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UFC On Versus: 1.24 Million Viewers

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DCRage

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The ratings for the first UFC on Versus event this past weekend are out. The broadcast did 1.24 million total viewers with 1.21 rating in the key 18-49 demo and a 1.66 rating in the target men 18-34 demo. While much better than the channel's average for WEC, it still fell short of the top 2 WEC broadcasts and was 27% below the ratings for Spike's last UFC broadcast (UFN 20).

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Post #1   3/23/10 1:25:53PM   

bojangalz

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I think if anything these numbers prove that while the WEC is certainly a viable MMA promotion; both the fighters and the promoters would be much better served financially to merge the WEC into the UFC.

Is the WEC a lesser fight promotion on it's own? No. But the fact is the current crop of stars under the WEC banner would be superstars without question if they changed the three letters at the top of the fight poster. The fact that an entry level UFC card with two budding stars was enough to trump all but two WEC cards both of which had presence from the top draw in their promotion tells the whole story.

This can't be a secret to the suits at Zuffa either. Anyone else notice how the barker adds for Aldo vs Faber PPV don't mention anything to the effect of "WEC Presents". Putting a fighter's stock ahead of the brand goes against everything associated with the Zuffa business model. But it's pretty obvious that they are hoping the casual audience will just think it's another UFC event and drop coin to get by it.

I know they restructured the network deals for both Spike and VS recently which makes the possibility of a merger nearly impossible in the immediate future, but it's obvious that it needs to happen. VS will get more in advertising $$$'s from running spots during a UFC than a WEC. Zuffa can get more in licensing fees from VS to show UFC branded content. The fighters will fall under the umbrella of UFC payroll (last bonuses on a WEC card were $10k, they were $50k for the UFC on VS card).

The only partner who is hurt in this deal is Spike which is widely regarded as the cable home of the UFC. I'm sure they wouldn't be too keen on allowing more content to be outsourced than what there already is. But the Zuffa have more latitude in negotiation then any other entity televised in the current Spike lineup. They should have the pull to get this done.

Bottom line- It's better for the sport and the fighters to have every weight division represented on the biggest stage the sport has to offer. The fact that it makes business sense should simply be icing on the cake. It's time to get this done.

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Post #2   3/23/10 1:41:45PM   

grappler0000

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Posted by bojangalz

I think if anything these numbers prove that while the WEC is certainly a viable MMA promotion; both the fighters and the promoters would be much better served financially to merge the WEC into the UFC.

Is the WEC a lesser fight promotion on it's own? No. But the fact is the current crop of stars under the WEC banner would be superstars without question if they changed the three letters at the top of the fight poster. The fact that an entry level UFC card with two budding stars was enough to trump all but two WEC cards both of which had presence from the top draw in their promotion tells the whole story.

This can't be a secret to the suits at Zuffa either. Anyone else notice how the barker adds for Aldo vs Faber PPV don't mention anything to the effect of "WEC Presents". Putting a fighter's stock ahead of the brand goes against everything associated with the Zuffa business model. But it's pretty obvious that they are hoping the casual audience will just think it's another UFC event and drop coin to get by it.

I know they restructured the network deals for both Spike and VS recently which makes the possibility of a merger nearly impossible in the immediate future, but it's obvious that it needs to happen. VS will get more in advertising $$$'s from running spots during a UFC than a WEC. Zuffa can get more in licensing fees from VS to show UFC branded content. The fighters will fall under the umbrella of UFC payroll (last bonuses on a WEC card were $10k, they were $50k for the UFC on VS card).

The only partner who is hurt in this deal is Spike which is widely regarded as the cable home of the UFC. I'm sure they wouldn't be too keen on allowing more content to be outsourced than what there already is. But the Zuffa have more latitude in negotiation then any other entity televised in the current Spike lineup. They should have the pull to get this done.

Bottom line- It's better for the sport and the fighters to have every weight division represented on the biggest stage the sport has to offer. The fact that it makes business sense should simply be icing on the cake. It's time to get this done.



I agree with a lot of what you said. I would like to see how the UFC on Versus will impact the WEC though. I'm curious how many casual fans that don't normally watch the WEC will tune into Versus for MMA programming now. Not sure it will make a big difference, but I'm curious to see how it pans out nonetheless.

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Post #3   3/23/10 2:49:51PM   

bojangalz

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Posted by grappler0000


I agree with a lot of what you said. I would like to see how the UFC on Versus will impact the WEC though. I'm curious how many casual fans that don't normally watch the WEC will tune into Versus for MMA programming now. Not sure it will make a big difference, but I'm curious to see how it pans out nonetheless.



Well put. Maybe having the UFC on VS will bring in a more casual audience to WEC shows. I'm not holding my breath; but I guess we'll have to see what happens.

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Post #4   3/23/10 3:10:28PM   

sbulldavid

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The WEC is like welterweight boxing, it's got it's own audience, I'm one of those guys that will watch any WEC fight weather I know the fighters or not, but I don't particularly like watching sluggish undercard fighters in the heavier weights of the UFC. On the whole I much prefer the UFC but it's fun to watch a good fight go the distance once in a while, I just think that with a merger you would be doing a great injustice to a lot of talented fighters that will end up getting cut without getting a chance to improve. Just my opinion, I haven't really thought it through.

Post #5   3/23/10 9:26:13PM