Fertitta defends UFC’s pay scale

by Kevin Iole | source: yahoo.com

Though there is a public perception that the UFC has far outpaced boxing in terms of pay-per-view sales, Fertitta said it’s not the case, at least not in terms of pay-per-view sales and revenue per fight. There are only a handful of major boxing pay-per-view cards each year, while the UFC puts on 14-16. Inevitably, though, the largest pay-per-view results are from boxing cards.

As a result, Fertitta pointed out, those fighters make more.

In September, Mayweather-Ortiz sold 1.25 million pay-per-view units and generated $78.44 million in revenue. In November, the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez bout did 1.5 million pay-per-view buys. Though no official revenue number was announced, it was well over $70 million.

Such numbers are vastly larger than those for the UFC, which also charges $10 to $25 less for its pay-per-view cards than big-time boxing events. The UFC charges $44.95 for pay-per-view. Major boxing events go for up to $70, but change according to the card.

In addition, major boxing events draw a significantly higher paid gate. Pacquiao-Marquez did an $11.6 million gate, while Mayweather-Ortiz did $9 million. The largest-ever UFC gate was $12 million for UFC 129, but the next biggest was UFC 66 at $5.397 million.

“The numbers that a Pacquiao or Mayweather fight will do, relative to ours, are not even close,” Fertitta said. “When you talk about it, first of all, their [pay-per-view] price point is higher. You’re talking about them doing 1.2, 1.5 million buys. The reality is, we’ve done that one time. Beyond that, we have a tremendous success story, but a lot of our fights are doing 300,000, 400,000. Our gates aren’t $12 million. You see what our gates are: Sometimes, they’re $2 million. Sometimes, they’re $3 million, but the revenue equations aren’t even close.”

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Recent Comments »

willeblink site profile image  

1/20/12 12:05 PM by willeblink

Its one thing if they pay whatever they want if the market would be filled with competitors to bring up the prizes.<br />But the UFC has total controll on the mma market which is one thing the investigation is all about.

Humphrey site profile image  

1/20/12 11:53 AM by Humphrey

I hope you get banned for that. VTFD

JerryW site profile image  

1/20/12 11:47 AM by JerryW

Solid argument you present

Chiron site profile image  

1/19/12 8:06 PM by Chiron

What Calhoon is doing is applying the term "revenue" to the UFC in the same way Lorenzo was using it in his example of the boxing events. So if he's coming at it with skewed numbers it's because he's applying Lorenzo's boxing example of "revenue" to the UFC. No matter what people's numbers aren't going to be totally accurate unless all the data is out there and the UFC obviously isn't going to do that. Lorenzo has a financial motivation to skew the data in his favor. Most likely they are skewing it and they're going to try to talk up fighter pay as a form of damage control/PR move. Personally I think the higher end fighters are paid plenty. The lower end fighters, the guys that are making 6/6, I'd like to see them making a little more, like 10/10 minimum but their pay isn't obscenely low or anything. It's definitely not as bad as when it was 3/3.

StratTone site profile image  

1/19/12 7:51 PM by StratTone

Yeah dude I'm sure the UFC counts everyone who makes a penny off a UFC event THERE revenue. Your numbers are off my friend. I don't deny that the total for PPV buys is in fact revenue but to say that the total amount belongs to the UFCs top line is just wrong.

Chiron site profile image  

1/19/12 7:46 PM by Chiron

There are a couple reasons but the biggest ones have to do with perfect knowledge and effective bargaining power. It would be a disadvantage to the UFC to do so. They can talk all they want about the fighters not wanting it to be posted or whatever but that's likely a minor reason at best, BS at worst, for most of the fighters. If the fighters are contractually obligated not to talk about their salary then if it's amount that would be considered low by most who pay attention to the sport if they knew the amount, the UFC can say whatever it wants without having the obvious facts to refute it. It also makes it harder for fighters to bargain effectively if they don't know what all the other fighters are making and what they are getting in their contracts, though I'm sure some do talk and a manager who manages many fighters can help mitigate that lack of knowledge as well. It also makes it harder for competing orgs to more effectively offer fighters contracts that are competitive but not over the top, which means they will find it harder to maximize revenue for their own org. As a general rule, knowledge of everyone's salary is good for the fighters just as it is for workers in most companies, but it isn't good for the company's bottom line.

IROCK site profile image  

1/19/12 7:28 PM by IROCK

I think I deserve a discretionary bonus of some sort.Dana hook me up :) front row seats at the Brisbane show will do.

Calhoon site profile image  

1/19/12 7:13 PM by Calhoon

Don't you have another fight to lose? You twat!

Calhoon site profile image  

1/19/12 7:11 PM by Calhoon

I Agree

jdb2414 site profile image  

1/19/12 7:10 PM by jdb2414

From what I recall, he was using that to illustrate the difference in revenue generated by each event, not comparing the % that was paid out to the fighters.Again, "revenue" is a very generic term. Total event revenue is one thing, the UFC's portion of that revenue is different. What you're disputing is Fertitta's claim that they pay out "in the ballpark" (or some other bullshit, vague term that he used) of the 50% that the NBA/NFL/MLB teams pay out to their players. For that, you should be looking at the total revenue that those teams are basing those agreements on. I honestly don't know, it really could be revenue from anyone that benefits from a game or merchandise, but spinning & combining comments like this is not the right approach, in my opinion.