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Zuffa’s reasoning for invading Germany

Last week Dana White made a comment about future expansion plans, targeting “Germany, the Philippines and Australia next”, making me wonder what the fuck this dude has been smoking. But there IS method to his madness, and if you want to understand what’s going on behind those black, shark-like eyes, look ye unto Wrestlemania for the truthe.

WWE Wreslemania XXIV is currently estimated at 1,058,000 buys (667,000 North American Buys).   The event drew 23.8 million in pay per view revenue…All told the event generated $31.3 million in total revenue with an after tax profit of $4.6 million.

667,000 North American buys is barely higher than what UFC 79 did, but WWE did $10 million more in PPV revenue with a worldwide PPV base.   Establishing a worldwide PPV base is crucial to long term success.   It makes hot periods hotter, and ensures companies stay in business even when times aren’t great.   Both Germany and Australia are major sources of international PPV buys for WWE, which is why they are being targeted.

So you can consider the live events in these countries to be extremely expensive advertising campaigns to develop a larger base of PPV customers. Pretty smart, really. Oh, Dana … I’ll never doubt you again!

  • Swedish guy

    UFC in Germany means I’m there. No doubt.

  • garth

    do you have the pure strength of will?!

  • Swedish guy

    You will probably see the triumph of my will by then. If it happens, I’ll make sure I get press credentials.

  • Ram

    Makes too much sense. I wrote that bit on 5oz. and commenter Ulrich made similiar comments in the commenting comments section, where you can make comments. Very enlightening…

    Rome has a nice twist on being buoyed by the international market. Something has to explain Def Leppard still clinging to life, defying even the Hasselhoff Directive’s middle finger in the face of pop Darwinism…

  • garth

    def leppard is explained by their allegiance with satan, and the copious amounts of virgin baby blood they bathe in every day. you can’t make such bland, horrifying, uninspired, repetitious torture-songs with mere human powers. you need Lucifer.

  • godzillad

    That’s all well and good until you learn that the majority of the WWE’s non-merchandise revenue comes from international touring. They make almost all of their money from going to the UK, Mexico, Japan, and small Asian countries like the Philippines and such.

    UFC is not gonna stop being hot in America like wrestling did. They don’t need to worry about bookers, scripts, quality of the talent, politics, all the shit that ruined wrestling.

  • Nachtfalter

    As the resident German Jackal of course I gotta say something about this.
    Now, not that I’m complaining about potential UFC events in my home country or anything, but right now, I don’t really see it.
    The UFC doesn’t have any TV presence whatsoever in Germany, the PPVs aren’t available (anymore; they used to be), there is a total of one German magazine (that I know of) kinda sorta covering the UFC. And that’s actually a Pro Wrestling magazine. I guess what I’m getting at is… there is no public awareness for MMA over here. If anything, people remember some documentary about Ultimate Fighting equalling Human Cockfighting and Bud Spencer commenting that it was an insult to human dignity (I’m not making that stuff up, btw).
    Sure, Germany could potentially be a somewhat lucrative market, but Dana and his boys have a shitload of work ahead of themselves and gigantic piles of money to burn before they get to that point.

  • el feo XIII

    It is smart, actually. The UFC can not do the amount of shows WWE does, or anywhere close, but the occasional PPV show overseas can build up an overseas PPV audience.

  • Preach

    Well, the reasoning for Zuffa choosing Germany over other european countries is pretty simple.

    For one, Germany’s the biggest country in europe with more than 80 million inhabitants, and it’s also the biggest market for the american entertainment industry. Movies, TV-Series, Videogames – there’s more money to be made here than anywhere else in europe.

    We’ve got more free-to-air television stations than any other country, which could be vital for the UFC to establish it’s product. What made the UFC in the States? PPV? Or Spike and TUF? That’s exactly the same route that the UFC has to go to build brand awareness in Germany, try to get on a tv-station with TUF and/or highlight-shows. And that shouldn’t be too big of a problem. There should be more than enough stations willing to show UFC programming if the price is right. Sure, that’d most probably mean that Zuffa would have to sell their product a bit under worth, but you have to expect losses when building a brand. They can change stations/contracts later on.

    There’s only one PPV-provider in Germany, that being Premiere. They were on that station until early 2005, but then Premiere decided to cancel their contract as the win/loss ration was just too low for them, and the UFC obviously didn’t want to lower it’s asking price. But mind you, this was at a time, when there was no TUF or UFC on free-tv in Germany. It was PPV only, something that’s still rather new to the market (we used to have WWE/WCW-PPVs for free up until 2002), and most people just didn’t want to spend 15 Euros on 3 hours. But with the UFC on free-tv, there should be more of an incentive for Premiere to get back in business with Zuffa/UFC.

    Germany’s one of the few countries outside of the US, where US-sports such as baseball and american football actually came to fruitition. Sure, the NFL cancelled their “european experiment”, but at a very bad time. When they started their expansion back in the early 90s with the NFL Europe, there was just one team from Germany, one from the Netherlands, one from France and so on. When the league was shutdown, it was called “NFL Europa” (Europa being the german word for europe) and made up entirely of german teams – who drew around 30,000 per game. So if it was possible to establish american football in the heart of “soccer” europe, it shouldn’t too big of a problem to establish the UFC over here.

    The grassroots are already sown. There’s a small, but rabid hardcore mma-fanbase in the country. UFC dvds (with german commentary by Oliver Copp of Tough Talk Radio) are selling quite okay (especially when you consider that the UFC’s non-existant on german tv), we’ve got a bunch of minor league promotions holding events, and MMA-dojos are popping up everywhere.

    Germany has the best infrastructure of all the other possible candidates in europe. Germany’s located right in the heart of europe, having the most neighbouring countries with the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, France, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Poland and the Czech Republic, so it can be reached from all of these countries rather quickly, be it by car, train or plane. It has also the biggest net of highways as well as railroad tracks, and the highest concentration of international and regional airports. So it’d be absolutely no problem for foreigners to come to germany to a UFC show.

    We’ve got more than enough possible venues for UFC shows, ranging from 5000 to 40000 (indoors). All state of the art, most of them even having their own railroad station…

    And Nachtfalter’s wrong when he says that the UFC’s in only one magazine over here. I’m guessing he’s talking of “Power Wrestling”, but rest assured, that’s only one of many. There’s a whole bunch of martial arts magazines that feature articles on the UFC and MMA, like “SHOGUN” magazine. We even have our own german language edition of “Fightsport Magazine” (or had, i haven’t checked the retailers for it in a long time).

  • kentyman

    So why do they call you “preach”? :-P

  • Nachtfalter

    Yeah, I used to buy the German Fightsport (even though it wasn’t more than a really, really bad translation from the french version) but I think there were only six or seven issues. There was also another magazine (TOP Fighting… or something like that) with MMA-content some time ago but I haven’t seen that in any newsstand in a long time, either.
    I’ve never heard of SHOGUN, though. Thanks Preach, I guess I’ll look out for that.

    And I agree with you, in general. Of course Germany is an interesting market for anything that comes out of the US. I was merely stating that the UFC hasn’t made any (publically noticeable) steps towards an expansion to Germany (such as announcing a TV contract).

    By the way, a while back there was a German MMA show called MAX (Martial Arts Xtreme) that aired on DSF (a German sports network) but it pretty much sucked balls and was cancelled after a few episodes. So I guess Preach is right, there sure are a few networks that should be willing to broadcast MMA if Dana doesn’t get too caught up in his “I don’t want to make a bad deal”-bullshit.

    How is the TV situation in the UK, by the way? Do they have TUF, Unleashed or something like that? Or is it just the PPVs?

  • fightlinker

    Looking at, the TV listing only shows TUF on there, which is silly … they should have forced Unleashed down the brit’s throats in exchange for TUF rights. Really interesting reads on the German sitch guys, thanks for the insight!