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Will UFC 109 PPV numbers really suck?

After spending the majority of his time leading up to UFC 108 freaking out at the press and fans for shitting on the event, Dana was a lot more reserved for UFC 109, saying we’re spoiled because the card only sucks compared to other UFC events (I don’t really know what else we’re supposed to compare it to) and putting his estimate at a very reasonable 375,000 buys. Subtract the standard 30% pump Dana tends to add to all his numbers, and that’s European event weak.

But MMA Payout brings some signs that point towards the event not sucking as hardcore as UFC 108 did:

UFC 109 was thought by many to be a candidate for the UFC’s lowest PPV total of the year, but a great deal of the indicators we’re seeing suggest that it will likely garner a higher buyrate than UFC 108’s 300,000.

Interestingly, Spike scheduled the debut of Countdown to UFC 109 following last weekend’s UFC 107 replay that countered Strikeforce: Miami on Showtime. The Countdown capitalized on UFC 107’s massive lead-in to draw 881,000 viewers, which is the 2nd highest reported viewership for a Countdown show (4th highest when you include last year’s UFC 94 Primetime shows). Moreover, the reported gate revenue for the event was $2.27 million, which is generally correlated with a buyrate above the baseline of 300,000.

It will be interesting to hear what the real numbers end up being from Meltzer in a week or so. But for now, it’s worth adding the caveat that so far MMA Payout’s gate / countdown ratings formula has proven itself to be about as accurate as a dowsing rod and less accurate than an educated guess from an informed individual. Sure, they’re usually within 100,000 buys of the actual number. But when you’re dealing with a PPV number spread that usually sits somewhere between 300k and 700k buys, that’s about as accurate as throwing a bowling ball down the wrong lane.