Bellator MMA 202 on Paramount draws 405,000 viewers

July 18, 2018

Bellator MMA Friday night on Paramount drew 405,000 viewers per Nielsen according to ShowBuzz Daily.

In the main event of the telecast, Julia Budd defeated Talita Nogueira via TKO to retain her Bellator Featherweight title.  Notably, Budd has not lost an MMA fight since a 2011 bout to Ronda Rousey in Strikeforce.

The event drew 0.12 in the A18-49 demo.  Through 12 events in 2018, the promotion is averaging 463,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The event is the third consecutive with viewership under 500,000 viewers.  The ratings are lower this year as 10 out of the 12 telecasts have had ratings under 500,000.  The telecast featured former UFC fighter Michael MacDonald as he defeated Eduardo Dantas in a fight where both were hurt.  Perhaps the DAZN partnership will help get more eyes on the product.

UFC Fight Night 133 draws 754,000 viewers and prelims drew 572,000

July 17, 2018

UFC Fight Night 133 drew 754,000 viewers on FS1 Saturday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The prelims which preceded the main card on Saturday on FS1 drew 572,000 viewers.

The main card which featured the return of Junior dos Santos in a unanimous decision victory over Blagoy Ivanov drew 383,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and 0.46 household share. The 2 hour prelims drew 264,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and 0.33 in household share.  The prelims featured a fight between bantamweights Eddie Wineland and Alejandro Perez.  Perez won via unanimous decision.

Payout Perspective:

Good ratings on a night where boxing was on ESPN and ESPN + with the latter streaming the return of Manny Pacquiao.  The ratings are the best Fight Night event since UFC Fight Night 129 in May.  Last year’s Fight Night card post-International Fight Week PPV drew 402,000 for an event in Scotland.  The Boise card reported a sell-out and the ratings were very good on a night with a choice of combat sports to watch.

TUF 27 Finale main card draws just 499,000 viewers

July 9, 2018

The Ultimate Fighter 27 drew 499,000 viewers per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The prelims which preceded the main card on FS1 drew a nearly identical 493,000 viewers.

The main card numbers make it the lowest-rated TUF Finale to date.

The TUF 27 main event featured Brad Tavares taking on Israel Adesanya.  The Nigerian-born fighter dominated the fight and won via unanimous decision.  The prelims featured Montana De La Rosa as she submitted Rachael Ostovich via rear naked choke.

Both the main card and prelims drew 0.20 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

It’s rare that you don’t see a UFC event lose much interest from prelims going into the main card.  Yet, this event did just that…almost.  The ratings this year improved in DVR viewership but we see that the decreased viewing this season led to the lowest-rated main card of all time for the TUF Franchise.

TUF 27 Episode 11 draws 156,000 viewers on FS1

June 28, 2018

The penultimate episode of The Ultimate Fighter 27 drew 156,000 viewers on Friday on Wednesday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The 11th episode featured the coaches challenge which featured Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic in a hockey shootout.  The fight of the episode saw Team Cormier’s Joe Giannetti submit Team Miocic’s Allan Zuniga.  Giannetti advances to the final July 6th at the TUF Finale.

Ep        Live                 Live+3

1          201,000           298,000

2          186,000           296,000

3          246,000           366,000

4          207,000           357,000

5          176,000           362,000

6          196,000           398,000

7          275,000           437,000

8          248,000           443,000

9          290,000           462,000

10        219,000           402,000

11         156,000

Payout Perspective:

The 11th episode fell off from the past several episodes which hovered around the mid-200s.  The 156,000 is the lowest this season and shows that the season is starting to wear down.  Fortunately, the final episode is next week.

WWE announces SmackDown Live deal with Fox Sports

June 26, 2018

The WWE announced its upcoming rights deal with Fox Sports with SmackDown Live starting on FOX Friday night October 4, 2019 according to a company press release.  The deal with Fox Sports more than triples the fees it was receiving in its prior deal with NBC Universal.

The show, which currently airs on the USA Network, will remain a 2-hour show airing year-round.

“WWE and FOX are a perfect match,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO. “Moving SmackDown Live to broadcast TV and having the ability to leverage FOX’s extensive portfolio of world-class sporting events will expand the reach of our flagship programming.”

The announcement is part of a new 5-year deal with Fox Sports.  In addition, it signed a deal with Comcast Corp.’s USA Network for Raw to remain on the Network.

Payout Perspective:

The announcement confirms that Smackdown Live will be on network television in 2019.  The news of the deal with Fox Sports last month boosted WWE stock.  Smackdown Live on network television is an even bigger coup for the company as its business continues to ascend.  The clamor for live content has made this round of rights fees for the WWE a bounty of riches as it adjusted its annual average rights fees from $468 million as compared to the $130 million in its previous deal for its two key programs.

UFC 225 Prelims draw 667,000 on FS1

June 12, 2018

The UFC 225 Prelims drew 667,000 viewers on FS1 Saturday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The featured prelim bout of the telecast saw Curtis Blaydes stop Alistair Overeem with a vicious elbow while in Overeem’s guard in the third round of the fight.

According to ShowBuzz Daily, the event drew 323,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and a overall household rating of 0.42.  The event did better than two live telecasts on ESPN and ESPN2.  The College Track and Field Championships drew 311,000 viewers at the same time as the Prelims and a College Baseball SuperRegional between South Carolina and Arkansas drew 583,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

It would have been interesting to see if CM Punk and Curtis Blaydes switched places on the card how that might affect ratings and PPV buys.  The ratings are fair but do not indicate a larger audience for its PPV.

TUF 27 Episode 8 draws 248,000

June 7, 2018

TUF 27 Episode 8 drew 248,000 viewers per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The episode went up against the NBA Finals on ABC.  The fight of the episode saw Dulani Perry take on Tyler Diamond.  Diamond submitted Perry with a guillotine in the second round. The Team Cormier member moves into the Featherweight semifinals against Jay Cucciniello.

Payout Perspective:

The event was a decrease from last week but improves on last season’s 197,000 for its eighth episode.  Last year’s TUF 25 eighth episode drew 303,000 viewers.  Notably, episodes 5 and 6 saw dramatic increases in DVR viewership with each drawing over 100% the live viewership.  Last week saw the highest viewership after factoring DVR numbers.

UFC Fight Night 131 draws 517,000 viewers

June 4, 2018

UFC Fight Night 131 drew 517,000 viewers on Friday night on FS1.  The prelims drew 322,000 viewers.

The event was highlighted by Marlon Moraes and Jimmy Rivera.  Moraes earned the victory with a stoppage in mere seconds against Rivera.  The prelims saw Sijara Eubanks defeat Lauren Murphy in the featured fight of the prelims.

The post-fight show drew 181,000 viewers and 0.06 in the A18-49 demo.

The fights took place in Utica, New York.

Payout Perspective:

The Friday night event was unusual since most of the Fight Nights occur Saturday or Sunday which may have been the reason for the lower ratings.  Also, the fights featured the “lower-t0-middle class” tier of UFC fighters.

 

Bellator 200 peaked with 804,000 viewers

June 1, 2018

Bellator 200 peaked with 804,000 viewers on The Paramount Network according to Nielsen.  The event drew 500,000 viewers in DVR +3 ratings.

Bellator 200 was tape delayed this past Friday on The Paramount Network.  The event was headlined by Gegard Mousasi as he captured the middleweight title from Raphael Carvalho.

The additional viewership reflects a 16% increase from the Live + SD rating of 421,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

I am a bit surprised that the DVR numbers did not increase the overall viewership more.  This could be a condition of the tape delay and the knowledge of the results prior to the event airing on Paramount.  For an event that was to be a milestone for the company, viewers treated like an ordinary Bellator event.

TUF 27 Episode 7 draws 275,000 viewers on FS1

May 31, 2018

The Ultimate Fighter episode 7 drew the highest ratings of its season with 275,000 viewers on FS1 Wednesday night.

There was no fight on the telecast as Team Cormier’s Richie Smullen suffered a leg cramp and could not fight Team Miocic’s Allan Zuniga.  He was forced to withdraw and give Zuniga the win by DQ.  More bad news for Team Cormier in this episode as Ricky Steele was forced to withdraw from the tournament after he was diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms.

The telecast drew 0.10 in the A18-49 demo per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

Payout Perspective:

275,000 viewers doesn’t seem like a huge audience, but it is for this season.  Last spring’s TUF 25 drew 372,000 viewers and TUF 26 scored 316,000 viewers.  As you can tell, the live +SD ratings are gradually decreasing.

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