Meltzer: 250k UFC 136 PPV buys


The early estimate for UFC 136 on 10/8 from Houston is about 250,000 buys.

It once again shows that a rematch of a great match (Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard, whose 1/1 match is a strong candidate for match of the year and a fight where at least to those who saw it, it was very hotly debated who won) doesn’t mean much unless they are with fighters who are over.

This would be the lowest number on PPV for a title match dating back to probably 2005, and this was a show with two title matches (also Jose Aldo Jr. vs. Kenny Florian) and Chael Sonnen’s return against Brian Stann. Two weeks between shows, and coming off a show with what to the public was a far stronger main event (the 9/24 show did almost double this one) also didn’t help.

As great a fighter as Jose Aldo Jr. is, he’s not over, and he only draws with Urijah Faber. Getting the featherweight and bantamweight titles over is going to take time and developing more than one star in the division. But this is pretty clearly showing that the business value of a UFC championship fight has taken a real hit, because there was a time when you could put two guys not known to the general public and call it a UFC title fight and get 450,000 buys.

Stann gets a huge reaction in the building, but he’s probably not a mover, and really he and Sonnen were pushed on the Internet promotion but not on television, and the difference between good and bad numbers is the casual sports fan audience and those finding out from television. All of the TV advertising was based on the two title fights, and not on Sonnen vs. Stann. It’s hard to say because Sonnen is unique, but our own polling showed more interest in the non-title fight not promoted except on the Countdown show than either title fight. And the Countdown show did poor numbers, one of the lowest ever, so it wasn’t going to add casual fans to buyers.

What looks to be the strongest per capita markets are Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary, Houston (home city), Toronto, San Francisco, Winnipeg, Montreal, Honolulu, Las Vegas, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, Seattle and Denver.

When asked about UFC moving the PPV start time back to 10 p.m. Eastern, Dana White said they were getting hurt on the West Coast, and blaming it on the one hour earlier starting time, saying at 6 p.m., people are still eating dinner. It’s the attraction and the issues with running so many PPVs, not the start time. Boxing has started at 6 p.m. forever on the West Coast, wrestling has started at 5 p.m. forever on the West Coast. The old start time was better for the West Coast but worse for the East Coast. FOX wanting its shows at 8-10 p.m. and UFC wanting FOX shows as direct lead-ins to PPVs was also part of it.

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Recent Comments »

eNyaaaw site profile image  

10/22/11 11:04 AM by eNyaaaw

I really really mean no disrespect to anyone as a fighter as a say this BUT...The biggest name in LW history was BJ Penn. One of the most talented exciting fighters in any weight class. And he kinda carried the LW division for a while. The guy can hype up a fight, and he can put on amazing performances and finish fights almost every time.I don't see Edgar ever selling more ppv's than BJ, no matter how talented and awesome he is.This is just one example but what im trying to say is that its all about the fighters imo, and not about the economy when it comes to title fights.If BJ were the LW champ, you would see much bigger numbers. Same with Lesnar. The only guy i see coming close to Lesnar in PPV sales at HW would be someone like Overeem.I bet BJ vs Diaz sells more PPV's than an Edgar title fight.Again im just stating my opinion with title PPV's.

croy_00 site profile image  

10/20/11 7:50 PM by croy_00

 I rented two events back to back in one month. Sure sucks opening a $200 cable bill :S

Pink Bunkadoo site profile image  

10/20/11 7:46 PM by Pink Bunkadoo

maybe people are fucking sick of paying for a PPV and having to sit thru fucking commercials and fucking product plugs while the fight is going on. Jesus, the commentary sucks donkey balls, but it is worse when you have to wait till a plug is over to hear some fight talk. Sick of fucking movie promos and stupid interviews of c level movies stars. People pay for the card, show the fucking fights and stop with the stupid shit. Free...fine do all you want, but when people shell out $50 they don't want that shit!! I also like the dark blue wec canvas MUCH better

Guy LeDouche site profile image  

10/20/11 7:41 PM by Guy LeDouche

 I got my money's worth. My group of friends buys all of them anyway but it's one of the cards that I remembered after a hard night's drinking.

CAINtheBULL site profile image  

10/20/11 7:40 PM by CAINtheBULL

um.... Jose Aldo is having the same problem that Anderson Silva had for a long time before Chael. He needs an opponent to elevate his profile. Chuck had Tito, Brock had Mir, BJ had GSP, and Edgar had Maynard but he's got zero personality.

Riley Freeman site profile image  

10/20/11 7:31 PM by Riley Freeman

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.

Unseen site profile image  

10/20/11 7:24 PM by Unseen

This is true but the UFC has to get their fighters fights or they won't be able to sustain such a large roster. And you can't claim to be the best in the world with just the top few guys in every division because what makes the UFC the best is they have the top ten guys in almost every division and they fight each other. If you don't have that but a few really good guys you're called Bellator.I guess they could do more free fights but how much dies that eat into their profits?

bram site profile image  

10/20/11 7:17 PM by bram

True but they had 3 of the 7 belts on the line...3 titles fights in 2 weeks should pull a million combined

Dr Violence site profile image  

10/20/11 7:13 PM by Dr Violence

The online streaming stuff they have now is pretty awesome. Multiple cams and corner mics. It's a bit fiddly though, and to be honest trying to watch 4 angles at once is really something for an advanced alien lifeform not for a regular human. I still prefer to watch on a nice big TV with good old pause & rewind.

AlexanderTheGreatJJ site profile image  

10/20/11 7:04 PM by AlexanderTheGreatJJ

Great card. Shit numbers, if real.