV buys.

UFC 218 replay on FS1 Christmas Eve draws 357,000 viewers

December 27, 2017

The Christmas Eve replay of UFC 218 drew 357,000 viewers per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event featured the main card of the PPV event earlier this month.

Last year’s Christmas Eve replay on Fox drew astounding 4.72 million viewers.  This year, the special presentation aired on FS1 despite the fact that the NFL games on Sunday may have brought the replay similar ratings to last year.

However, the 90-minute presentation on FS1 drew 0.13 in the A18-49 demo in addition to the 357,000 viewers.  The telecast featured Max Holloway’s domination of Jose Aldo as well as Francis Ngannou’s KO of Alistair Overeem.

Payout Perspective:

Maybe it was because it was Sunday night and on FS1 that we saw a large decrease over last year’s surprising ratings for the December replay.  It would be nice to see this Christmas Eve replay to return to the Fox network although we have seen one of the worst years for the UFC on Fox in terms of ratings.

UFC 218 on FS1 Christmas Eve

December 24, 2017

UFC 218 will replay on Christmas Eve on FS1.  The main event featured Max Holloway successfully defending his Featherweight title against Jose Aldo.

The event also featured the brutal KO of Alistair Overeem by Heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou and Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje.

Last year, Fox replayed UFC 206 on Christmas Eve highlighting certain entertaining fights.  The results drew 4.7 million viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Perhaps due to NFL Football, Fox is not airing UFC 218 on the network.  We will see if the UFC can capitalize on last year’s Christmas Eve success.  I would think we might see a downtick from last year’s 4.7 million since its on FS1 but I would think you may see a nice viewership rating.

PBC on FS1 Friday night draws 276,000 viewers

December 18, 2017

PBC on FS1 Friday night drew 276,000 on Friday night according to Nielsen per ShowBuzz Daily.

The event featured the return of Jessie Vargas as he defeated Herrera via unanimous decision.  Prior to Friday night, Vargas last fought Manny Pacquiao in November 2016.  Notably, Vargas has a victory over Sadam Ali, the fighter that upset Miguel Cotto in his retirement match.

The PBC post-show on FS1 drew 217,000 viewers.

The telecast drew slightly better than last Friday’s PBC event on FS1 which drew 236,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Friday night could be the night for PBC on FS1.  The NBA on ESPN drew the top ratings in the time slot but boxing could be a nice alternatives for those wanting an alternative to hoops.

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