Meltzer: Preliminary estimate of UFC 150 PPV buys around 190K


Overall, UFC 150 was a good show. The main event was exciting. It didn’t have fireworks, but it was exciting because at no point was it clear who was going to win the fight and it went 25 minutes, right down to the wire. The semi, with Cerrone vs. Guillard, was one of the most exciting one minute fights in UFC history. Guillard dropped Cerrone right away, and hurt him worse than he’s been hurt in his entire career. But Cerrone came back with a high kick and a straight right that knocked Guillard out.

From a business standpoint, that wasn’t so good.

After the show, Dana White noted that they were expecting to take a hit on PPV. He received word that DirecTV went down all night so people with that provider were unable to purchase the show. Since he was at the show, he was probably only getting sketchy details. I was able to get the show on DirecTV with no problem. But there was an issue. Apparently if you automatically ordered through your remote in much of the country, there was no issue. However, if you tried to order by phone or by computer, there was a problem with the system that made it impossible, although the issue was apparently fixed in time for the replay show. We received a lot of feedback from DirecTV subscribers, split almost 50-50 between those who were able to see the show, and those who couldn’t, and many wanted to see it and gave up, not buying the replay. It was significant enough that it cost them a fairly significant number of buys that they would have gotten. But probably not enough to change it from a low number to even close to an average number.

Very early numbers indicate about 190,000 North American buys (this is not a direct buy number or even a strong estimate but just a very preliminary figure). While nobody going in expected big numbers, that would still be below most expectations. As we always say, there is significant potential margin of error this early, but suffice to say this show probably did not do well. We’ll have a better read on this in two weeks.

It looks to be the lowest number for a PPV that came from North America since 2005.

This is one show. Going forward, there are going to be big shows and there are going to be shows that aren’t so big. The fan dynamic has changed greatly. Part of it may be inevitability of doing so many shows, that shows are watered down and people are more willing to skip the ones without strong main events. UFC does feel in many ways closer to a sport like boxing than a more entertaining sport that has more of a modern feel to attract more than just fight fans, which was how it came across 2006-2010 when it was doing its big numbers. The idea of getting a bunch of people together to watch UFC isn’t the same as what it once was.

But going back a few years, what this means is the big ones will stay big, and maybe get bigger. But the secondary ones won’t do what they used to do. One bad show doesn’t necessarily indicate anything because we are only a month removed from a gigantic show, and the November and December PPV shows this year should do well.

You can argue too many shows, and this is the fourth PPV in seven weeks, and that’s asking a lot from the consumer base. I think more and more than anything more than one PPV per month is probably overdoing things. The group of guys getting together on Saturday night to watch UFC are not going to do it weekly. Sure, for the UFC nuts, they would like a show every Saturday, but if you market based on that fan base, you’re going to get 50,000 buys and drive away the masses.

This was a very good show overall. It was only three weeks after the disaster of a show in Calgary, but seven days after a really strong show on FOX. I don’t see show quality as a big issue, good or bad.

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tags: UFC 150   Frankie Edgar (detail)  Benson Henderson   


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Recent Comments »

Beggsie site profile image  

8/18/12 7:06 PM by Beggsie

I agree with you.

MarcusRenatoBlackBelt site profile image  

8/18/12 6:59 PM by MarcusRenatoBlackBelt

Dana white should go running back to Spike TV and apologize, drop the fox deal even if it means getting sued and give them there 700 million dollar "blood money". Go back to spike like he went back to Electronic Arts after the pathetic company Dana used for his video game went out of business....

MarcusRenatoBlackBelt site profile image  

8/18/12 6:55 PM by MarcusRenatoBlackBelt

I always see your posts on the UFC's business practice and let me just say you really know your stuff and exactly what is wrong with the UFC. You always make good points -- just wish the UFC was listening.Here is the Elite XC and Affliction Tombstone RIP pic should photoshop the UFC on the tombstone

MarcusRenatoBlackBelt site profile image  

8/18/12 6:53 PM by MarcusRenatoBlackBelt

I always see your posts on the UFC's business practice and let me just say you really know your stuff and exactly what is wrong with the UFC. You always make good points -- just wish the UFC was listening.Here is the Elite XC and Affliction Tombstone RIP pic should photoshop the UFC on the tombstone

God Bless Tim Tebow site profile image  

8/18/12 6:13 PM by God Bless Tim Tebow

Doctor, the patient is still bleeding. We need to get him on life support ASAP!Yes, Doctor, I got some good news the one patient who was on it's death bed back a few years ago is now recovered. He's also healing a staggering pace!

Huey Freeman site profile image  

8/18/12 5:55 PM by Huey Freeman

He does make good points but he kinda posts the same thing in every thread.

orcus site profile image  

8/18/12 1:15 PM by orcus

 mmalogic, you have some good points, but I'm kind of turned off by the fact that I literally cannot read a post from you without the word "eyeballs" in it :P

Tranny Yarbrough G(ayest)OAT site profile image  

8/18/12 12:41 PM by Tranny Yarbrough G(ayest)OAT

lol, get the sand out of your vagina, the product is so diluted(as a result of being on too many platforms). UFC 151 has a Main PPV card that looks like a bunch of prelims. and the fact that'd you bring up major sports like the NFL and MLB shows how much a retard you are, UFC is not even in the same stratosphere as the NFL and MLB, not to mention it's like comparing Apples to Chairs

Chuck Kongo site profile image  

8/18/12 12:18 PM by Chuck Kongo

Ben Henderson isn't gonna draw either.

texuspete00 site profile image  

8/18/12 11:39 AM by texuspete00

Someone tell this man to get over himself. A subscription to read something on the internet, you gotta be fucking kidding me.