UFC renews deal with TSN to air programming in Canada

December 8, 2018

TSN and the UFC have signed a multi-year deal to extend the television rights of the Canadian network.

Aaron Bronster of TSN spoke with Senior VP of International Content David Shaw of the deal:

No word on the financials on the deal.  The big takeaway from the interview is that Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series will come to TSN.  In the U.S., viewers have to subscribe to UFC Fight Pass to watch it.  Also, the TSN deal includes all Fight Nights and UFC PPV Prelims (not the Early Prelims).  There was no word on whether the new deal includes ESPN + cards when the promotion moves to the network in January.  According to several readers, ESPN+ is not available in Canada.

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.

Bellator 209 peaked at 574,000 viewers

November 21, 2018

Bellator 209 peaked at 574,000 viewers on The Paramount Network per Nielsen.  The tape-delayed event from Israel drew 448,000 viewers in DVR + 3 ratings.

The event featured Patricio Freire as he defeated Emmanuel Sanchez.

The Live + SD viewership of the event on Friday drew 381,000 viewers.

The DVR numbers did not add much to the event which is unfortunate but expected considering this was a tape-delayed event.

UFC Fight Night 140 Prelims outdraw main card in ratings

November 20, 2018

UFC Fight Night 140 drew 632,000 viewers on FS1 Saturday night.  The Prelims actually outdrew the main card with 707,000 viewers.

The main card featured Neil Magny taking on Santiago Ponzinibbio.  The Argentinian won via KO in the 4th round and will move up the ranks of the welterweight division.  The prelims saw Michel Prazeres earn a first round submission over Bartosz Fabinski in the feature fight of the night.

The event took place at the Parque Roca Arena in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Payout Perspective:

Impressive ratings for an event that did not have too much going for it.  Notably, according to ShowBuzz, the highest rated cable television show on Saturday night was a Hallmark movie on the Hallmark Channel which drew 4.6M viewers.  The Prelims outdrawing the ratings may be a first and could be attributed to the time of the event as Fight Night main cards tend to drag too late for many east coast fans.

Tape-delayed Bellator 209 on Paramount draws 381,000 viewers

November 19, 2018

Bellator MMA Live 209 drew 381,000 viewers on the Paramount Network according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The telecast was also available via digital streaming service DAZN.

The event was tape-delayed from Israel and featured Patricio Freire as he defeated Emmanuel Sanchez for Friere’s Featherweight title.

The event drew 0.13 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

You can certainly stick the blame for the ratings on the one-day tape delay.  The ratings this year for Bellator have been disappointing.

Top Rank Boxing on Friday night draws 950,000 on ESPN

November 19, 2018

Top Rank Boxing on Friday night drew 950,000 viewers per Nieslen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The telecast saw Maurice Hooker TKO Alex Saucedo in the seventh round of their title fight.

It was an exciting fight as Hooker went down in the second round of the fight versus the previously unbeaten Saucedo.  Hooker retained his junior welterweight title from the previously undefeated Saucedo.

NBA Basketball was the lead-in for Top Rank Boxing as the Milwaukee Bucks faced the Chicago Bulls.  The game drew 1.7million viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Impressive for Top Rank following the NBA on ESPN.  The telecast started close to 9pm PT and still retained a significant amount of NBA viewers.  Hooker and Saucedo are not household names but the ratings are promising for future telecasts.

TUF 28 Episode 10 draws 152,000 viewers

November 15, 2018

The Ultimate Fighter 28 episode 10 saw a slight uptick from its season low from last week with 152,000 viewers on FS1.  The season average for live viewing of TUF 28 is 167,000 viewers.

The fight of the telecast saw Julija Stoliarenko fight Pannie Kianzad in the semifinal to see who would fight in the women’s TUF finale in December.   Kianzad won via unanimous decision.

Also, the telecast saw the continued spiral of Maurice Greene as he tried to curb his drinking problem.  Coach Gastelum and the staff tried to stick with him.  The episode also saw the fighters go to a waterpark.

 

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

Payout Perspective:

The 167,000 viewers is a modest increase from last week’s all-time low.  The live viewership is low and it has only surpassed 205,000 viewers once this season.

UFC Fight Night Denver draws 840,000 viewers on FS1

November 13, 2018

UFC Fight Night Denver drew 840,000 viewers on FS1 Saturday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The prelims which preceded the main telecast drew 565,000 viewers on FS1.

Both telecasts which honored the 25th Anniversary of the UFC were strong in comparison to normal Fight Night ratings on the network.  The main card featured Yair Rodriguez and the Korean Zombie in one of the best fights of 2018. Rodriguez KO’d KZ with 1 second left in the fight.

The telecast featured nostalgia with an homage to the first UFC event, the old logo and graphics.

The UFC post fight show drew 237,000 viewers on FS1.  The prefight show on FS1 drew 171,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The 840,000 viewers are the highest rated Fight Night since May’s UFC Fight Night 129.  The Prelims also were high as it doubled viewers ship from the last 2 Fight Night Prelims.  Perhaps  the nostalgia of the 25th Anniversary led to the spike in viewership as the headliners are not considered draws as both were coming off of long layoffs.

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