UFC 238 Prelims Draw Biggest Ratings In Months

It’s no secret that the UFC prelims have been struggling to find ratings success on television in recent months. The prelim ratings for the company’s two most recent pay-per-view (PPV) events – UFC 236 in April and UFC 237 in May &#82…

It’s no secret that the UFC prelims have been struggling to find ratings success on television in recent months. The prelim ratings for the company’s two most recent pay-per-view (PPV) events – UFC 236 in April and UFC 237 in May – both brought in diminishing returns. However, according to a report from MMA Fighting’s […]

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Dana White Renegotiated with Pay-Per-View Partners for More UFC Profits

UFC president Dana White always has his eyes on the future. In January, the UFC will officially kick off a new five year, $1.5 billion broadcast deal with ESPN after spending the last seven years on FOX and their networks. According to White, when they…

UFC president Dana White always has his eyes on the future. In January, the UFC will officially kick off a new five year, $1.5 billion broadcast deal with ESPN after spending the last seven years on FOX and their networks. According to White, when they first sat down to do the deal with ESPN, the […]

The post Dana White Renegotiated with Pay-Per-View Partners for More UFC Profits appeared first on MMA News.

It’s Expensive to be an MMA Fan With Streaming Services

Being an MMA fan is expensive. Between the 12 pay-per-view events the UFC hosts every year, plus the cable or satellite bills needed to watch all the fight cards on television, not to mention a Fight Pass subscription if you want to catch all the other…

Being an MMA fan is expensive. Between the 12 pay-per-view events the UFC hosts every year, plus the cable or satellite bills needed to watch all the fight cards on television, not to mention a Fight Pass subscription if you want to catch all the other fights, it’s not cheap if you want to be […]

The post It’s Expensive to be an MMA Fan With Streaming Services appeared first on MMA News.

Top Seven Pay-Per-View Draws In UFC History

Mixed martial arts is a business, and the UFC, specifically, is based primarily on the pay-per-view (PPV) model, meaning that the promotion’s biggest shows and biggest successes come through PPV. Of course, the UFC has begun to produce more and more fights on free television in recent memory, but the biggest stars the company has

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Mixed martial arts is a business, and the UFC, specifically, is based primarily on the pay-per-view (PPV) model, meaning that the promotion’s biggest shows and biggest successes come through PPV. Of course, the UFC has begun to produce more and more fights on free television in recent memory, but the biggest stars the company has to offer have and likely always will reside on PPV.

With that being said, being the most talented fighter doesn’t always carry over to being a PPV draw so to say. Look no further than dominant flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson to understand this statement. “Mighty Mouse” is the reigning pound-for-pound king, but his PPV sales have never been the most impressive.

In a day and age where stars and ‘money fights’ seem to be all the rage, let’s take a look at the top seven pay-per-view draws in UFC history:

The post Top Seven Pay-Per-View Draws In UFC History appeared first on LowKick MMA.

Is World Series of Fighting’s “Pay the Fighters Half” PPV Model Crazy Enough to Work?


(“Y’know Rousimar, it’s a shame how imbalanced the profit distribution is in this sport. Sometimes, it feels like we-OW OW OW OW OKAY I’LL STOP TALKING.” / Photo via Sherdog)

World Series of Fighting turned some heads yesterday — as in, we briefly looked up from our General Tso’s chicken — when the promotion announced that it will begin putting on pay-per-view shows beginning next year. In other words, the second-tier MMA promotion that very few of you watch on cable wants you to start paying for their shows. Make sense so far?

And, because WSOF has no superfights to sell you at the moment, the promotion is trying to generate interest through a unique financial arrangement: Half of the revenue that WSOF takes in through pay-per-view sales will go to their fighters. From the press release…

LAS VEGAS (Sept. 23, 2014) – In a radical move that could forever change the earning potential of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, World Series of Fighting (www.wsof.com) has announced that it will enter the pay-per-view business in the second half of 2015 with an unprecedented revenue sharing model that will pay 50 percent of all net revenue earned from live pay-per-view events it produces, to the fighters featured on the telecasts.

“This is a proud day for the sport of mixed martial arts and our organization and one that we hope will create a better opportunity for the fighters who put everything on the line every time they step inside the cage,” said World Series of Fighting President, six-time world champion and two-time Hall of Famer Ray Sefo.

“Until now,” continued Sefo, “one of the main things holding this sport back from becoming even bigger than it is today has been fighter compensation and the inability of the sport’s top athletes to earn on par with top-level professional athletes in other sports.

“If fighters can’t earn a fair share of the money at the top,” said Sefo, “the fighters lose hope or become disenchanted with the sport, which impacts their commitment to training and preparing properly for title fights. That is about to change, thanks to this major step we are taking now fighters will train harder than ever to become a champion giving the fans some epic championship bouts to enjoy. We want to thank NBC Sports and NBC for giving us such an amazing stage to grow World Series of Fighting since its debut…

Additional details about World Series of Fighting’s 2015 pay-per-view launch will be announced soon.

It’s not bad for a publicity stunt. But can this revenue-sharing model actually work? Let’s do some quick math…


(“Y’know Rousimar, it’s a shame how imbalanced the profit distribution is in this sport. Sometimes, it feels like we-OW OW OW OW OKAY I’LL STOP TALKING.” / Photo via Sherdog)

World Series of Fighting turned some heads yesterday — as in, we briefly looked up from our General Tso’s chicken — when the promotion announced that it will begin putting on pay-per-view shows beginning next year. In other words, the second-tier MMA promotion that very few of you watch on cable wants you to start paying for their shows. Make sense so far?

And, because WSOF has no superfights to sell you at the moment, the promotion is trying to generate interest through a unique financial arrangement: Half of the revenue that WSOF takes in through pay-per-view sales will go to their fighters. From the press release…

LAS VEGAS (Sept. 23, 2014) – In a radical move that could forever change the earning potential of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, World Series of Fighting (www.wsof.com) has announced that it will enter the pay-per-view business in the second half of 2015 with an unprecedented revenue sharing model that will pay 50 percent of all net revenue earned from live pay-per-view events it produces, to the fighters featured on the telecasts.

“This is a proud day for the sport of mixed martial arts and our organization and one that we hope will create a better opportunity for the fighters who put everything on the line every time they step inside the cage,” said World Series of Fighting President, six-time world champion and two-time Hall of Famer Ray Sefo.

“Until now,” continued Sefo, “one of the main things holding this sport back from becoming even bigger than it is today has been fighter compensation and the inability of the sport’s top athletes to earn on par with top-level professional athletes in other sports.

“If fighters can’t earn a fair share of the money at the top,” said Sefo, “the fighters lose hope or become disenchanted with the sport, which impacts their commitment to training and preparing properly for title fights. That is about to change, thanks to this major step we are taking now fighters will train harder than ever to become a champion giving the fans some epic championship bouts to enjoy. We want to thank NBC Sports and NBC for giving us such an amazing stage to grow World Series of Fighting since its debut…

Additional details about World Series of Fighting’s 2015 pay-per-view launch will be announced soon.

It’s not bad for a publicity stunt. But can this revenue-sharing model actually work? Let’s do some quick math…

– If the worst UFC pay-per-view card and greatest Bellator card can both pull about 100,000 buys, how many buys do you think World Series of Fighting can draw from a burned-out MMA fanbase, with verrrry little in the way of mainstream stars. Let’s be super generous and say 50,000.

– Bellator’s PPV price tag was anywhere from $30-$45, depending on cable provider. We’ll assume that WSOF’s PPV will cost an average of $40/pop.

– Generally, cable providers collect half of the gross PPV revenue. So, for every pay-per-view that WSOF sells, they’d get $20 in this hypothetical scenario.

– 50,000 x 20 = $1,000,000 net revenue for WSOF.

– 50% of that = $500,000 for the fighters “featured on the telecasts” which could mean just the ten fighters on the main card. If that’s the case, those fighters would receive an additional $50,000 apiece on average. (“Everybody! Gets! A Performance Bonus!”) If that money is distributed to prelim fighters as well — say, ten more fighters — then each fighter would get a $25,000 bump, on average. Obviously, we’d expect headliners to get a bigger cut of the pie than local curtain-jerkers.

What this exercise proves is that even a terribly-performing pay-per-view show can generate real money for fighters, if half of the money actually goes to them. Try to imagine the UFC doing this: Let’s say the UFC puts on a solid PPV card that draws 300,000 buys, at an average consumer price of $50. The UFC would collect $7,500,000 in net revenue (300,000 x 25). Half of that — $3,750,000 — would go to the fighters. Based on a UFC card with 24 bodies, each fighter would get an average payout of $156,250. And if the UFC just wants to share the cash with the 10 fighters on the PPV broadcast (which would make more sense), each main-carder would earn an average of $375,000. Holy crap, now we’re talkin’. Assuming it’s distributed sensibly, every damn one of those fighters would be thrilled.

Of course, the UFC would never adopt this model, because they don’t need to; they already have hundreds of fighters falling all over themselves to fight for $20k/$20k (if they’re lucky). But make no mistake — the money is there.

As for World Series of Fighting, their revenue-sharing model could be a great way for the promotion to attract UFC washouts and young prospects who might otherwise sign with Bellator. After all, putting pressure on Bellator seems to be WSOF’s only reason for existence.

(BG)

Update: Bellator 120 Pulled Over 100,000 Pay-Per-View Buys [WHAAAAAT?]


(Looks like Bjorn is dick-ridin’ all the way to the bank. / Photo via TheExaminer)

Earlier this week, initial estimates pegged Bellator 120: Rampage vs. King Mo as earning 65,000 pay-per-view buys — a number that exceeded the basement-level expectations of most observers. But it turns out that Bellator 120 wasn’t just a moral victory. As first reported by Sherdog (and later confirmed by MMAFighting), Bellator’s inaugural pay-per-view card did over 100,000 buys, making it an unqualified success

Sherdog’s report was based on an anonymous source “speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release buy-rate data.” The source explained that the buyrate information will be readily available in Viacom’s SEC filings later this year.

In a statement released to MMAFighting, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney played it cool: “I won’t be discussing specific PPV buy rates, but what I can say is that with one of our main events falling out just seven days before our first PPV, a six figure plus buy rate is a good starting point. But, it’s just that, a starting point. My focus is to continue working with our partners at Spike to create the type of big event experience that we created on the 17th.”


(Looks like Bjorn is dick-ridin’ all the way to the bank. / Photo via TheExaminer)

Earlier this week, initial estimates pegged Bellator 120: Rampage vs. King Mo as earning 65,000 pay-per-view buys — a number that exceeded the basement-level expectations of most observers. But it turns out that Bellator 120 wasn’t just a moral victory. As first reported by Sherdog (and later confirmed by MMAFighting), Bellator’s inaugural pay-per-view card did over 100,000 buys, making it an unqualified success

Sherdog’s report was based on an anonymous source “speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release buy-rate data.” The source explained that the buyrate information will be readily available in Viacom’s SEC filings later this year.

In a statement released to MMAFighting, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney played it cool: “I won’t be discussing specific PPV buy rates, but what I can say is that with one of our main events falling out just seven days before our first PPV, a six figure plus buy rate is a good starting point. But, it’s just that, a starting point. My focus is to continue working with our partners at Spike to create the type of big event experience that we created on the 17th.”

The only other non-Zuffa MMA PPV to hit a six-figure buyrate was Affliction: Banned in July 2008, and that card featured Fedor Emelianenko, three former UFC heavyweight champs (Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, Josh Barnett) and a host of other recognizable MMA veterans. Bellator hit 100k even after losing its main event. That’s kind of astounding. Rampage and Tito can still put asses in seats, I guess.

So what’s the ceiling for Bellator’s pay-per-view potential? With a stronger card, can they approach the 140k-150k range that the UFC has pulled for its least popular PPV shows? And if so, then what? Will 2014 be the year when Bellator can legitimately call itself a competitor to the UFC?