With all the talk of WWE PPV buys going down the toilet I thought I would check out how the UFC is doing.
In 2010, UFC had 15 PPV events (UFC 108-124) with total buys of 9,095,000 for an average of just over 600,000 buys per show.
In 2011, UFC has had 13 PPV so far with reported buys (UFC 125-137) and the total buys so far this year are 5,125,000 for an average of a little less than 400,000 buys per show. Plus the buys for the last 8 shows are averaging just over 325,000 per show (2,625,000 total buys).
So was 2011 just a bad year for the UFC? Were there too many injuries? Not enough good fights? Is UFC not cool anymore?
Would appreciate your thoughts and the thoughts of the Blog.
All numbers from http://mmapayout.com/blue-book/pay-per-view/
UFC’s problem is somewhat the same as WWE’s: Oversaturation. I’m as big a fan as anyone and it gets to be a bit much keeping up with all the Spike shows, PPVs, and now Fox/FX shows without getting burned out on it. I think everyone knows it, too. And having to promote all those shows leads to the second problem, which is not having enough star-level guys to main event with. Like, they have to build shows with charisma-vacuum Frankie Edgar on top? There’s your problem right there. They have to get the belt off him in the worst way.
However, a lot of it is also things out of their control, like injuries to their top stars and the more inflexible nature of MMA. If Brock Lesnar suddenly had to pull out of his fight with Overeem, it would be incredibly difficult to find someone who was ready to fight on short notice, and who would also entice people to buy the show. The major difference with UFC, though, is that you’re not gonna see GSP or Brock fighting on free TV and ruining their mystique, which is why the right fight featuring them is still gonna be an automatic 700,000 – 1,000,000 buys. WWE’s PPV downfall is basically their own fault, as they started a vicious cycle of people not caring as much about their under-promoted PPVs which led to WWE caring less about promoting them until we got to where we are now.
UFC is easily fixable by finding someone hot and promoting shows around them. WWE basically needs a whole new business model at this point, and hopefully the Network is the one that works for them.
Case in point with the injuries: GSP is injured AGAIN during training, and now the main event of the February PPV is out and replaced by Condit v. Diaz for the title instead. It's a bad sign if George is suffering the same injury multiple times in such a short span. But again, there's a few million dollars in revenue out the window due to circumstances entirely out of their control.