Ring Of Sports Marketing

Date archives March 2017

Boxing

GGG-Jacobs PPV Earns 130k-150k Buys

Gennady Golovkin’s close decision win over Daniel Jacobs garnered 130,000-150,000 PPV buys according to the LA Times’ Lance Pugmire.  The fight was up against the second round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday night.

Gennady Golovkin’s last PPV fight against Lemieux also drew 150,000 buys.  However, the fight against Jacobs at Madison Square Garden drew more revenue at the gate.

Daniel Jacobs was also able to bring GGG’s knockout streak to an end by taking the fight the distance.

Ringside Analysis:

Gennady Golovkin might have found his PPV ceiling.  The GGG-Jacobs matchup had a 24/7 episode along with the standard “Face Off” and “Road To” segments online.  The disappointing PPV totals will surely place him on the B-side of a fight against Canelo Alvarez.  Many people in the sport believe that a GGG-Alvarez fight is the best fight that can be made in the sport.

Canelo Alvarez has seen his PPV totals fall as of late with his most recent matchup against Liam Smith earning 250,000-300,000 buys after Alvarez knocked out Amir Khan in a fight earning 460,000 buys.  Alvarez’s next fight is against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on Cinco de Mayo weekend in Las Vegas, which will surely draw huge PPV numbers into any negotiations with Golovkin’s team.

There is a void in the boxing world that was created when Floyd Mayweather Jr. retired and no fighter has yet to be a draw on his own.  Canelo needed Miguel Cotto to reach the 900,000 PPV buys their fight totaled.  While Gennady Golovkin is better known to casual sports fans than Canelo Alvarez, the luster has worn off after two underwhelming performances.

Boxing

GGG-Jacobs Sells PPV Program Streaming Online

The fight between Gennady Golovkin (GGG) and Daniel Jacobs was available to be purchased on TheRingTV.com.  Historically, Pay-Per-View (PPV) fights are only available through a premium cable provider, such as HBO or Showtime.  The price to watch was $64.99.

Ringside Analysis:

One of the hottest fighters in the boxing world is GGG of Kazakhstan and surely draws a large international market.  The bigger takeaway from this is that boxing promoters are having to find more ways to distribute content.  More and more people, especially in the younger demographics, are cutting the cord and don’t subscribe to the PPV providers.  This alternative still allows for those people to watch the single fight without paying a monthly cable fee as part of a contract and then the PPV product.

All of the major sports leagues are having to learn how to manage streaming content.  It may be an incovenience at this time but with so many distribution channels streaming is only going to be getting more common.  HBO and Showtime will have to figure out how they can include streaming into their distribution or if they change the value on their distribution knowing that they are going to miss out on revenue through streaming.

International Business / MMA / UFC

UFC Signs New TV Deal in Russia

The UFC has partnered with Match TV in Russia to air UFC programs in the country.  At multiple points the deal looked like it would end without an agreement between the UFC and Match TV.  The previous UFC owners had an agreement nearly finalized for $500,000 to be paid annually for the program licensing.  However, once WME-IMG became the owners the annual fee increased substantially.  When WME-IMG looked to Russia to increase profits they sold the TV rights to Telesport.  Telesport became the mediator between Match TV and the UFC that led to the agreement.

CEO of Match TV Tina Kandelaki said:

“The negotiation process was difficult, and we are grateful to our partners for their mutual interest in staging UFC broadcasts in 2017. We are seeing increased attention for this tournament, not only in the media, but also among viewers… We are confident that all broadcasts will bring great pleasure and enhance sports viewership. We believe that the start of the season with the fight of Khabib Nurmagomedov will lead to even greater increase in the audience to the sport.”

Continue reading

Regulations / UFC

UFC and USADA Release New Anti-Doping Policies

The UFC has changed the USADA drug testing process for a fighter entering into the UFC after willingly leaving.  Previously, a fighter only had to be part of a drug testing pool for four months leading up to a fight.  The new rule now states that a fighter must be in the drug testing pool for at least six months.  There is still an exception to this rule.  The exception can be applied by the UFC for, “exceptional circumstances or where the strict application of that rule would be manifestly unfair to an athlete.”

Athletes who willingly left the UFC, for professional reasons or retirement, will have to wait the full six months.  Athletes who did not leave the UFC by choice or are entering their first UFC fight only need to be in the pool for a month.  Jeff Novitzky, UFC VP of athlete health and performance told MMA Fighting:

“The majority of these changes are athlete driven.  Early on in this, we knew there had to be a balancing act between the strength and comprehensiveness of the program and the fairness to the athlete. Over the year and half, this program has been in existence, we have consistently encouraged feedback from fighters and camps about how to make this program stronger, more comprehensive and, just as importantly, fairer to the athletes. All of these changes are a result of that interaction and feedback from athletes and camps.”

The timeline for when fighters are in competition has now been defined as beginning at noon the day prior to the fight and ending once the fighter has taken his post-fight drug test.  Nate Diaz forced a clear definition after he said he was using cannabidiol oil at a post-fight press conference.

One other policy change is that a fighter who is appealing a ruling has a conference call with an arbitrator rather than having an evidentiary hearing.

Continue reading

MMA / UFC

George St-Pierre To Fight Michael Bisping For UFC Middleweight Championship

UFC great George St-Pierre (GSP) is coming out of retirement to fight Michael Bisping at UFC 209.  St-Pierre has been retired from the UFC since November of 2013 and in his first fight back gets a title shot in the middleweight division.  George St-Pierre has fought nearly all of his fights at the welterweight limit of 170 pounds.  This will be St-Pierre’s first UFC fight at the middleweight limit of 185 pounds.  Michael Bisping is coming off his first successful title defense in the UFC with a unanimous decision win over Dan Henderson at UFC 204.  Bisping accepted this fight largely based on the pay that would come with it.

According to Chad Dundas at Bleacher Report:

Well, what he gets in his return to the Octagon after a three-year absence is a potentially winnable championship fight, a nice payday and a chance at the history books.

If St-Pierre is able to return to action at nearly 36 years old and win another UFC title in a weight class above his natural division, there will simply be no argument against anointing him the greatest MMA fighter of all time.

Even though George St-Pierre is from Canada, which has been a growing hotbed of MMA fans, the fight will most likely take place in Las Vegas, Nevada at the T-Mobile Arena during the beginning of July.

Ringside Analysis:

The matchup for George St-Pierre’s return has been polarizing.  Some argue that the addition of GSP back into the UFC at the  middleweight division is happening mostly because of the short-term payoff that will come from it.  The middleweight division is currently one of the most exciting in the UFC and it is unusual for a fighter who is coming out of a three year retirement would get an immediate title shot.  St-Pierre allegedly requested that he fight Bisping in his first fight back and that may have been one of the tipping points that brought GSP back to the company.

Continue reading