Stu R said:
how fast MMA is knocking boxing into the shadows in terms of audience figures, investment potential etc.
Is it? Really?
Volume and sheer number and regularity of well promoted big TV shows - especially featured over here - maybe.
Local events/small hall type shows maybe - though grass roots boxing still happens quite a lot and gets a fair foot fall on a local and regional level here.
But for the really big bills? How many rival the like of Mayweather or Pacquiao fights or the Haye Chisora match. Also in Germany, Europe and Scandinavia it's still very big.
Not many rival the Mayweather or Pacquiao fights at all. Where they kill it is on annual PPV buyrate which is higher than boxing in the US now, and on like-for-like big fights the gap has narrowed massively in live gate takings at places like Mandalay Bay and the Grand. I'm not for a second saying it's the bigger industry, or that it'll ever be - it's not - but in terms of revenue it's certainly eating away at the market share, and it's experiencing growth. No idea on the Haye vs Chisora fight, being on boxnation is a cast iron guarantee that not many in the UK watched it on TV, but there's a lot of indices which point to boxing being in decline, even if revenues for the superfights remain colossal ( I read that had the Mayweather and Pacquiao fight gone ahead, they expected to see over 3.25 million PPV sales!)
In terms of fight buyrate, UFC title fights average 450,000 buys. Sonnen vs Silva 2 brought in 1.1 million PPV buys in the US, which is more than the last Pacquiao fight, but miles away from the 1.4 million the last Mayweather fight brought in. The biggest PPV buyrate the UFC has ever had is 1.6 million for UFC100, so it's on a different planet to the 2.4 million PPV sales that Mayweather vs De La Hoya got, and I can't see UFC getting anywhere near that, but by playing the averages and putting on more bigger fights than boxing, they're playing a cute game.
Europe has little hope for them IMO, save for the eastern european countries - Germany kind of set precedent there by banning it from being shown on TV in 2010, and there's so many barriers to entry it's never going to overtake boxing, but there's markets where it is, and might.
What's more impressive to me is that in Brazil alone they had a shade under 20 million people tuning in to watch the Silva vs Sonnen rematch. Incredible numbers, even the Brazil TUF opened to something like 15m. Bet Dana's pissed he can't convert that to PPV revenue
Quite. Boxing is also socially acceptable on the box. Boxers are sports stars.
MMA stars (the ones that a small part of the public are aware of) don't have that same attraction about them. The UFC needs to cosy up to one of the big five channels.
My interest in MMA has waned a bit. I still look for the results of my favourite fighters, but without a regular programme, it's all happening someplace else. Might as well be Mars.
It's dead market in the UK unless UFC cuts their own throat on price, or tries other avenues and invests heavily in marketing it, which they won't.
BAMMA is about the best we've got to offer on a domestic level, and everything I've seen them put their name to has been s
te. They've got a deal with Channel 5, but it's not worth much and it'll do little to raise the profile of MMA here. It'll take someone with deep pockets that's willing to invest in something that'll take years to build up, which none of the terrestrials can afford to do. Sky are about the only hope it's got of escaping ESPN in the short term, but I can't see them doing it.
Bundling it with another service like is their best shot at getting people over here onboard - Xbox Live, PSN etc are packed with people in the demographics they appeal to most, and are likely to be online en masse when the fights take place, but given they've spectacularly failed to understand that outside of the US most countries think PPV is a bunch of arse, there's little hope of them getting that message anytime soon.
Thankfully I'm moving to the US soon, so I won't have to sit here tripping balls after 20 cans of energy drink before going into a coma at 6am and missing work just to watch a card