Ring Of Sports Marketing

Date archives December 2017


Mayweather-McGregor Earns 4.3 Million PPV Buys in US

Showtime has announced that Mayweather-McGregor earned 4.3 million PPV buys in the US.  The network also stated that the fight generated $600 million in total revenue.

The 4.3 million figure is well below what Dana White has stated in the past, which means that the 6.5 million buys White references must be including international buys.

Mayweather-McGregor is second to Mayweather-Pacquiao with PPV buys, MayPac generated 4.6 million buys, and gate revenue, MayPac generated $72,198,500.  Mayweather’s fight with McGregor on August 26th generated $55,414,865.79 in sales.

Showtime exec Stephen Espinoza told ESPN:

“The pairing of Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor brought together two very significant and distinct global fan bases in one truly unprecedented event… The remarkable results are all the more impressive considering that the planning, marketing and execution took place across a span of just 72 days from the initial announcement to fight night. Together Showtime and Mayweather have now accounted for the three highest grossing pay-per-view events of all time.”

Ringside Analysis:

The primary goal of this fight was to make everyone involved a lot of money.  Mission accomplished.

The marketing for the event included a world press tour that got ugly at times, an All Access series that has always preceded Mayweather fights aired on Showtime, and plenty of commercials on sports networks.  What is unique about this boxing event is that the UFC also helped sell the event.

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Boxing / Ratings

Lomachenko-Rigondeaux Is Second Highest Ranked Boxing Match On Cable In 2017

Vasyl Lomachenko’s fight with Guillermo Rigondeaux set ratings records.  The fight drew 1.73 million viewers, making it the second most-watched fight of 2017.  Pacquiao-Horn, which took place in July of 2017 and averaged 2.8 million views but peaked at 4.4 million, remains the highest-rated boxing match on cable this year.

This boxing event went head-to-head with the UFC running an event on FS1 and Nielsen ratings indicate that the boxing event drew more viewers.  Brian Ortega’s win over Cub Swanson in the octagon earned 870,000 viewers.  The boxing event benefitted from the Heisman Trophy Ceremony preceding it, but Lomachenko-Rigondeaux actually drew more viewers than the ceremony.

From Awful Announcing:

Boosted by following the Heisman Trophy Presentation, the Dec. 9 edition of “Top Rank Boxing” featuring the marquee bout of Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux drew a combined 1.85 million viewers across ESPN and ESPN Deportes, ranking as the second most-watched boxing telecast on cable since 2012, behind only “Top Rank Boxing” (also on ESPN) from July 1, 2017 with Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn. Each of the four fight cards on Dec. 9 registered at least 1.63 million viewers: Vasiliy Lomachenko/Guillermo Rigondeaux (2.114 million), Shakur Stevenson/Oscar Mendoza (1.687 million), Chris Diaz/Bryant Cruz (1.647 million), Michael Conlan/Luis Fernando Molina (1.635 million). 

Ringside Analysis:

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FOX Offers $200M To UFC For Media Rights

Negotiations for the UFC media rights are underway and the first offer from FOX is well below what WME-IMG valued them at.  WME-IMG CEO Ari Emanuel was one of the key negotiators between FOX and UFC for the first media rights deal so he had a good idea going into this next negotiation window what the right value for the rights in 2018 should be.  However, the live sports media rights market has been cooling over the last few years as subscriptions to ESPN have decreased and people are regularly cutting the cord on their TV and going with streaming-only options.

The current agreement runs through 2018 and more offers will come in but the UFC will also be competing against other live sports options, like the WWE, which has good ratings and some overlap in demographics.  Companies like Amazon have also become a bigger player in live sports.  Amazon has media rights to the NFL and Jeff Bezos direction with the company is pointing towards creating new, exclusive streaming content that people will pay for, therefore becoming Amazon Prime members.

At the start of 2017 the media fees paid to the UFC will be $160 million, after being $115 million a year when the deal first began in 2011.

The media rights could also be for a digital only platform that Dana White has brought up recently.

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