UFC on Fuel TV 7 attendance, gate and numbers

February 16, 2013

MMA Fighting reports the attendance, gate and bonuses for this afternoon’s UFC on Fuel TV 7. The event, held at the Wembley Arena in London, England,  drew 10,349 with a gate of $1.3 million.

The capacity of Wembley Arena is 12,500 although we do not know if the configuration of the arena had it at 12,500 for the event.

Bonuses for this afternoon were awarded with each receiving $50,000.

Fight of the Night: Tom Watson-Stanislav Nedkov
Submission of the Night:  Renan Barao
KO of the Night: Watson

Payout Perspective:

A Saturday afternoon of fights which picked up with Swanson-Poirer and Barao-McDonald.  James Ta Huna should receive some award for originality of entrance.  Watson doubled up in bonuses in his fight with Nedkov.  Barao executed a perfect head and arm triangle choke to tap McDonald.  Although the event drew under capacity, the attendance reflects the appeal the UFC has in other countries.

UFC on FX 7: 1,857,000 viewer average

January 23, 2013

MMA Fighting reports that UFC on FX 7 earned a record 1,857,000 million viewer average on Saturday night.  Additionally, the prelims on Fuel TV received a record 255,000 viewer average.

The 1.857 million average on FX was the highest average for a live MMA broadcast on the FX network.

Via MMA Fighting:

In the key demos, Saturday’s show did a 1.71 in Males 18-34 and 1.86 in Males 18-49….Also, for the first time in the history of FX, it won the entire night in Males 18-34, Males 18-49 and total viewers 18-49, beating not only every cable station but also the major networks. The FX broadcast did a 1.23 in persons 18-49, the most desired demographic by advertisers, which even beat two of the UFC on FOX shows last year. In comparison on Saturday night, FOX did a 0.9, CBS and ABC both did 0.8’s and NBC did a 0.5 in the same demo.

Payout Perspective:

Whether it was the Belfort-Bisping matchup and Michael Bisping’s quest to earn a shot at Anderson Silva, or whether it was the lack of competition on Saturday night, Saturday’s fights were a ratings success.  HBO did run a boxing card Saturday night but it was card for only the hardcore boxing fans.  I am pleasantly surprised with the ratings considering the lack of known fighters on the card. For whatever reason, overseas cards do not do too well. But, Saturday bucked a trend.

Fuel TV to become Fox Sports 2

January 22, 2013

The Sports Business Journal* reports that Fox is restructuring its channels as it plans to unveil two new sports networks later in 2013.  In addition, FX will no longer carry sports programming.

The news of a Fox Sports 1 was known for a while but it was not until Fox filed a trademark application for Fox Sports 2 this past November that a second network would be planned.  Fuel TV will be repackaged into the second Fox network while the Speed Channel will land on Fox Sports 1.

Similar to ESPN and ESPN2, the Fox Sports channels will share content with the larger events occurring on Fox Sports 1.  In comparison, the Speed Channel is distributed to 81 million homes while Fuel TV is available in 37 million homes.

The decision to include a second channel is based on the realization that it had acquired enough content for two channels.  Soccer and Fox’s FIFA World Cup rights in 2018 and 2022 seem to be the main driver.

*SBJ requires a subscription

Payout Perspective:

For all of the praises of sustained positive ratings for Fuel TV, the article points to the inability to grow Fuel as a reason to repackage the network. In 2012, Fuel TV  and Fox Soccer were two of the three lowest rated Nielsen-rated cable networks in prime time. Its Fox’s hope that converting Fuel to a network with broader programming will help drive distribution.

We will see what this means for the UFC.  It recently switch airing its televised prelims to FX from Fuel TV.  It appears that the restructuring will mean that prelims would land on one of the two new Fox Sports networks.  There has been no word on whether TUF would move to the Fox Sports network or remain on FX as it can be categorized as reality television.

The restructure could help the UFC in the long run but may hurt them in the short term.  Eliminating FX from the mix of networks to show the UFC hurts its opportunity to showcase its product to a broader audience.  Elimination of UFC Prelims and other live events (i.e., UFC on FX) would hurt its chances of appealing to a broader audience that may eventually purchase its PPVs. But, if the new Fox Sports networks are a success and can grow in distribution, the UFC can be an anchor in providing content for Fox.  

UFC Primetime for Rousey-Carmouche

January 6, 2013

MMA Junkie reports that the next UFC Primetime series will feature Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche in leadup to UFC 157.  The three part series will commence February 8th on Fuel TV.

Via MMA Junkie:

Following the Friday-night debuts (which also include Feb. 15 and Feb. 22), FX reairs “UFC Primetime: Rousey vs. Carmouche” the following Saturdays at 11 a.m. ET/PT and Sunday at 2 a.m. ET/PT.

UFCPoster157RondaRoseyCarmoucheHendersonMachida

Payout Perspective:

This move should not be surprising considering the amount of press Rousey has received upon entering the UFC.  I will be interested to see how the UFC will address the various storylines out of this series.  Call me old fashioned, but the backstory on why each chose to fight would be interesting.  While Rousey’s backstory has been told and retold, most have not heard of Carmouche.  We will also see how the UFC addresses Carmouche’s sexual orientation in the series.  Will it be glossed over or will the UFC dedicate some time to it

With the news that ticket sales have been sluggish, any promotion for UFC 157 is needed.

Top 10 of 2012: No. 7 the UFC-Fox relationship

December 28, 2012

MMA Payout’s No. 7 business story of 2012 is the first full year of the UFC-Fox relationship.  In late 2011, the UFC signed a 7 year deal with Fox leaving longtime network Spike TV.

While there was great anticipation for the UFC on Fox networks, the ratings have been less than anticipated.

Despite a huge rating for UFC on Fox 1, the next several UFC events on the big network failed to gain traction.  UFC on Fox 5 did rebound with stellar numbers with a 4.4 million viewer average and the main event spiking at 5.7 million viewers.  However, the numbers for UFC on Fox 2-4 showed a drop in viewership.  This could be due to lack of stars in its main event.  Certainly, UFC on Fox 5 was stacked with known fighters such (BJ Penn and Shogun Rua) and up an coming talent it could market for the future (Rory MacDonald, Alexander Gustaffson and Benson Henderson).

UFC on Fox 2 – 4.66M average, peak 6M

UFC on Fox 3 – 2.25M average, peak 2.9M

UFC on Fox 4 – 2.44M average, peak 3.3M

UFC on Fox 5 – 4.4M average, peak 5.7M

Fuel TV has been the benefactor of UFC programming as its audience has grown steadily since the UFC came on board with a UFC marathon last New Year’s Day.  The UFC has had live events on the networks as well as Prelims for FX and Fox events.  FX has had Prelims on its network prior to PPVs as well.

We have already chronicled the issues the TUF franchise has had in its transition to Fridays on FX.

Fox has worked in promoting the UFC with its other sports properties: NASCAR and the NFL.  Notably, Dana White played a homeless person in a skit on an NFL pregame show.  Also, Fox ran shoulder programming promoting the UFC’s network shows on NFL Sundays.

It will be interesting to see where the UFC-Fox partnership goes in 2013.  It appears that Fox will establish a new sports channel in which the Speed channel will be a part.  It’s likely that Fuel TV could be integrated into the new channel as well. This would definitely solidify the UFC-Fox relationship for years to come as the UFC would be a great source of content for the network.

UFC TV ratings from TUF 16 Finale and UFC on FX 6

December 20, 2012

MMA Junkie reports the ratings from this past weekends UFC events.  The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale was a pleasant surprise earning a 1.3 million viewer average on FX Saturday night.

Friday’s UFC on FX 6 from Australia received an average of 972,000 viewers while the prelims on Fuel received only 96,000 viewers. (via MMA Junkie).  Its down from the 1.1 million average from UFC on FX 5.  But, the prelims doubled from UFC on FX 5 from a 44,000 viewer average.

The prelims for the TUF 16 Finale received 104,000 viewers on Fuel TV.

Payout Perspective:

The TUF Finale ratings are good considering it went up against two live boxing events on HBO and Showtime as well as the Pacquiao-Marquez IV rerun on HBO.  The Saturday night time slot appears to be better than Friday based on the ratings.  Of course, Friday night fights were the TUF Finale for the Australian version of the show and lesser known fighters (on the prelim cards) for those in the U.S.  This, and the fact that the prelims were on in the afternoon on the west coast likely contributed to the poor number.

UFC on Fuel TV 6 ratings lowest ever for live event

November 13, 2012

MMA Fighting reports the ratings for UFC on Fuel TV 6 were lowest in company history with an average of 88,000 viewers.  However, the live event was shown in the early morning in the United States which may be the cause for the ratings.

A replay of the broadcast was shown 4pm PT/7pm ET which earned an average of 143,000 viewers.  In his article, Dave Meltzer notes that the late afternoon (on the West coast) replay was still a rather unique time slot.



Payout Perspective:

The ratings are not good (especially for a show featuring Rich Franklin) but nothing to be alarmed about considering the time slot of the card and its replay.  Meltzer compares this show to the UFC on Fuel TV 5 show from Nottingham, England.  In that case, the show went live 1pm PT/4pm ET and replayed at 10pm.  That show went 111,000 for the live show and 140,000 for the replay.

The ratings reflect the fact that the moving time slots for the international show do not do well when they are live.  However, I think the internet demands that the events are shown live and not tape-delayed.  Regardless, the international shows are more about creating the audience overseas (especially with Saturday’s show) than tracking the ratings.

UFC on Fuel TV 6: Attendance, gate and bonuses

November 10, 2012

UFC on Fuel TV 6’s bonuses were handed out this morning and were $40K each.  In addition, MMA Junkie reports attendance of 8,415 and a gate of $1.4 million for the UFC’s first appearance in China.

Notably, all of the matches went to a decision with the exception of the last 2 – which ended in submission and KO.  Thus, there were your two stoppage bonuses.

Via MMA Junkie:

Fight of the Night:  Danzig v. Gomi
KO of the Night:  Le
Submission of the Night:  Silva

Payout Perspective:

Le is appearing in the movie, “The Man with The Iron Fists” which was adorned on the front of his shorts in today’s fight against Franklin.  Very appropriate today considering his one punch KO of Franklin.  Silva provided the UFC with some good B-Roll after his head and arm triangle of Nedkov as he calmly walked over to the camera, gave the throat slash and “Shhh” go to sleep sign.  Awesome.

The event was held at the Cotai Arena at the Venetian Macau Resort Hotel off the mainland of China.  The attendance reflected a better attendance/gate than the last Fuel show in Nottingham, England but paled in comparison to UFC on Fuel 2 in Sweden if you are compare the international shows for Fuel.  

UFC 153: Payout Perspective

October 15, 2012

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective from the HSBC Arena in Rio di Janeiro Brazil.  In the main event, Anderson Silva met Stephan Bonnar in a 3 round fight at 205 pounds.

We describe the top three matches in Haiku (5-7-5).

Silva defeats Bonnar

Silva clowns in cage.

Big knee to gut of Bonnar

Greatest of all-time?

Big Nog submits Pee Wee

Dave hates BJJ

Arm bar may change Herman’s mind

Sub makes Spider cry

Fitch takes out Erick Silva

Jon Fitch needs money

Silva tries to choke Fitch out

Fitch beats on Silva

Attendance and Gate

MMA Junkie reported the attendance and gate announced at the post-fight press conference.  There were 16,844 fans for a gate of between $2.5 and $2.6 million.

In comparison, UFC 134, the first show in Brazil for Zuffa and the last time Anderson Silva appeared at home scored a $4 million gate with over 14,000 in attendance at the HSBC Arena.

Bonuses (UPDATED)

Bonuses (via MMA Junkie) were $70,000 and are as follows:

Fight of the Night:  Jon Fitch and Erick Silva

Submission of the Night:  Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

KO of the Night:  Rony Jason

Sponsors

It was a night of Brazilian sponsors taking the spotlight.  IntegralMedical, Manguhinos, Allfuz, Bony Acai and Gillette all were in the Octagon.  Also, RYU, Xyience and Bud Light all were in the Octagon.

“We Step Up” was the themed TapouT walkout shirt for Stephan Bonnar.  It also served as the overall theme for UFC 153 considering the amount of key fighters that stepped up to take matches.  FighterxFashion has more on who was wearing what.

MetroPCS (despite merger talks), Corn Nuts, the Marines and Assassin’s Creed were also sponsors during the broadcast.

Silva debuted the “Spider Knows” t-shirt at workouts as it was announced last month that he had secured a global sponsorship with Nike.   In addition, Nextel, Nike and  Burger King were Silva’s major sponsors.  Philips was missing from Silva’s sponsor stable this time around.

RYU sent out a press release indicating the apparel its fighter Jon Fitch was wearing.  This included a workout video from Fitch.  A very smart move to not only spotlight its fighter but it workout wear which consumers could purchase if they wanted.

Prestone, a sponsor seen mostly on TUF this season, was present during broadcast.

These eventsl will help the UFC attract more sponsors from the country.  With Anderson Silva garnering mainstream sponsors in Brazil, Zuffa can appeal to major companies in South America looking for sponsorship opportunities.

Promotion of UFC 153

This card looked in doubt with the injuries to Jose Aldo and Rampage Jackson.  Fortunately, this time around, Zuffa saved the card with Anderson Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera providing name recognition to the card.

The choice of Stephan Bonnar seemed like a concession for the Spider’s participation but a necessity.  Bonnar did his best but went down like many before him.

What’s interesting is the Forrest Griffin-Stephan Bonnar promos where the two are sitting at a table discussing how to beat Anderson Silva with Griffin going over his disastrous performance at UFC 101.  It was funny, no doubt, with the two calling up Chael Sonnen at the end.  This was the Fox influence on promoting the fight but did it diminish the fighters and the matchup?  If you recall, Griffin ran from the ring after one of the more embarrassing KOs ever.

Post-Fight Headlines

What’s next for Anderson Silva?

Even at 37, Anderson Silva is on top of his game.  Why not a Jon Jones superfight?  Silva seems more interested in a GSP superfight at a catchweight.  But what about his middleweight title?  Chris Weidman and Michael Bisping are chomping at the bit hoping for a shot at the Spider in 2013.  But, it may come down to what will get a better PPV buy and not what’s best for the division.

Is Jon Fitch back?

Fitch had received a bad rap for being a grinder (i.e., not exciting).  But he wanted to win Fight of the Night on Saturday and he went out and did it.  Fitch looked much different as he seemed more aggressive, active and mauled Silva.  Silva almost had Fitch with a RNC but could not complete it.   But Fitch pounded Silva from the mount for what seemed like half of the 3rd round for a Unanimous Decision.  This new fire is good for Fitch and whatever you think of his comments, his performance showed that he should still be on the list of fighters that can perform near the top of the card.

Odds and Ends

Three dramatic moments during Saturday’s PPV

1) Demian Maia choking (or neck cranking) the Horror Story so much that blood starting spewing from his face (or at least it looked that way).

2) Anderson Silva seen in the back crying, according to the broadcast, after he saw Big Nog sub Dave Herman.

3) And then, Nog coming back from the ring meeting Silva in the walkway to give him a hug.  Produced?  Maybe, but makes compelling tv.

-Suffering a broken arm in his last matchup, it was fitting that Big Nog ended Dave Herman’s night with an armbar. The crowd went nuts for Noguiera as it did when he beat Brendan Schaub the last time he was in front of the Brazil fans.

-Anderson Silva playing to the crowd seemed annoying to me but I understand that he was playing to his hometown crowd.  It’s still the showboating that got him in trouble with Dana White at UFC 112.  But, the finish absolved him of any scolding from White.

-If you watched the Fuel weigh-ins, how do you like the insets during weigh-ins on Fuel? It reminded me of VH-1’s pop-up video but it served its purpose of filling the silence while the fighters make their way to the scale while providing more info on the specific fight.

-Chris Camozzi created some good karma for himself as it was announced at the Fuel Weigh-Ins (via the aforementioned insets) that he was donating a portion of his purse to a Brazilian recreation center.  Camozzi defeated Luiz Cane.

-Does Nike start out all of its sponsored athletes with a “(Your Name Here) Knows” shirt and see how it sells before doing anything further?

Conclusion

This may not be a card where the buy rate reflects the success it had, especially with the locals.  A Bonnar-Silva card feeds into those wanting to see Anderson Silva as most purchased the PPV to see Silva and not the matchup.  Perhaps last month’s almost armbar of Jon Jones persuaded some thinking they might see Silva underestimate a game Bonnar?  But, the attendance and gate reflect the fact that fans in Brazil are Anderson Silva and Big Nog fans.

Stephens arrested this morning, will still fight tonight

October 5, 2012

MMA Fighting reports that Jeremy Stephens was arrested this morning on a Felony charge that has yet to be disclosed.  Despite the arrest, Stephens will fight his scheduled fight tonight as part of the undercard bout on FUEL.

Although no word has come out yet on the charges, Dana White confirmed to Ariel Helwani that he is still scheduled to fight.  He also sent out a tweet about Stephens.

Payout Perspective:

Another public relations issue for the UFC and one that appears to be serious considering the gravity of the charges.  The UFC is in a bind as to whether to cancel the fight or let Stephens fight.  This cannot be good for Stephens as I’m sure his mind may be somewhere else.  Conversely, maybe this makes Stephens  this much focused in his fight based on the problems.  It will be interesting to see how the broadcast team handles this matter and how White addresses this post-fight press conference.

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