UFC 227: Payout Perspective

August 7, 2018

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 227 taking place in Los Angeles at the Staples Center.  The show featured two championship fights with one title change.

Dillashaw retains title in stoppage of Garbrandt

T.J. Dillashaw successfully defended his UFC Bantamweight title over Cody Garbrandt with a first round stoppage of the former champion.  Dillashaw is now 2-0 over his former stable mate.

Cejudo wins split decision over Mighty Mouse to end Johnson’s reign

Henry Cejudo’s wrestling was the key in a split decision victory over Demetrious Johnson to win the UFC Flyweight title.  Cejudo’s several takedowns and ability to pin down Johnson likely earned him the narrow victory.  Johnson indicated that he suffered a broken book and knee injury during the fight.  Still, the former champ almost pulled out the victory.

Johnson’s loss is his first since October 2011.  He successfully defended the title 11 times prior to this defeat and has to be considered as one of the greatest title runs ever in the UFC.

Attendance and Gate

The event was a sellout at Staples Center with 17,794 in attendance for a gate of $2.85 million.

Bonuses

Dillashaw, Cejudo, Johnson and Renato Moicano earned the $50,000 bonuses.  Dillashaw and Moicano drew the Performance Bonuses while Cejudo and Johnson earned the Fight of the Night.

Payouts

Mighty Mouse and Dillashaw earned the most out of the purses disclosed by the California State Athletic Commission.  The payouts are here.

Reebok Payouts

Notably, Cub Swanson and Thiago Santos were the only fighters outside of the title fight participants to earn 5 figures.

T.J. Dillashaw: $40,000
Cody Garbrandt: $30,000
Henry Cejudo: $30,000
Demetrious Johnson: $40,000
Renato Moicano: $5,000
Cub Swanson: $20,000
J.J. Aldrich: $4,000
Polyana Viana: $3,500
Thiago “Marreta” Santos: $10,000
Kevin Holland: $3,500
Pedro Munhoz: $5,000
Brett Johns: $4,000
Ricky Simon: $3,500
Montel Jackson: $3,500
Ricardo Ramos: $3,500
Kyung Ho Kang: $5,000
Sheymon Moraes: $3,500
Matt Sayles: $3,500
Alex Perez: $3,500
Jose Torres: $3,500
Weili Zhang: $3,500
Danielle Taylor: $4,000
Marlon Vera: $5,000
Wuliji Buren: $3,500

Sponsorships

Van Heusen made its first appearance in the Octagon as an official sponsor of the UFC.  Stephen Thompson and T.J. Dillashaw star in an online commercial for the men’s brand which is launching a flexible casual line.  It had the fighter prep point.

Fallout 76, a multiplayer action video game sponsored the Embedded Series this time around.

It was announced that Trifecta Nutrition was the “Official Meal Delivery Partner of the UFC.”  The deal is set to be worth $10 million dollars.  Notably, Blue Apron, another company within the same space as Trifecta Nutrition is experiencing issues with its company as its second quarter earnings didn’t match up to analyst expectations.

In addition to Van Heusen and Trifecta Nutrition, Harley Davidson, Modelo, MetroPCS, Motel6.com, UFC Fight Pass, Toyo Tires, Monster Energy/Circle K and the movie Mile 22 which stars Ronda Rousey were in the Octagon.  Monster Energy had the center.

There seemed to be a concerted effort to promote the Reebok walkout shirts from the fighters.

Ratings

UFC 227 Prelims on FX: 717,000, 0.3 in the A18-49 demo (3rd highest in cable)

UFC 227 Pre Fight Show on FX:  306,000

UFC 226 Post-Fight Show on FS1:  122,000

Odds and Ends

Likely overshadowing this event was the news that Conor McGregor was returning to fight against Khabib Nurmogomedov in October.

While the story died down, there were old social media posts made by Garbrandt where he used racially insensitive language.  He was able to explain the posts away and it was seemed to be disregarded once fight night came around.  There was the news that was contemplating pulling out of the fight due to issues with his back but decided to go through with it due to financial reasons.  You have to feel for Garbrandt who has a little baby and is looking to buy a house, get insurance and all the other things with becoming a regular adult trying to start a family.  During a prefight media event, he revealed he went to Vegas to get epidural injections in his back.

There were over 500,000 google searches on Saturday for UFC 227 which is the norm for PPV buys in the 200K range.

Cub Swanson stated that he paid for $26,000 for tickets for the event.  The SoCal native lost via submission in the first round.

Garbrandt and Mike Tyson are friends if you watched the Embedded series.

The Prelims were shuffled to FX due to MLB on FS1.  It was also a busy night for combat sports as there was boxing on Fox and another on HBO.

Conclusion

Based on the google searches and the prelim ratings, this PPV likely drew around 250,000-275,000 PPV buys.  Outside of Conor McGregor, its hard to see a lighter weight division title fight drawing near 300,000 PPV buys nowadays.

UFC 227 Prelims draw 717K on FX

August 7, 2018

The UFC 227 Prelims which aired on FX Saturday drew 717,000 viewers.  It was the 3rd highest-rated show on cable Saturday night in the A18-49 demo with a 0.30 rating.

The prelims featured Pedro Munhoz and Brett Johns in an entertaining Bantamweight matchup with Munhoz winning by decision.

The telecast was pushed to FX due to MLB games on FS1.

Payout Perspective:

Not extremely high ratings for the FX show but it did draw the third-highest rating in A18-49 demo on Saturday night which may be something based on the viewership demo of FX than anything else.   Also, FX has more subscribers than FS1 so it is available to a broader audience.  It was the highest-rated PPV Prelim show since UFC 223 which may bode well for the PPV buys.

UFC 224 Prelims draw 574,000 viewers on FX

May 15, 2018

The UFC 224 Prelims on FX drew 574,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The Prelims were shifted to FX due to scheduling conflicts on both FS1 and FS2.

The telecast drew 0.21 in the A18-49 demo and 0.29 in the M18-49 demo.

The last time the UFC Prelims appeared on FX, it drew 653,000 viewers.  The Prelims for UFC 224 were highlighted by Cezar Ferreira’s submission of Karl Roberson.

The Prefight Show on FX drew 281,000 viewers and the Post-Fight Show on FS1 drew 218,000 viewers.  The Prefight show trended lower than the prior 3 PPVs while the Post-Fight show drew higher than the last 3.

Payout Perspective:

The Prelim ratings on FX are disappointing but on a night with a variety of combat sports (Bellator, ESPN Boxing and HBO BAD), the move to another channel may have confused some viewers.  Notably, the Post-Fight Show drew higher ratings once UFC programming returned to FS1.

UFC 216 Prelims draws 653,000 viewers on FX

October 10, 2017

The UFC 216 Prelims drew 653,000 viewers on FX Saturday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The event drew 0.24 in the A18-49 demo per ShowBuzz Daily.

The telecast featured the Fight of the Night with Bobby Green and Landon Vannata and the main feature saw Cody Stamann upset Tom Duquesnoy.

The prelims were switched to FX due to college football on FS1.  The prefight show on FX drew 324,000 viewers on FX and 0.12 in the A18-49 demo.  The abbreviated post-fight show on FS1 from 1:41am to 2:00am ET drew 221,000 viewers and 0.08 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

The last time the Prelims were on FX this year, it was UFC 211 when it drew 1,184,000 viewers.  The fights were interesting but with college football and MLB playoffs in full swing it appears that the prelims were low on the list of what to watch for Saturday night.

The Ratings Buffet for week ending August 4th

August 4, 2017

It was an active week for The Ratings Buffet as Saturday saw three live events and Mayweather replays on ESPN2 are starting to surface in anticipation of later this month.

Friday

Spike TV: Bellator: NYC Replay: 539,000, 600,000 (DVR +3)

FS1:  UFC 214 Weigh-Ins 8pm ET: 245,000, Replay at 10pm ET 142,000

Saturday

FXX: UFC 214 Pre-Fight Show: 7:00pm ET

FXX: UFC 214 Prelims 8:00pm ET 866,000 viewers (peak at 1,072,000)

FS1: UFC 214 Post-Fight Show, 1:00 am ET 267,000 viewers

NBCSN:  PFL Everett:  9:00pm-11:20pm ET 153,000 viewers

Showtime:  Broner-Garcia 881,000 viewers (404,000 A18-49)

Showtime:  Charlo-Heiland 598,000 viewers (213,000 A18-49)

Sunday

FS1:  PBC on FS1 (Ortiz-Corral)  7pm ET 262,000 viewers

Monday

USA:  Monday Night Raw  9:00pm ET 3.275M viewers

USA:  Monday Night Raw  8:00pm ET 3.194M viewers

USA:  Monday Night Raw  10:00pm ET 3.021M viewers

Tuesday

USA  Smackdown 8:00pm ET 2.569M viewers

ESPN2:  Top Rank Boxing  9:30pm ET  159,000 viewers

ESPN2  Top Rank Boxing  8:30pm ET  176,000 viewers

ESPN2  Top Rank Boxing 10:15pm ET  147,000 viewers

Wednesday

El Rey:  Lucha Underground 8pm ET 104,000 viewers, 9pm ET 58,000 viewers

ESPN2:  Top Rank Boxing Archives (Mayweather-Gatti) 9:30pm ET 232,000 viewers

ESPN2:  Top Rank Boxing Archives (Mayweather-Judah)  9:00pm ET 200,000 viewers

ESPN2:  Top Rank Boxing Archives (Mayweather-Corrales) 8:00pm ET 145,000 viewers

 

UFC 213 Prelims are the lowest this year

July 11, 2017

The UFC 213 Prelims on FS1 drew 657,000 viewers Saturday Night per Nielsen.  It’s the lowest-rated Prelims this year.

The feature fight for the Prelims was Travis Browne taking on Oleksiy Olynik with the Russian winning via rear naked choke.   Per Nielsen it drew 0.24 in the A18-49 demo.

The post-fight show 1:12am-2:12am ET  on FS1 drew 206,000 viewers while the pre-fight show 4pm-5pm ET scored 219,000.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are ominous for an event that usually draws well.  The last two Prelims for International Fight Week drew 1.7 million (UFC 200) and 847,000 (UFC 189) respectively.  UFC 200 drew over 1 million

UFC 211 Prelims draw 1.148M (UPDATED)

May 16, 2017

UPDATED:  The Prelims on FX peaked with 1.360,000 viewers during the last quarter hour of the show.  The UFC 211 Prelims on FX drew 1.184 million viewers according to ShowBuzz Daily.  It was the best showing for the PPV Prelims on FX and the best showing for a PPV prelims this year.

It drew 0.50 in the A18-49 demo per ShowBuzz Daily.  (UPDATED) Per Nielsen, the viewership equaled 643,000 viewers.  The Prelims this time around increased dramatically in the A18-49 demo.  The fight card on FX featured Dustin Poirier versus Eddie Alvarez which ended in a controversial no-contest.

UFC PPV Prelims on FX:

UFC 211 Prelims: 1.148 million viewers

UFC 188 Prelims:  727,000 viewers

UFC 154 Prelims:  980,000 viewers

Notably, the NASCAR event on FS1 that replaced the UFC Prelims drew 2.62 million viewers for a 260-minute showing.  FX, which has served as a home away for home at times for the UFC, has more subscribers than FS1.

In addition, the UFC PreFight Show on FX drew 522,000 viewers (0.22 A18-49) and the post-fight show on FS1 drew 329,000 viewers (0.09 A18-49 demo).

Payout Perspective:

FX has more subscribers than FS1 which may bode well for the event.  The 1.148 million viewers may show that fans were interested in this event which featured a strong fight between two lightweights.  This could help PPV buys as the show is used to entice viewers to buy the PPV.

UFC 211: Payout Perspective

May 15, 2017

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 211 from Dallas, Texas where two titles were successfully defended.

Stipe stops JDS

Stipe Miocic withstood a couple stiff leg kicks to stop Junior Dos Santos in the first round of their Heavyweight title fight.  Miocic dropped JDS after clipping him with a punch.  He followed up with punches over a crumpled former champion.  For JDS, the long layoff did not help and one has to wonder if he still has anything left in fighting.  He looked timid at times in avoiding Miocic despite scoring early with leg kicks.  But, putting his back to the fence was his downfall.

One has to wonder if there is a healthy Heavyweight on the roster that could challenge him at this point.  You can argue that Stipe could wait and face Cain Velasquez or take on Derrick Lewis if he gets past Mark Hunt in June.

Joanna Champion remains on top

She had a huge welt on her forehead but Joanna Jedrzejczyk survived a first round onslaught by Jessica Andrade.  From then on, Joanna outclassed Andrade and secured her spot as the Queen of the Division.  Andrade was game but as Daniel Cormier pointed out she gave away her attacks with a “tell” in that she ducked her head each time she was coming in which gave Joanna a split section to move out of the way.

Joanna was emotional at the end of the fight as she takes being a champion as seriously as anyone with a belt around their waste.

Next for Joanna is a showdown with Rose Namajunas. She was in Dallas doing UFC press and its clear that this was done to promote this fight.

Attendance and Gate

It was the second-most attended event in Dallas.  Only UFC 171, which featured hometown favorite Johny Hendricks against Robbie Lawler, outdrew this card.  Below are the top 3 UFC cards in Dallas.

UFC 171: attendance 19,324, gate $2,600,000

UFC 211: attendance 17,834, gate $2,662,645

UFC 103: attendance 17,428, gate $2,400,000

Bonuses

The bonuses went to Stipe Miocic, Jason Knight and Chase Sherman and Rashad Coulter.  Stipe and Knight earned Performance Bonuses while Sherman and Coulter earned Fight of the Night for their back and forth fight which Sherman eventually won via stoppage.  All earned $50,000 bonuses.

Promotion of Fight

The UFC once again direct messaged people that follow it on Twitter to encourage them to order UFC 211.

Stipe Miocic threw out the first pitch at a Texas Rangers baseball game.  He also appeared with Junior Dos Santos before a Mavericks game earlier this year.

The UFC Countdown show took a look at Miocic and how he’s revered in Cleveland including attending a Cavaliers basketball game.

MetroPCS also had a sponsorship activation which included Stipe Miocic doing an interview with Megan Olivio on behalf of the company.

Sponsorships

The usual UFC sponsors were in the Octagon including Toyo Tires, MetroPCS, Budweiser, Monster/7-11, Harley Davidson, UFC Fight Pass and Monster Energy in the middle.  Also, the new Alien movie, Audience Network’s Kingdom and upcoming video game Injustice 2 and the UFC’s own new version of its EA video game were in the Octagon.

With the Audience Network unveiling the third season of its MMA original series, “Kingdom,” we once again had the show work with the UFC.  This included showing the actors in the crowd during the PPV and there was also a Pre-Fight Party in Dallas.

In a pre-recorded video, Rose Namajunas introduced the trailer for the new Alien movie during the PPV.

Eddie Alvarez was overheard saying “Goddamn Reebok” prior to the official weigh-ins as it appeared that he had to have non-Reebok sponsors patched over.

Odds and Ends

Dustin Poirier is auctioning off his gear from his fight with Eddie Alvarez to aid a Second Harvest Food Bank in his local Lafayette.  He is making a new tradition which is an admirable way to give back.

Speaking of Poirier, it was a disappointing end to his fight with Eddie Alvarez as the issue of rules relating to a downed opponent was confusing once again.

Due to NASCAR on FS1, the UFC Prelims were pushed to FX which is in more homes so there’s a chance we could see a better number than usual.

500,000 google searches on Saturday for UFC 211 which made it the top searched subject in the US Saturday.

Jason Knight is your next big thing.  “Mississippi Mean” will be one to watch in the Featherweight division.

The UFC Summer Kickoff on Friday will likely have several fighters fined as a result of getting physical at the news conference including Amanda Nunes, Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee.  Do the kickoff events do anything for anyone except make everyone cringe?

Michael Johnson said he ate shit.  This makes no sense.  But considering Lyoto Machida drank his own pee, it’s no wonder this is a niche sport.

Conclusion

Look for this PPV to do slightly better than this year’s PPV buys but not near the 450,000 buys the Stipe Miocic-headlined UFC 203 did when CM Punk was on the show.  Despite how good the card was including two title defenses, there is a lack of interest in fthese ights from the casual fan.  While the google trends search was encouraging, I would think 350,000-375,000 PPV buys would be how much we see this event do.

UFC 188: Payout Perspective

June 17, 2015

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 188 taking place from Mexico City, Mexico.

Werdum Undisputed HW Champ

Fabricio Werdum defeated Cain Velasquez to earn the undisputed Heavyweight title.  It was a submission that ended the long-running win streak of Fedor Emelianenko.  It was another submission that ended the Heavyweight title reign of Cain Velasquez.  Werdum’s guillotine choke ended the night for Cain who seemed gassed despite continuing to come forward during the fight.  It was one final lunge at Velasquez that spelled his doom as it seemed that Werdum had a smile on his face as Cain attempted a takedown but was caught by Werdum.

It has been two years since Cain Velasquez had been in the Octagon. It probably was not rust from not fighting but the altitude of Mexico City that could have been the issue.  He spent two weeks in Mexico City but Werdum had been there for over a month.

Werdum could face Andre Arlovski or Stipe Miocic next.

ufc 188 poster

Alvarez escapes Gil

Eddie Alvarez scored a split decision over Gilbert Melendez in an exciting co-main event.  Despite having his left eye almost shut after round 1 due to a Gil elbow strike, Alvarez came back in rounds 2 and 3 to eke out the win.  It must have been a relief for Alvarez to finally get a W in the Octagon after his ordeal with Bellator and losing in his UFC debut last fall.

The decision could have gone either way and these two probably do not lose too much (Eddie #4, Gil #5) in the rankings after the fight.

Next up for Eddie Alvarez?  Possibly Benson Henderson since they were originally scheduled to fight earlier this year.  We could see this in South Korea in November.

Attendance and Gate

The event drew 21,036 which was 36 more than the UFC’s event last year in the same venue.  No gate was announced so we do not know if how many comps were provided.

Bonuses

Fabricio Werdum, Patrick Williams, Yair Rodriguez and Charles Rosa earned the $50,000 fight bonuses.  Werdum and Williams earned the Performances of the Night and Rodriguez and Rosa earned the Fight of the Night.

Promotion of the Fight

UFC Embeddeds provided some controversy as Werdum accused Cain of being a “Fake Mexican.”  Essentially, Cain is American first and not from Mexico.  It was an interesting accusation that reminded me of Oscar de la Hoya-Fernando Vargas from years past.  Of course with recent news events about identity, it would be topical if not for the fact that no one seemed to care.

Similar to UFC 180, Doritos advertised for this fight by having the fighters’ likenesses on Doritos bags.  It also offered a contest for fans to meet and greet UFC fighters.

Doritos bag (pic via Josh Sanchez twitter)
Sponsorships
The Octagon sponsors included MetroPCS, the movie Self/Less, Doritos, DraftKings, Bud Light, Cinemex, BetCris, UFC Mobile from EA Sports and Monster Energy Drink in the center.

BetCris is a Mexican online gambling company. Self/Less is a movie from Universal Studios. It received a little promo featuring Forrest Griffin.

Cain added Monster Energy Drink to his list of sponsors which included Affliction, Oak Grove Technologies and American Ethanol.

Notably, Werdum was sponsored by Reddot.

Odds and Ends

Alvarez’s Underground King shirt, originally made by Jaco, is already on sale (i.e., reduced in price) at the UFC.com store.

Two fights ending in the first round on the UFC Prelims meant a very short night of fights on tv. Speaking of which, it was on FX instead of FS1 due to scheduling conflicts.

UFC 188 was shown in select theatres once again. It would be interesting to know how many people actually went to theatres to watch it.

Is Henry Cejudo ready for Demetrious Johnson yet?

Conclusion

In looking at the success of this event perhaps we look at how it did in comparison to past June PPVs. Traditionally, June PPVs have been terrible. The average PPVs from 2012-2014 is 132,000 buys. Google Trends for UFC 188 showed interest from Mexico by mediocre interest from the United States. Still, one would think that it had to improve on last June’s PPV of 115,000. I have an optimistic estimate of 200,000 PPV buys.

UFC 188 Prelims draw 727,000 viewers on FX

June 16, 2015

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that the UFC 188 Prelims on FX this past Saturday drew 727,000 viewers.  The prelims aired on FX due to scheduling conflicts with FS1.

The fights which preceded the PPV were highlighted by two first-round stoppages. The last fight of the Prelims was Henry Cejudo and Chico Camus with Cejudo winning the fight.

UFC PPV Prelims 2015 through 188

Prior UFC Prelims on FX
UFC 142 – 880,000 viewers
UFC 174 – 784,000 viewers

Saturday night competition was the NHL Stanley Cup playoff Game 6 on NBC between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks. The game scored 5 million viewers and MLB Baseball on Fox which drew another 2.1 million (via TV By Numbers)

Payout Perspective:

The ratings were a modest decrease from UFC 187 but reflects a downturn this year which saw the first four UFC Prelims drawing over a 1 million viewer average. One would think that this should change next month with the big UFC 189 card and UIFC 190 in August featuring Ronda Rousey on the main card. The Prelims card was the lowest on FX since the Prelims have primarily been on based on the info we were able to dig up.

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