April 11, 2017
The UFC 210 Prelims drew 723,000 viewers on FS1 Saturday night according to Sports TV Ratings.
The featured fight of the prelims saw Myles Jury returned to win via TKO over Mike de la Torre. The event drew 357,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.
In other shoulder programming surrounding the UFC 210 PPV, the prefight show drew 268,000 viewers. The show was only 17 minutes long due to the MLB overrun. It drew 101,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo. The beginning of the prefight show (4:00pm-4:52pm PT) was shown on FS2 where it drew 42,000 and 20,000 in A18-49. Also, the post-fight show on FS1 drew 160,000 viewers and 80,000 in A18-49. The show lasted from 10:13pm-11:13pm PT.
The ratings are the lowest of the year. Looking back, they are the lowest since October for UFC 204 Prelims. While Prelims are not always an indicator of PPV success, it is hard not to think that this event was one for hardcore fans and those who were missing MMA.
April 10, 2017
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time around we take a look at UFC 210 in Buffalo, New York
Cormier “makes” weight, retires Johnson
Daniel Cormier lost 1.2 pounds in less than 5 minutes at the weigh-ins and made weight after missing on the first attempt. Despite no one really addressing this marvel, Cormier making weight ensured a championship match in which he dispatched Anthony “Rumble” Johnson in 2 rounds.
Instead of using his strength of stand-up and striking, Johnson attempted to take down and grapple the far superior wrestler in Cormier. He was not listening to his corner and when Johnson was faced with some adversity, he tapped out.
Johnson promptly retired after the match stating that he had made a commitment to another job. At 33, Johnson leaves the sport at the peak of his MMA career. But, one has to wonder how invested he was in this fight if he knew that he was going to retire no matter what after it.
For Cormier, he went professional wrestler-mode in his post-fight interview in the Octagon as he went after Jimi Manuwa and Jon Jones. While it appears, he is embracing the booing that is happening, he still has Jon Jones in his head.
With Cormier having to nurse a broken nose and getting married in May, it appears that a showdown with Jones will not happen in July at International Fight Week but maybe August at its earliest.
Mousasi defeats Weidman on Knee
Someone needs to explain the rules to me again. Gegard Mousasi defeated Chris Weidman after it was determined that a knee was legal despite the former UFC middleweight’s attempt to put both hands down to become a grounded opponent. If you are a grounded opponent, you cannot be kneed. The doctor at ringside determined that Weidman could not continue. Weidman is appealing the decision, but if it stands this makes 3 losses in a row for Weidman as it seems the once next big thing is at a crossroads in his career.
Weidman is still a name and you can envision him headlining the UFC card in Long Island this July but you have to wonder where will he be in the UFC middleweight hierarchy. He’s not going to be released. But, will he be a name for a card or an actual contender for the middleweight title.
Mousasi has another impressive name on his win resume and should be moving toward a title shot against Michael Bisping.
UFC 210 was announced as a sellout at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York. The event set a sporting event record for the venue with 17,110 for a gate or $2 million. Certainly, the economic impact to the area is one of the reasons why businesses wanted to legalize MMA in the state.
Bonuses went to Gregor Gillespie, Charles Oliveira, Shane Burgos and Charles Rosa. Gillepsie and Oliveira drew Performance bonuses while Burgos and Rosa drew the Fight of the Night. All received $50,000 bonuses.
Certainly, Cormier or Cynthia Calvillo could have earned the Performance bonus too.
Promotion of the Fight
It was the first major PPV in upstate New York since UFC 7 and the city of Buffalo honored the UFC for coming. Despite being a New England Patriots fan Dana White posed with some Buffalo Bills. The Bills were all over UFC 210.
— UFC (@ufc) April 7, 2017
The local news did a writeup on White.
The UFC sent direct messages (DMs) on twitter to those that follow its twitter feed about UFC 210. To some, it also asked for people to RTs.
The Embedded series followed Chris Weidman, Gegard Mousasi, Daniel Cormier, Anthony Johnson for most of the series. It also briefly looked at Cynthia Calvillo and Pearl Gonzalez. Notably, there was no looks at Cormier’s weight-cut and his issues. MMA Fighting did memorialize the weight-cut for Weidman.
Also of interest, that Daniel Cormier was wearing a pair of Air Jordans on an episode of Embedded this time around. As we know, the UFC is sponsored by Reebok.
The usual sponsors were in the octagon including Harley Davidson, Reebok, Budweiser, 7-11, Toyo Tires, Metro PCS, UFC Fight Pass and Monster Energy had the center of the octagon. There were no other
Chris Weidman and Daniel Cormier both had Monster Energy patches on their fight kits.
Odds and ends
The Pearl Gonzalez story drew over 100,000 google searches on Friday after she was initially told she could not fight due to her breast implants. However, after the UFC spoke with the athletic commission and got in contact with her doctor, she was given the go ahead to fight. Thus, for White to chastise media on FS1 mischaracterizes the black letter rule which was due to her breast implants, Gonzalez could not fight. His lashing out at the media seems to be a reflection of how sensitive he is about criticism.
Maybe this is too much conspiracy theory but I wonder if the reason NASCAR denied having a partnership with Bellator was due to the fact it was featured on the UFC 210 Countdown this past week. The episode shows Anthony Johnson attending a NASCAR event. At the same event, we also see Donald Cerrone.
Patrick Cote’s retirement was touching. Unfortunately, it did not end in a win like Mark Munoz or Urijah Faber but I thought the taking off the gloves and the UFC allowing him to talk despite being the loser was nice. Certainly, Cote’s retirement was not too surprising.
On the other end, everyone was stunned with Anthony Johnson’s retirement. It’s better to leave early than to stick around too long so I think this may be best for Johnson if he no longer has his heart in the game. Perhaps that explains why Johnson seemed to give up in the second round.
Urijah Faber into the UFC Hall of Fame this year was a no-brainer.
UFC 210 Countdown on FS1 Sunday night drew 99,000 viewers per Sports TV Ratings.
The Prelims on Saturday started on FS2 due to the Yankees-Indians game going long on Fs1.
Try leaning over on something while weighing yourself on a scale and you will have performed the “towel trick.”
There were over 500,000 google searches for UFC 210 on Saturday night.
I would not expect this PPV to draw more than 300,000 buys. Daniel Cormier-Anthony Johnson is not a fight that would draw a casual viewer despite being for a title. Although, Mousasi-Weidman is a nice co-main for hardcore fans, it would not draw someone either. We did have lull of weekends without UFC action so some might be wanting to see some fights. Thus, the PPV buy rate probably falls into the realm of the hardcore base plus some other scattered fans hungry for MMA action.
October 11, 2016
The UFC 204 Prelims drew 678,000 viewers on FS1 on Saturday night per Sports TV Ratings. It is the lowest rated FS1 PPV Prelims thus far this year.
The event, which was held in Manchester, England featured Brad Pickett and Iuri Alcantara in the final event of the FS1 Prelims. Alcantara won via submission. The event also was featured at the end of the PPV telecast.
The event also scored 368,000 viewers in the Adult 18-49 demo.
*Note that in the above chart UFC 201 aired on FS2 and not FS1.
The PPV prefight show which aired prior to the prelims on FS1 drew 277,000 viewers and 114,000 in the Adult 18-49 demo. The post-fight show which aired on FS2 from 12:25am-2:00am drew 37,000 viewers and 16,000 in the Adult 18-49 demo.
The viewership was down which may be due in part to college football and the card. It is a decrease from the other prelims which have averaged over 1M viewers (minus 201 and thanks to some big cards this year). FS1 had bundled the prelims along with college football in its ads leading up to Saturday. However, it appears that a lot of the casual viewers watched college games.
September 13, 2016
The UFC 203 Prelims on FS1 this past Saturday drew 870,000 viewers according to Nielsen.
The event is up 31% from last Septembers prelim card on FS1. That card was headlined by Demetrious Johnson-John Dodson 2.
The UFC 203 Prelims featured Jessica Eye and Bethe Corriea in the last fight before the PPV. Corriea won via split decision.
The event drew 503,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo and peaked at 1.374M viewers in the last quarter of the show (9:45-10:00pm ET). Also notable is that the adult 18-49 demo was up 51% from last year’s UFC 191.
|UFC PPV Prelims|
870,000 is a decent number compared to the other prelim events this past year especially when you consider that it went up against a lot of college football and the event, aside from the debut of CM Punk, did not hold a lot of casual viewer interest unless you are into heavyweight fighters.
August 2, 2016
The UFC 201 Prelims on Fox Sports 2 drew 331,000 viewers according to Fox Sports PR. The ratings represent a 9% increase over the last full PPV prelims on FS2.
According to Fox Sports, it was the 6th most-watched show ever on FS2. You may recall, that the UFC 200 Prelims started on FS2 and for the 31 minutes on the network, it was the most-watched show ever on FS2. In the main fight of the prelims, Nikita Krylov stopped Ed Herman in a light heavyweight matchup.
Per Sports TV Ratings, the event drew 173,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo.
Modest numbers for this PPV lead-up which should tell you that it’s likely that the PPV buy rate is likely low (i.e. sub 300K buys) as well. These are pretty good numbers for FS2 programming, but we are used to comparing its ratings with what we the numbers we normally see on FS1.
July 31, 2016
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at UFC 201 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. The main event featured Robbie Lawler taking on Tyrone Woodley for the welterweight title.
The wait was worth it: Woodley new WW champ
Tyron Woodley waited almost a year and a half for his shot at the welterweight title. What was almost a nothing fight for the first minute exploded quickly as Woodley laid the hammer down on Lawler. It has to be one of the bigger upsets in some time. Then again, it’s yet another title change in the UFC.
So does Nick Diaz actually get the first shot at him? It’s the “money fight” and could happen sometime this fall. But, doesn’t Lawler deserve a rematch? While he got caught, I doubt this could happen in another fight. Lawler should still be near the top of the rankings for this division.
Karolina edges out Rose for chance at Joanna
Karolina Kowalkiewicz defeated Rose Namajunas in the fight of the night. We now get an interesting all-Polish for the women’s strawweight title. Hopefully, the UFC can build this fight for women’s MMA as well as its international expansion. Certainly, this fight with Joanna Champion should take place sometime this fall in Poland.
Attendance and gate
It’s not surprising that this event drew less than the prior two PPV events in Atlanta. The previous two: UFC 88 and UFC 145, had highly anticipated fights in Evans-Liddell and Evans-Jones. The UFC did draw a 1 million gate. Specifically, 10,240 for a gate of $1.07M.
Bonuses of $50K each went to Rose-Karolina, Woodley and Jake Ellenberger. Rose-Karolina earned the Fight of the Night while Woodley and Ellenberger scored the Performances of the Night for their respective stoppages.
The usual UFC sponsors were in the octagon including Bud Light, Toyo Tires, Harley Davidson, UFC Fight Pass, MetroPCS, and Monster had the middle of the octagon. QT, a software company, shared the post with Monster’s logo.
Also in the octagon was signage for UFC 202 August 20th for Diaz-McGregor.
EA UFC2 had the prep point.
Tyron Woodley wore Monster head phones to the ring. This is something you rarely see any more.
Notably, MusclePharm was all over the UFC Embeddeds. Matt Brown even drove a car with the MP logo on the side.
Odds and Ends
On Friday, UFC 201 drew 500,000 google searches which is corrected from our original report that it drew just 50,000 searches. Still, it did not feel like strong momentum going into this.
Another thing going against this card was that the UFC Prelims were moved to FS2.
Recall this was to be a double title night with Demetrious Johnson defending his title against Wilson Reis. Johnson was injured, so Reis was bumped off the main card. He did record a submission victory over Hector Sandoval.
Why do fighters still strip down at the televised weigh-ins if their official weigh-ins were earlier that morning? No need to be in your underwear in front of the crowd. You can just wear your fight shorts.
It was interesting that Pat Barry, Rose Namajunas’ boyfriend and coach was not a part of the UFC Embeddeds. Rose talked about this prior to the fight.
Speaking of the UFC Embeddeds, this is the first time that I thought most of them were bland. However, the one thing that I enjoyed (aside from the Woodley kids) was that we were introduced to Karolina Kowalkiewicz. The other thing we may have learned from the video series is that Coy Wire and Robbie Lawler look alike.
Ian McCall received his win bonus and show money after Justin Scoggins could not make weight. McCall remained an alternate on the card which may explain him receiving the win bonus. It’s the first time I’ve heard of a fighter receiving a win bonus when they did not fight.
Did Reebok get Erik Perez an official Lucha Libre mask?
Jake Ellenberger was going to be cut but was given one more chance. He won with a liverkick that stopped Matt Brown. It’s not his last fight after all.
This PPV felt like the “forgotten PPV” as it is sandwiched between UFC 200 and UFC 202 (featuring the rematch between Diaz-McGregor). Both of these PPVs will draw over 1 million buys while 201 will fall far short of that. While Robbie Lawler is an exciting fighter and produced some great battles. Does it equate to his PPV average of 333,000 buys? Perhaps. But with the UFC seemingly promoting UFC 202 prior to UFC 201 even happening (e.g., Nate Diaz on Conan as well as the promos starting earlier), the PPV likely drew 285,000-300,000 PPV buys.
July 12, 2016
The UFC 200 Prelims on FS1 drew one of its top ratings for the prelims on the network with 1.786M viewers Saturday night per Sports TV Ratings. The ratings drew well despite starting off on FS2 due to baseball.
The Prelims on FS1 aired from 5:31pm to 7:00pm PT due to the MLB game preceding it going to extra innings. The Prelims start on FS2 airing from 5:00pm to 5:32pm PT drew 582,000 viewers and 379,000 in the Adult 18-49 demo. The ratings made it the most-watched telecast in FS2 history in both metrics per Nielsen.
When on FS1, the Prelims drew 1.084 million viewers in the adult 18-49 demo making it the most-watched UFC Prelims telecast in this demo. The show peaked with 2,046,000 viewers in the last quarter hour (6:45pm-7:00pm PT)
The UFC 200 Prelims were highlighted by Juliana Pena defeating Cat Zingano in the last fight of the televised prelims.
In addition, the UFC Post-Fight Show on FS1 drew 244,000 viewers and 142,000 viewers in adult 18-49 demo. The UFC Pre-Fight Show which was switched to FS2 drew 99,000 viewers.
The big ratings for the prelim card is one of the indicators that many look at when guessing the buy rate. We note that the two other UFC Prelims scoring over 1.7M viewers featured Conor McGregor in the PPV main event. Both of those events drew over 1 million PPV buys. The viewership in the adult 18-49 demo should please the UFC’s new owners as it set a record on FS1 and FS2 in terms of viewership.
June 23, 2016
The Ultimate Fighter Wednesday night was pushed back and moved to FS2 due to the Copa America soccer match delay. On FS2 it just generated 43,000 viewers per Sports TV Ratings.
It aired from 11-12am on FS2 and drew 27,000 in the Adult 18-49 range.
This was probably not the best time for the sudden time change since the first semifinal was aired on Wednesday.
Not a lot that could be done for this episode since it was moved last minute. Even DVR viewership may not help since everyone recorded soccer instead of TUF.
June 21, 2016
UFC Fight Night 89 drew 964,000 viewers on FS1 Saturday night according to Sports TV Ratings. The overnight rating reflects a 22% increase from last month’s Memorial Day weekend Fight Night.
One should note that UFC Fight Night 89 was on a Saturday night. The last Fight Night held on a Saturday night was the converted UFC Fight Night 82 (which drew 1.3M viewers) held Super Bowl Weekend.
In the main event, Stephen Thompson defeated Rory MacDonald via unanimous decision. The main event ran over approximately 30 minutes from the estimated time. Also, the start of the main card was late due to US Open Golf.
|UFC Fight Night 2016|
|UFC Fight Night 81||2,288,000||1,767,000|
|UFC Fight Night 82||1,300,000||1,093,000|
|UFC Fight Night 83||983,000||829,000|
|UFC Fight Night 85||1,149,000||766,000|
|UFC Fight Night 86||781,000||443,000|
|UFC Fight Night 87||656,000||494,000|
|UFC Fight Night 88||757,000||469,000|
|UFC Fight Night 89||964,000||369,000|
The Prelims which aired on FS2 due to US Open Golf on FS1 drew 369,000 viewers and 145,000 in the adult 18-49 demo.
In addition, the post-fight show which aired from 1:35am-2:30am ET drew 306,000 and 165,000 in the adult 18-49 demo per Sports TV Ratings. The prefight show on FS2 drew 109,000 viewers and 42,000 in the adult 18-49 demo.
Good ratings for a Saturday night with golf, boxing and baseball. Also, the prelims posted good ratings considering it was moved to FS1. Its notable that the night before WSOF and Bellator had disappointing ratings. Although popular among MMA fans, MacDonald-Thompson isn’t a main event the casual viewer would tune in for so we might assume that people are gravitating to the UFC brand just because it is UFC.
March 8, 2016
The UFC 196 Prelims drew an average of 1.843 million viewers on FS1 on Saturday night per Sports TV Ratings. It was the second-highest prelims on FS1 since December’s UFC 194.
In the last fight of the prelims on FS1, Siya Bahadurzada submitted Brandon Thatch. The event aired from 8-10pm ET and preceded the PPV. Notably, it drew 1.074M viewers in the A18-49 demo.
It was the second highest-rated prelims on FS1 to UFC 194 this past December which drew 1.9M viewers.
In addition, the pre-fight show (6:48pm-8:00pm ET) on FS1 drew 767,000 viewers. According to Sports TV Ratings, the UFC Prelims were the second-highest rated sports cable programming on Saturday night to the UNC-Duke game on ESPN (3.174 viewers from 6:30pm-8:37pm ET). Coming in third was the NASCAR XFINITY Series on FS1 which preceded the pre-fight show.
Other ratings from the UFC 196 weekend:
The live weigh-ins on Friday which aired on FS2 drew 145,000 viewers. The airing on FS2 was due to NASCAR programming on FS1. The programming that aired at the same time as the UFC weigh-ins on FS2 drew 460,000 viewers.
A replay of the weigh-ins on FS1 later that night (10-11pm ET) drew 358,000 viewers. The UFC Countdown show which preceded (9-10pm ET) the delayed weigh-ins on FS1 drew 320,000 viewers.
The post-fight show on FS1 drew 377,000 viewers despite the fact it started at 1:15 am ET.
The ratings reflect the Conor McGregor effect as there was a lot of buzz for this fight despite the change of opponents. If we are to gather anything from the viewership numbers, it’s that the PPV buy rate should be huge. The pre-fight show also drew a huge rating which means that FS1 had a very big day in terms of viewership.