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UnderGround Forums >> The history of non UFC MMA PPVs


5/12/14 11:10 PM
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Underground Blog
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MixedMartialArts.com
 

Dan Plunkett, who has covered mixed martial arts for 411Mania since 2008, has put together an excellent history of the holy grail in the sport's promotion - making the jump to PPV.

"Look, I think there's a point that comes in any promotion where you want to play with the big boys, right?" explained Spike TV President Kevin Kay recently. "Pay-per-view is the big boys and you want to put on premium fights."

However, a look back at the history of promotions that attempted to play with the big buys is sobering.

World Fighting Alliance (DOA)
The revamped WFA in 2006 looked to compete with newly-crowned industry leader UFC from the start. For the debut show, the company signed Quinton Jackson, Matt Lindland, Bas Rutten, Lyoto Machida, Jason Miller, and Ricco Rodriguez, among other notables. The July 22, 2006 debut show bombed. They filled about a quarter of the 17,500 seat Forum in Los Angeles and the pay-per-view was dead on arrival.

PRIDE Fighting Championships (30k buys)
In June 2006, Fuji TV cancelled Pride in the wake of a newspaper article detailing the yakuza involvement in the MMA company. In need of cash, the Japanese company turned to North America. The October 21 show pulled a solid $2 million live gate, but only attracted 30,000 buys on pay-per-view at $39.95. Those figures were not enough to cover the millions spent on production and fighter pay. Four months later, Pride returned to the US and drew an excellent $4 million gate, but the pay-per-view figures weren't any stronger.

Bodog Fight (13k buys)
Bodog began promoting MMA in late-2006 with the major financial backing of billionaire Cavin Ayre's Bodog. The promotion signed top-ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko for an April 14, 2007 pay-per-view bout against Matt Lindland. The show aired from St. Petersburg, Russia, on an eight hour tape delay in the United States. It was a flop in the US, drawing a mere 13,000 buys.

Strikeforce/EliteXC (35k buys)
Regional promotion Strikeforce combined with the doomed EliteXC for a June 22, 2007, pay-per-view offering. The main event featured the culmination of the Frank Shamrock vs. Phil Baroni feud, which brought the 9,672 fans in attendance to a fever pitch. On pay-per-view, the show did roughly as well as could have been expected with 35,000 buys.

Affliction Entertainment (100k buys)
They went after every top fighter they could get their hands on in 2008, usually for obscene amounts of money. The centerpiece of the promotion was Fedor Emelianenko. Affliction's July 19th Fedor vs. Tim Sylvia drew better than expected at more than 100,000 buys. Still, that wasn't enough to even sniff a profit. A Fedor-less sequel event in October was cancelled due to poor ticket sales.

World Extreme Cagefighting (175k buys)
Expectations were modest going in. The show was budgeted to be a success at around 75,000 buys. UFC president Dana White's prediction of 100,000 buys was on the higher end. The April 24, 2010, show became "UFC Presents Aldo vs. Faber," in order to blur the UFC-WEC line. The show blew away expectations at 175,000 buys, although that was still about 100,000 fewer buys than UFC's weakest shows at the time. 

Read entire article...

Saturday will see the first Bellator PPV, headlined now by Quinton Jackson vs. King Mo, following the withdrawal of Eddie Alvarez from the main event fight with Michael Chandler, due to a concussion.

Make your predictions here UG. How many PPV buys will Bellator get on Saturday?


5/12/14 11:51 PM
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sycotik
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65k  

5/12/14 11:54 PM
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teamquestnorth
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Guess I was one of the few to buy WFA'S last show.

Was also one of the 13,000 to watch Fedor grab the ropes after getting dominated by Lindland and reversing the course of the fight. Phone Post 3.0
5/13/14 12:10 AM
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jason73
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teamquestnorth - Guess I was one of the few to buy WFA'S last show.

Was also one of the 13,000 to watch Fedor grab the ropes after getting dominated by Lindland and reversing the course of the fight. Phone Post 3.0

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k231/combatchaz/tap2.gif
5/13/14 12:13 AM
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teamquestnorth
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^^^^ blue please Phone Post 3.0
5/13/14 2:02 AM
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DarkNight4527
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This is not a good indicator for Bellators success Fedor was a bigger draw than every body bellator has and those PPV still flopped good luck on Saturday I'm guessing 20K
5/13/14 4:26 AM
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huggy bear
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10k is my thought. The timing for this event is terrible and they want $44.99(HD)for their ppv. Phone Post 3.0
5/13/14 5:37 AM
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ChristopherMoltisanti
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Spoiler alert - every story ends with the company being bought by the UFC Phone Post 3.0
5/13/14 6:13 AM
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CavRyda
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jason73 - 
teamquestnorth - Guess I was one of the few to buy WFA'S last show.

Was also one of the 13,000 to watch Fedor grab the ropes after getting dominated by Lindland and reversing the course of the fight. Phone Post 3.0

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k231/combatchaz/tap2.gif

5/13/14 6:35 AM
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UGCTT_FryedTakayama
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Anyone remember Shark Fights? I don't particularly remember many of the fights but god damn that one with Don Frye commentating was well worth the money just for that lol


“That was like prison sex: hard, sweaty, violent and there was a lot of noise.”

- Don Frye Phone Post 3.0
5/13/14 8:57 AM
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Fed
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PRIDE NEVA DIE
5/13/14 10:25 AM
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teamquestnorth
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CavRyda -
jason73 - 
teamquestnorth - Guess I was one of the few to buy WFA'S last show.

Was also one of the 13,000 to watch Fedor grab the ropes after getting dominated by Lindland and reversing the course of the fight. Phone Post 3.0

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k231/combatchaz/tap2.gif

Looks like hammer fists to me Phone Post 3.0
5/13/14 4:47 PM
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ender852
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they priced themselves out of success before they even lost the main event.

at $45 i would wager between 20-30k buys.

300k torrenting the event afterwards though.

5/13/14 6:21 PM
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Zed Wayne Zed
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^Yup.

Should have sold it for $19.99, and made some money.

Everyone will download it after.

5/13/14 6:37 PM
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Haadogei
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I thought Pride was on PPV besides just their US shows. Specifically remember buying the 2006 GP Finals on PPV. Im not as old school as others, I don't know how many Prides were on PPV before that.

Curious how those shows did.

5/13/14 6:42 PM
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WendyIDMT
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There was shit for advertising on those shows. I personally would like ALL PPVs to die and go away. Phone Post 3.0
5/13/14 6:45 PM
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crowbar
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5/13/14 7:34 PM
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Nexuscrawlers
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WendyIDMT - There was shit for advertising on those shows. I personally would like ALL PPVs to die and go away. Phone Post 3.0
Agreed. Phone Post 3.0

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