UFC on Fox 25 draws 1.64 million viewers

July 23, 2017

UFC on Fox 25 drew 1.64 million viewers (according to TV By Numbers) making it the lowest overnight ratings for the company since it began airing fights on Fox.  Despite the news, it tied with NBC’s Dateline for biggest rating for Adults in the 18-49 age range.

UFC Fight Night featured Chris Weidman taking on Kelvin Gastelum in the main event from Long Island, New York.  Notably, their fight was not calculated in the overnight ratings because it started in the overrun.

In terms of overall viewership, UFC on Fox was last in its time slot among the other network shows.  It did draw a 0.6 share among Adults 18-49 and a 3 share making it the best in its 2 hour time slot.

UFC on Fox Ratings
Overnights Live + SD
UFC on Fox 1 5,700,000
UFC on Fox 2 4,570,000
UFC on Fox 3 2,250,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 4 2,360,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 5 3,410,000 4,400,000
UFC on Fox 6 3,770,000 4,220,000
UFC on Fox 7 3,300,000 3,700,000
UFC on Fox 8 2,040,000 2,380,000
UFC on Fox 9 2,410,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 10 2,550,000 3,220,000
UFC on Fox 11 1,990,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 12 2,020,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 13 2,270,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 14 2,820,000 3,049,000
UFC on Fox 15 2,430,000 2,745,000
UFC on Fox 16 2,290,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 17 2,280,000 2,781,000
UFC on Fox 18 2,430,000 2,685,000
UFC on Fox 19 2,130,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 20 2,440,000 2,975,000
UFC on Fox 21 2,200,000 1,983,000
UFC on Fox 22 2,690,000 3,178,000
UFC on Fox 23 2,020,000 2,189,000
UFC on Fox 24 1,740,000 1,996,000
UFC on Fox 25 1,640,000

 

Payout Perspective:

 This year’s July card did not match last year’s 2.44 million from UFC on Fox 20.  We will see if the added ratings from the overrun will boost the show to over 2 million viewers.  This makes 2 weeks in a row where Fox has aired a live combat sporting event and it has not produced ratings.

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

The Ratings Buffet for the week ending July 7th

July 7, 2017

Welcome to another week of The Ratings Buffet.  Ratings were delayed this week due to the July 4th Holiday.  Notably, the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn fight on Saturday drew the highest rating for a boxing event in over a decade.

Friday

ESPN2: Golden Boy Boxing, 11:00pm-11:50pm ET 257,000 viewers, 0.08 A18-49

Saturday

*ESPN Pacquiao Horn, 10:01pm-1:04am ET 2.812 million viewers, 1.14 A18-49

ESPN Top Rank Boxing, 9:04pm-10:00pm ET 1.082 million viewers, 0.80 A18-49

*Highest rated cable programming for Saturday night

Sunday

FS1: UFC Countdown 8:30pm-9:30pm ET 116,000 viewers; 0.04 A18-49

Monday

Raw on USA

WWE Raw 9:00pm ET: 2.912 million viewers; 0.95rating A18-49

WWE Raw 10:00pm ET: 2.780 million viewers; 0.93 rating A18-49

WWE Raw 8:00pm ET: 2.825 million viewers; 0.89 rating A18-49

FS1: UFC Unleashed 7:00-8:00pm ET 98,000 viewers; 0.03 rating A18-49

Tuesday

USA: WWE Smackdown 8:00pm-10pm ET: 2.329 million viewers; 0.75 rating A18-49

FS1:  UFC Reloaded: UFC 70 CroCop/Gonzaga 7:30-10:30pm ET 182,000 viewers; 0.03 rating A18-49

Wednesday

FS1:  TUF 25 10:00pm-11:00pm ET: 408,000 viewers; 0.18 rating A18-49

FS1:  TUF Talk 11:00pm-11:30pm ET: 111,000 viewers; 0.05 rating A18-49

FS1:  UFC Tonight 8:00-9:00pm ET: 107,000 viwers; 0.05 A18-49

Lucha Underground on El Rey: The 8pm ET show drew 132,000 viewers; 0.03 A18-49.  The immediate replay at 9pm ET drew 84,000 viewers and 0.02 in A18-49.

Thursday

Impact Wresting on Pop TV: 8:00pm-10:pm ET: 345,000 viewers; 0.07 rating A18-49

UFC 212: Payout Perspective

June 6, 2017

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  In this edition, we take a look at UC 212 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where the Featherweight title was unified.

Holloway scores TKO over Aldo

Max Holloway scored an impressive stoppage of Jose Aldo to unify the UFC Featherweight Title (technically Aldo held the title and Holloway won the interim belt in December).  Holloway stopped Aldo in the third round.  It was an impressive showing of Holloway’s talent and his “no fear” attitude in going to Brazil, embracing his surroundings and winning.

Holloway is probably hoping Conor McGregor returns to division for a rematch of their first fight which took place the first day of FS1 in August 2013.  It was Holloway’s last loss in the UFC.  If that doesn’t happen a showdown with Frankie Edgar or perhaps Cub Swanson should happen.  My only bias, but I’d like to see that fight happen with the UFC going to Hawaii.  The logistics and expense would be tough but it would be a great visual to see the fans go crazy for the first Hawaiian fighter to win a UFC title since B.J. Penn.

The UFC covered the homecoming for Holloway which was a great visual and a sign that the company will get behind the new Featherweight king.

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53169658

Claudia Gadelha submits Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Gadelha looked impressive in submitting Kowalkiewicz.  The problem for the UFC is whether they can really have her face Joanna Jedrzejcyk for a third time when she lost the first two.  Perhaps they go with Rose Namajunas against Joanna before Gadelha gets another shot.

It was a disappointing performance for Kowalkiewicz as she previously had a good showing against Joanna.

Attendance and Bonuses

The event took place at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and drew 15, 412 as reported by the UFC.  The attendance likely means it was a sellout as the capacity is set at over 14,000.  UFC 134 was held in the same arena and drew 14,000.

The bonuses went to Max Holloway, Jose Aldo, Claudia Gadelha and Brian Kelleher.  Holloway-Aldo drew Fight of the Night and Gadelha and Kelleher drew Performance of the Night.  One could argue that Yancy Medeiros, Paulo Borrachinha or Matthew Lopez could have drawn a $50,000 bonus for their performances.  Also, Medeiros-Erick Silva could have been a FOTN candidate.

Sponsors

Budweiser was a prominent sponsor in Brazil as it had the center of the Octagon as well as the fighter prep point and the Embedded episodes.  Kingdom on Audience, UFC Mobile game, UFCStore.com, Hudson Shipping Company, Nissan, General Tires, Manguinhos, a previous UFC sponsor, was on the mat on Saturday.

The Nissan and General Tire sponsors are probably ‘one-offs’ for the Brazil event.

No Monster Energy in the Octagon.  Recall that TNT Energy Drink had the Brazil market at one point as the UFC sponsor.  Aldo was a big sponsor but it looks like that is no longer true.

Odds and Ends

Here is the local coverage in Hawaii for Max Holloway and Yancy Medeiros.  The report states that a lot of the UH Football team showed up to see him.

Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL

The UFC Prelims were late on FS1 as baseball ran over into the time slot.  The event had to be put on FS2.  This may have had an affect on the ratings as it drew 732,000 viewers on FS1 for the bulk of the telecast.  The beginning part, shown on FS2, drew 218,000 viewers.

The Brazilian Commission did not adopt the new unified rules of MMA.  Fortunately, the rules did not come into play.

The UFC 214 promo came out and they look pretty good.

It was interesting that there was promotion for the UFC Fight Night Singapore event two weeks from now but not this week’s Fight Night from New Zealand.

The first Japanese UFC Champion, Sakuraba, will go into the UFC Hall of Fame.  The announcement was made during the PPV.

The “UFC Unfiltered” Podcast ran commercials throughout the PPV Prelims on FS1.

UFC 212 drew 200,000 google searches on Saturday.

Conclusion

200,000 google searches the day of the event, the MLB overrun on FS1 for the Prelims and the fight card in Brazil probably means that this PPV draws somewhere between 150K to 200K PPV buys.  In comparison, UFC 134 (ASilva-Okami) drew 335,000 buys in the same venue in September 2011.  Aldo-Mendes 2 in Maracanazinho, Brazil drew 180,000 buys.  The event took place in October 2014 at UFC 179.  Holloway’s last PPV in December against Anthony Pettis drew 150,000 PPV buys although a replay on Fox during Christmas Eve did well.  Still, we’re talking about buys for PPV and with a string of UFC events coming up for June and July’s International Fight Week coming up this PPV may have been one that the casual fan skips.

UPDATED: UFC Fight Night 109 draws 496,000 on Sunday

May 31, 2017

UFC Fight Night 109 drew 496,000 viewers on FS1 Sunday afternoon.  The Prelims, which preceded the main card on FS1 drew 353,000 viewers per ShowBuzz Daily.

According to Nielsen, the main card peaked at 665,000 viewers between 3:30-3:45pm ET.  A replay of the card later that night drew 128,000 viewers.  It should be noted that the card did go up against the Indianapolis 500 which drew a 10 share on Sunday afternoon which is big.

The main card featured the return of Alexander Gustafsson in Sweden as he took on Glover Teixeira in the main event.  Gus won via 5th round stoppage.  The event drew 0.19 in the A18-49 demo.

The prelims featured Pedro Munhoz and Damian Stasiak in the last fight of the prelim card.  Munhoz won the matchup of bantamweights via unanimous decision.  The event drew 0.13 in the A18-49 demo.

The prefight show, which aired at 7am on the west coast (10am ET), on FS1 drew 109,000 viewers and 0.05 in the A18-49 demo.  The post-fight show on FS1 drew 277,000 viewers and 0.11 in the A18-49 demo.  The post-fight on FS1 went from 1:03pm-1:30pm PT (4:03-4:30pmET).

In other UFC programming on FS1 that day, the UFC 212 countdown on FS1 later that night drew 182,000 viewers and 0.06 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings reflect the fact that this event occurred on the middle day of a 3 day holiday weekend for most.  Also, it occurred in the morning for those on the west coast with the prelims starting at 8am and the main card at 10am.  It is the lowest-rated UFC Fight Night this year and the lowest-rated since 2015.  Through 6 televised events, the UFC Fight Night main cards are averaging 890,000 viewers.  The prelims are averaging 659,000 viewers.

UFC on Fox 24 drew 1,996,000; Prelims draw 1,105,000

April 20, 2017

UFC on Fox 24 drew 1,996,000 viewers on Fox Saturday afternoon in adjusted ratings to account for the overrun per Nielsen. The UFC Prelims drew 1,105,000 on Fox.

The main card peaked during the main event portion of the telecast with 2,874,000 viewers from 10-10:15pm ET.

UFC on Fox Ratings
Overnights Live + SD
UFC on Fox 1 5,700,000
UFC on Fox 2 4,570,000
UFC on Fox 3 2,250,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 4 2,360,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 5 3,410,000 4,400,000
UFC on Fox 6 3,770,000 4,220,000
UFC on Fox 7 3,300,000 3,700,000
UFC on Fox 8 2,040,000 2,380,000
UFC on Fox 9 2,410,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 10 2,550,000 3,220,000
UFC on Fox 11 1,990,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 12 2,020,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 13 2,270,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 14 2,820,000 3,049,000
UFC on Fox 15 2,430,000 2,745,000
UFC on Fox 16 2,290,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 17 2,280,000 2,781,000
UFC on Fox 18 2,430,000 2,685,000
UFC on Fox 19 2,130,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 20 2,440,000 2,975,000
UFC on Fox 21 2,200,000 1,983,000
UFC on Fox 22 2,690,000 3,178,000
UFC on Fox 23 2,020,000 2,189,000
UFC on Fox 24 1,740,000 1,996,000

In addition, the prelims drew 1,105,000 viewers.  The event aired on Fox and preceded the main card.

UFC on Fox 23 Prelims: 619,000 on FS1

UFC on Fox 22 Prelims: 679,000 on FS1

UFC on Fox 21 Prelims: 1,122,000 on Fox

UFC on Fox 20 Prelims: 1,261,000 on Fox

UFC on Fox 19 Prelims: 1,400,000 on Fox

UFC on Fox 18 Prelims: 702,000 on FS1

Payout Perspective:

The prelims were two hours and was the lowest rated in the history of the prelims on Fox.  The UFC on Fox 24 rating is the second lowest-rated ever in Fox history.  As pointed out by one of our readers, UFC on Fox 21 was slightly lower.

UFC on Fox 24 draws lowest-ever overnight rating

April 16, 2017

Television By Numbers reports that UFC on Fox 24 drew 1.74 million viewers on Saturday night.  The event is the lowest rated UFC on Fox ever although it does not include the overrun.

UFC on Fox 24 featured Demetrious Johnson defending his UFC Flyweight title against Wilson Reis.   Johnson defeated Reis via armbar submission.  Also, Rose Namajunas submitted Michelle Waterson in the co-main event of the main broadcast which aired from 5-7pm PT.

UFC on Fox drew a 0.6 rating and a 2 share in the adult 18-49 demo.

According to Nielsen, the Easter tradition of ABC showing The Ten Commandments drew over 5 million viewers.  A prime time showing of the NHL Playoffs drew 2.29 million viewers on NBC.

Notably, The Ten Commandments drew a 3 share in the adult 18-49 demo, the best in the 8-10pm time slot.

UFC on Fox Ratings
Overnights Live + SD
UFC on Fox 1 5,700,000
UFC on Fox 2 4,570,000
UFC on Fox 3 2,250,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 4 2,360,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 5 3,410,000 4,400,000
UFC on Fox 6 3,770,000 4,220,000
UFC on Fox 7 3,300,000 3,700,000
UFC on Fox 8 2,040,000 2,380,000
UFC on Fox 9 2,410,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 10 2,550,000 3,220,000
UFC on Fox 11 1,990,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 12 2,020,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 13 2,270,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 14 2,820,000 3,049,000
UFC on Fox 15 2,430,000 2,745,000
UFC on Fox 16 2,290,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 17 2,280,000 2,781,000
UFC on Fox 18 2,430,000 2,685,000
UFC on Fox 19 2,130,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 20 2,440,000 2,975,000
UFC on Fox 21 2,200,000 1,983,000
UFC on Fox 22 2,690,000 3,178,000
UFC on Fox 23 2,020,000 2,189,000
UFC on Fox 24 1,740,000

Payout Perspective:

It’s the lowest rated UFC on Fox ever although you might see a bump since the Demetrious Johnson-Wilson Reis did not start until about 5 minutes left in the time slot window.  Still, you would have expected better ratings for Namjunas-Waterson.  Unfortunately, some will see this as an indictment on the lack of drawing power for Johnson who has to be considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters ever.

Last April’s UFC on Fox 19 drew over 2.1 million viewers.  In 2015, April’s UFC on Fox 15 drew 2.43 million viewers.

UFC 210: Payout Perspective

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.

Attendance

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

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 BillsThe Bills were all over UFC 210.

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.

Sponsorships

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.

Conclusion

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.

UFC on Fox 23 peaks with over 3M viewers, Prelims draw 619,000

January 31, 2017

The UFC on Fox 23 card drew 2,189,000 viewers in adjusted DVR +3 ratings. The card peaked during the main event between Valentina Shevchenko and Julianna Pena with 3,003,000 viewers.

The overnight ratings reflected 2,002,000 viewers.  UFC

UFC on Fox Ratings
Overnights Live + SD
UFC on Fox 1 5,700,000
UFC on Fox 2 4,570,000
UFC on Fox 3 2,250,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 4 2,360,000 2,400,000
UFC on Fox 5 3,410,000 4,400,000
UFC on Fox 6 3,770,000 4,220,000
UFC on Fox 7 3,300,000 3,700,000
UFC on Fox 8 2,040,000 2,380,000
UFC on Fox 9 2,410,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 10 2,550,000 3,220,000
UFC on Fox 11 1,990,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 12 2,020,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 13 2,270,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 14 2,820,000 3,049,000
UFC on Fox 15 2,430,000 2,745,000
UFC on Fox 16 2,290,000 2,800,000
UFC on Fox 17 2,280,000 2,781,000
UFC on Fox 18 2,430,000 2,685,000
UFC on Fox 19 2,130,000 2,500,000
UFC on Fox 20 2,440,000 2,975,000
UFC on Fox 21 2,200,000 1,983,000
UFC on Fox 22 2,690,000 3,178,000
UFC on Fox 23 2,020,000 2,189,000

In addition, the UFC Prelims on FS1 drew 619,000 viewers.  The 3-hour show on FS1 preceded the 2-hour telecast on Fox.  The prelims are down from last month when it drew 679,000 viewers.

The UFC Post-Fight show drew 203,000 viewrs with 75,000 live on FS2 at 7pm PT and 128,000 viewers on FS1 when it reaired after 9pm.

UFC on Fox Prelims – 2016

UFC on Fox 21 Prelims rating: 1.122M (on Fox)

UFC on Fox 20 Prelims rating: 1.261M (on Fox)

UFC on Fox 19 Prelims rating: 1.4M (on Fox)

UFC on Fox 18 Prelims rating: 702,000 (on FS1)

The prelims featured Raphael Assuncao-Aljamain Sterling and Nate Marquardt-Sam Alvey.

Payout Perspective:

The DVR numbers bring up the event slightly but the peak is down from last month’s UFC on Fox 22 which was 4.8 million viewers.  Notably, all 4 fights on the Fox broadcast ended early via TKO stoppage or submission.

UFC 207: Payout Perspective

January 3, 2017

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 207 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rousey finished in 48 seconds

It was the long-awaited return of Ronda Rousey.  She looked in top shape but the question was whether she could return to her form pre-UFC 193.  The former bantamweight champion that brought women’s MMA to prominence could not.  Amanda Nunes broke Rousey’s spirit within seconds of the fight starting.

Rousey’s lone takedown attempt was stuffed and she actually started turning away from punches as if she’s never fought before.  It was pretty sad to watch a former champ go down this easy. She was out on her feet and didn’t even realize the fight was over.

For Nunes, it was easy work.  As she did at UFC 200, she broke a fighter’s spirit and likely retired another top opponent.  Nunes also showed some great promo skills post-fight as she told the media to forget about Rousey.

It will be interesting to see who will be next for Nunes.

I don’t think we can say poor Ronda Rousey.  Even though her MMA career should be over, her payday ($3 million) ties her for the highest-ever with Conor McGregor.  Rousey is more psychologically damaged than physical and if she doesn’t have her heart in fighting, she shouldn’t do it.


Garbrandt showboats to championship

While one championship fight had little promotion, the Dominick Cruz-Cody Garbrandt title match-up had great lead-up.  The two verbally sparred throughout the promotion of the fight and Garbrandt attempted to go after Cruz during media rounds.  There was even a pull-apart at the ceremonial weigh-ins.

Garbrandt showed no fear and solved Cruz’s awkward, but successful style.  It could be that Garbrandt was just quicker or Cruz lost a step but it made it a unanimous decision for the challenger.

This exchange will likely be gif’d to death.  In all honesty, I’ve watched it about 50 times.

In a touching moment, Garbrandt put the belt around a kid he befriended that battled back from leukemia. The kid, who walked hand in hand with Garbrandt to the ring, chanbed his life according to the new champ.  In the same post-fight interview, he called T.J. Dillashaw a m****f*****.  So, he’s still rough around the edges.

Garbrandt could grant Cruz a rematch or go after T.J. Dillashaw.

Attendance and Gate

Ticket demand was still high for Rousey as UFC 207 drew the largest attendance for an MMA event in the state of Nevada with 18,533.  T-Mobile Arena sold standing room only seats for the event which likely helped the attendance figure.  The gate was $4.75 million.

While the secondary market was not as robust as prior Rousey events, this was the first one in sometime in Vegas.

Bonuses

The fighters taking home the belts earned bonuses: Amanda Nunes and Cody Garbrandt.  Garbrandt and Cruz won the Fight of the Night.  Nunes and Alex Garcia earned a Performance bonus as well.  All received $50,000 checks.

Salaries

Ronda Rousey drew $3 million which ties her with Conor McGregor for the highest-reported salary in the UFC.  Amanda Nunes earned $200,000 ($100k win/$100 show) for her defeat of Rousey.

The full list is here.

Pre-Fight Promotion

Ronda Rousey did little pre-fight promotion except for appearances on Conan, Ellen and an ESPN piece with Ramona Shelburne. Dana White stated that this was due to a one-time agreement with Rousey.

There were radio ad buys for UFC 207 to bolster the end of the year event.  The ad included the Cain-Werdum fight which did not happen.

Although Rousey did not speak, the faceoff in her return during the UFC 205 event in New York was intense.  Also, the ceremonial weigh-in on Friday with Nunes wearing the lionhead was great as well.

Over 103,000 people watched the ceremonial weigh-ins on YouTube and over 59,500 watched it on Facebook Live during the Rousey-Nunes faceoff.

Rousey appeared in 3 of the 6 Embedded episodes although she did not talk that much.

Ratings

The UFC weigh-ins drew 222,000 viewers on FS1 and 94,000 in the A18-49 category per Sports TV Ratings.

The UFC 207 Prelims drew 1.511 million viewers on Friday night making it the fourth-highest rated PPV prelim of 2016.

The pre-fight show on FS1 drew 572,000 viewers and the post-event drew 404,000 viewers.

Overall, very strong numbers despite the fact it was a Friday night.

Sponsorships

MetroPCS, Toyo Tires, Harley Davidson, the WGN series ‘Outsiders’, Geico, Twinzz.com, IconicFaceOff.com, Geico, Budweiser, the movie XXX and Monster Energy had the center.  XXX is the latest in the Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) series.

Rousey was sponsored by Monster Energy drink as she had the logo on her shorts.  The same for Dominick Cruz.

Pantene also had the Rousey commercial during the PPV.  The company activated a new campaign around Rousey in lead-up to this event.

Toyo Tires sponsored the Embedded series.

Odds and ends

Yahoo Beauty found a way to mention Ronda Rousey by doing a story on why women MMA fighters braid their hair.

Johny Hendricks looked better against Neil Magny, but missed weight again.  The issue seems to be in his head as he challenged media to cut weight.

Cain Velasquez was taken off the UFC 207 card and his fight with Fabricio Werdum after discussing his injuries in an interview.  The NAC took Cain off the card without his knowledge according to the former heavyweight champion.  He responded via a lengthy Facebook post.

Embedded was a good time for Dominick Cruz to show-off his branded t-shirts.

A big faux pas occurred when cable and satellite distributors advertised that UFC 207 was happening Saturday.  As we know, it was Friday.  Based on the Friday night ratings, people knew the correct time.

Nunes had the “Island of Dr. Moreau” look with the lion head at the ceremonial weigh-ins.

If you noticed a man in a wheelchair at the weigh-in, he had cashed in his UFC Reward Points for the opportunity to be on stage at the weigh-ins.  A pretty nice payoff considering he saw an almost fight right in front of him and Rousey-Nunes.

The bad news about Rousey’s fame was that she was covered in most of the mainstream news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Sports Illustrated and ESPN.

“Ronda Rousey Fight” drew over 5 million google searches on Friday which should indicate a huge PPV gate.  But, a portion of those probably were searching for the fight after learning the news that Rousey was KO’d in less than a minute.  Interesting enough, there were no copyright warnings as there were for UFC 193.

Conclusion

All the indicators (google searches, ratings, etc.) reflect a huge PPV buy rate.  While we may want to discount some of those google searches, there were still a healthy amount of people that knew the fight was going to be Friday and that Ronda Rousey was returning to the Octagon.  For those that though there was “lack of buzz,” they underestimate the Rousey demo and are stuck in their old ways of thinking of what “MMA fans” want to see.  It would not be surprising to see this PPV hit 1 million buys.

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