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« | Home | »

Will Affliction draw serious money promoting events?

By Zach Arnold | May 21, 2008

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The upcoming Hidehiko Yoshida vs. Maurice Smith fight for Sengoku 3 on 6/8 at Saitama Super Arena is being pushed in the Japanese media as a battle between two fighters who are a combined 85 years old.

Onto today’s headlines.

  1. The Long Beach Press-Telegram: Affliction throws itself into the mix (note the comment about not being ‘a money-first operation’…)
  2. USA Today: $250,000 worth of tickets sold for Affliction 7/19 Honda Center event
  3. The New York Daily News: Newly-retired boxer Chris Byrd helping with boxing training for UFC fighters
  4. The Long Beach Press-Telegram: Beyond bad blood – Penn and Sherk’s battle of words reaches new levels
  5. The Rochester Post-Bulletin (MN): Local fighters Travis Wiuff and Logan Clark sign contracts to fight for Sengoku
  6. USA Today: Sean Sherk, BJ Penn set for testy UFC battle
  7. MMA Junkie: Luiz Cane replaces James Irvin at UFC 85
  8. The Canadian Press: Tito Ortiz says he will make UFC pay in his farewell fight
  9. Eurosport: Ryoto Machida could make big name
  10. SI: CBS prepared, confident about prime-time EXC event
  11. The Sun (UK): Keith Jardine has a point to prove
  12. The Quincy Patriot-Ledger (MA): State senator James Timilty fights for MMA regulation in Massachusetts
  13. The Honolulu Advertiser: BJ Penn not out to kill at ‘Ill Will’ MMA card
  14. KIRO TV (WA): Students’ ‘fight club’ causing controversy
  15. MMA Predictions: UFC 84 from the MMA girls
  16. MMA Weekly: Rashad Evans bout scrapped, UFC 85 final at 11 bouts
  17. Kevin Iole: Love him or hate him, people talk Kimbo
  18. MMA Analyst: Gina Carano carrying CBS/EXC – analyzing the buzz
  19. MMA Opinion: Adjusting to the Octagon – Wanderlei Silva’s problem
  20. Total MMA: UFC 84 – Ill Will event preview

Topics: Boxing, Japan, Media, MMA, Pro Elite, Sengoku, UFC, Zach Arnold | 26 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

26 Responses to “Will Affliction draw serious money promoting events?”

  1. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I saw a WEC Faber vs Pulver ad on the side of a T bus this morning. I was kind of shocked to see advertising like that for a WEC event.

    Anyone else sighting ads for WEC this week?

  2. Ben says:

    So is the Evans bout scrapped or is his opponent replaced? Conflicting reports oh my!

  3. Ultimo Santa says:

    Tito Ortiz: “I think it really came down to me understanding the revenue that they were making and having a feeling that I should be getting a part of the revenue that I’m building for them”

    Dana White: “Tito is a fucking moron! Nothing out of his mouth makes sense!”

    It’s all very schizophrenic on Dana White’s part…to brag endlessly about the UFC’s multi-million dollar gates, tens of millions they earn per PPV event, etc. and then say that someone is a “moron” for wanting a larger piece of the pie? And worse (and even more hypocritical) call them selfish?

    I’m not, and have never been, a fan of Tito Ortiz inside the octagon, but you can’t deny his drawing power, and that he deserves to be compensated accordingly.

    When boxers can walk away with $25M+ for a fight, how can you NOT be pissed off if you’re in Tito’s position? Or Sylvia? Or Couture? Or Arlovski?

  4. Interestingly enough, many Chicago AM radio stations have become flooded with MMA advertising during weekend events. The surprising ad was YAMMA when the event came around, and the SCORE 670 actually held a drawing for winners who called in for passes to watch the event online.

    The UFC also has some pull with radio in Chicago as well, advertising, interviews, etc. It definitely seems that the MMA promotions are reaching out to new arenas to grab fans.

  5. cyph says:

    I have to marvel at the balls of Affliction paying crazy money for putting on a show like Banned. They’re like the reincarnation of Pride with American MMA rules.

    With a card like this, I can only hope that they do well. I wonder how many shows they can do before they run out money when they’re paying Rothwell 250k per fight?

  6. IronMan says:

    I’ll be honest, I don’t particularly care for the way that affliction has put their card together. They really look like they’re going to put on one show and then declare bankruptcy, and it’s not a smart way to run a business. I’m aware of how much money they have, but still, they’re spending like doomsday’s here.

    Thanks for posting my article in here, though. (It’s #19)

  7. doem says:

    ^^^
    I used to care about that stuff before pride collapsed. Right now we are in a waning period of a golden era of heavyweights and the multi-promotion match up that people have been talking about for years is taking place in June. Thats pretty freakin cool

  8. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I don’t know if this is the waning period of the golden era. I’d liken it more to a Kiss reunion tour (the LAST ONE EVER, and this time, they’re WEARING THE MAKEUP!).

    I think that ship done sailed.

  9. Grape Knee High says:

    I’m just going to enjoy the Affliction card while they are still willing and able to sign the marquee fighters the UFC has not. At least they’re paying the fans back for unleashing their ridiculous meathead fashion upon the world.

    On an unrelated UFC 84 note, it still cracks me up that some fans think that Wanderlei can just easily Thai clinch guys that 3-5 are inches taller than he is.

  10. Jonathan says:

    The Affliction card seems to me to be alot like the WFA “King of the Streets”

    Alot of flash and hullabaloo and then bankruptcy. I hope that I am wrong.

  11. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    In any case, I am impressed that Affliction has managed to get so much press attention, when their first event is six weeks out still.

  12. Zack says:

    They’re getting my money. I’m spending more money on tix to that event than I have for any UFC I’ve gone to.

  13. IceMuncher says:

    “On an unrelated UFC 84 note, it still cracks me up that some fans think that Wanderlei can just easily Thai clinch guys that 3-5 are inches taller than he is.”

    Yeah, going into this fight I think a lot of fans don’t quite realize how much taller and stronger Jardine is compared to Wandy. Liddell made Wanderlei look small, and Jardine is about the same size as Chuck if not slightly bigger.

    It should be a great fight.

  14. Shane says:

    “Ultimo Santa Says:

    When boxers can walk away with $25M+ for a fight, how can you NOT be pissed off if you’re in Tito’s position? Or Sylvia? Or Couture? Or Arlovski?”

    The UFC’s business model is more alike the WWE than boxing. Wrestlemania 24 generated over a million PPV buys and over 70,000 in attendance but the overall profit was only around $5 million, despite revenues of $30 million for the event. If we are to believe that UFC is making Wrestlemania-type money for each of their monthly PPV events then Dana is right – Tito IS a moron to expect $25 million a fight.

  15. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I think that boxing is FAR more reliant on sponsor money than MMA is so far. They have huge deals for a single event, whereas UFC for instance is signing relatively small deals that extend for years.

  16. D. Capitated says:

    The UFC’s business model is more alike the WWE than boxing. Wrestlemania 24 generated over a million PPV buys and over 70,000 in attendance but the overall profit was only around $5 million, despite revenues of $30 million for the event. If we are to believe that UFC is making Wrestlemania-type money for each of their monthly PPV events then Dana is right – Tito IS a moron to expect $25 million a fight.

    Yes, because the two make a great comparison. After all, like the WWE, the UFC runs the same headliners every month. Oh, wait….

    I think that boxing is FAR more reliant on sponsor money than MMA is so far.

    Huh? Boxing is reliant on PPV money and the cash recieved by networks. ESPN pays $30,000 a show. Versus between $100,000 and $200,000. Those are low end boxing events. HBO has paid millions for fights that aren’t PPV. Their budget for boxing last year was what the entire long term UFC/Spike TV deal was worth.

  17. Chuck says:

    Boxing is very much reliant on advertising money as well. How many ESPN2 cards do you see a billion ads for Just For Men? Commercials and advertisements on the canvas? The answer is “every single ESPN2 boxing card in the past five or so years”. And how many boxing cards have Corona and Bud Light advertisements? Too many to name. I’m watching ESPN2 Wednesday Night Fights right now and I see advertisements for Just For Men, Ford, KFC, and Auto Zone. I’m sure there are others that I don’t see. Hell, years ago, there was a growing fad of fighters advertising gambling websites on their backs! But that money goes straight to the fighters, not to the promoters of networks.

    Oh, and Zach Arnold (and everyone else) did you read the news on NBC’s Strikeforce show/infomercial getting better Nielson ratings than Craig Ferguson’s and Jimmy Kimmel’s late night talk shows? Crazy huh? I guess the actual viewership went from about 319,000 viewers to 949,000. That is a HUGE jump. I still haven’t seen the show yet. And to think TNA can’t get their viewership to move… Hell, TNA’s viewership has gone DOWN since Samoa Joe became TNA heavyweight champ. So I guess Kurt Angle IS the main draw in TNA after all…

  18. 45 Huddle says:

    I am purchasing the Affliction PPV. But I think overall the event will flop. Just too much money being poured into something that has almost no chance of selling a lot of PPVs. Not to mention that Rampage/Forrest will get a lot of PPV Buys, and not many people will want to spend $85 over a 2 week period just on MMA.

    As for that Strikeforce number, something is likely wrong in the calculation. It just makes no sense. Nelson isn’t exactly using data from each household, and I always thought the ratings were BS once 200 channels became a norm.

  19. 45 Huddle says:

    One thing to point out about the Affliction card is…. At first glance the card looks to be amazing with so much talent on it. Yet when you actually look at each fight, it isn’t half the card we think it is. And I can’t take credit for this idea either, as I read it on another forum. Break it down by fight, and unlike a typical UFC, it doesn’t have many 50/50 pick’em fights.

    1. Aleksander Emelianenko vs. Paul Buentello. This actually is a 50/50 fight, yet it won’t be on the PPV. They are giving it away for free on FSN.

    2. Renato Sobral vs. Mike Whitehead – Whitehead has always looked unimpressive against top talent. Should be a win for Babalu.

    3. Matt Lindland vs. Fabio Negao – Should be an easy win for Lindland.

    4. Josh Barnett vs. Pedro Rizzo 2 – Should be an easy win for Barnett.

    5. Rothwell vs. ??? – If it is Arlovski, then this is the best fight on the PPV. If not, then it could be a dud of a fight potentially.

    6. Tim Sylvia vs. Fedor Emelianenko – I think like 80% of the hardcore fans are picking Sylvia.

    Once again, I’m buying this card just for the talent. But my expectation is:

    1) Bad PPV Production
    2) One Sided Fights
    3) Potentially Boring Heavyweight Action, as it typically is.

  20. The Gaijin says:

    45 always able to find the grey lining in ever silver cloud that’s not UFC related.

    Of course the perfect explanation that another mma company’s TV numbers going up is that it’s a mistake! I’m sure you were saying the same thing about mistakes and unreliability of ratings for all the TUF, UFN’s and Spike UFC cards when they pulled good ratings too.

    AND – 80% are giving the fight to Sylvia?? After watching that fat slob flail around on his back like some novice ground fighter against Nog and showing his susceptibility to faster, more agile HWs with good greco/clinch skills against Randy – I’m pretty sure you’ve got that number backwards.

  21. D. Capitated says:

    Boxing is very much reliant on advertising money as well. How many ESPN2 cards do you see a billion ads for Just For Men?

    ESPN2 puts Just For Men on the canvas. Same with Autozone. The promoter of the event sees only the $30,000. I’m not arguing that advertisement isn’t important to a degree, but to act as if boxing is reliant on it when its shifted its sport to premium channels with no commercials and PPV is ridiculous. The primary sources of money are live gate plus PPV buys and/or network money.

    Hell, years ago, there was a growing fad of fighters advertising gambling websites on their backs! But that money goes straight to the fighters, not to the promoters of networks.

    And the networks hated it to such a degree, you can’t show up on TV with the tats anymore.

  22. Gabe says:

    45, if every MMA bout was a 50/50, we would have missed out on some classics over the years. Just enjoy.

  23. Ultimo Santa says:

    I’m going to be the ‘anti-45’ and say something positive about a non-UFC product!

    The upcoming Elite XC card looks very exciting!

    *steam comes out of 45 Huddle’s ears and his face turns bright red with rage*

    The booking is brilliant, IMO. They set up what should be an entertaining night of stand-up fights with a lot of KO potential.

    *45 Huddle Hulk-smashes his keyboard and foams at the mouth*

    Slice vs. Thompson is virtually guaranteed to end with a massive KO, which the crowd will go crazy for.

    Lawler vs. Smith should be an absolute war, with both men smashing the hell out of each other, and I see the same thing for Baroni vs. Villasenor.

    *45 Huddle kicks his dog in the ribs and throws a wicker chair our his apartment window*

    And how can you not be entertained by Gina Corano? Whether you’re a MMA fan or not…damn.

    With some potential stars, hot women fighting and a killer TV deal, Elite XC has the opportunity to actually make a run at competing with UFC.

    *45 Huddle runs at his monitor full-speed, smashing his head through the glass…TKO*

  24. Zack says:

    45 Huddle is a joke. Enjoy the fights.

    I have tickets to 84 & the Affliction show. Should be a good couple months.

  25. 45 Huddle says:

    Did I mention EliteXC? There next card has a lot of pick’em fights, which shows good matchmaking. I won’t deny that. That card will likely be 10 times more exciting then Affliction.

  26. ilostmydog says:

    You guys get way too upset about 45’s opinions. Internetz are not seriouz buziness.

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