Figure Four Weekly is reporting that the early numbers that came out for UFC 117 from numerous cable sources were incorrect and the new estimates coming in from cable companies now estimate the event in the ballpark of 600,000 PPV buys.


UFC staff was told early last week that the UFC 117 numbers were looking to be just under 600,000 buys, significantly down from fight night expectations. “Part of the issue is that there are wide variations throughout the country with some systems showing huge numbers and other systems showing much smaller numbers. It’ll be several weeks before we get what we can really call a solid number.”

Regardless of the actual number, I think we can all agree that this has been an unbelievable stretch of business for the UFC (something we were talking about at in March!).”

“I get the sense that there’s some confusion between trending numbers and estimates numbers, so allow me to explain the difference:

Trending numbers are based upon pre-fight indicators (e.g., live gate, television ratings, or Google search frequency) that are known to have a significant correlation with PPV buy rate numbers. When a fight is said to be “trending” towards a particular number the analyst is essentially saying that the pre-fight indicators are currently at levels that would suggest the PPV buyrate will be X. Trending numbers do not incorporate any sort of actual number received from a cable company.

Estimate numbers are based upon actual reports from cable companies. These typically take a little longer to report, because the cable companies need time to gather the purchase data from their systems. Then, once reliable base numbers have been gathered, the company will extrapolate those initial figures to give an estimate of what the overall card has likely produced from a buyrate perspective.

You may have noticed that we’ve stopped using trending numbers here at MMAPayout. Despite the regression analysis employed, the pre-fight indicators we use have simply become too unpredictable. The fight game is changing too rapidly: new sets of fans are entering the marketplace, and their purchase behavior patterns are increasing the complexity of this giant puzzle. It’s going to take some time before things settle down to the point where we can once again establish reliable indicators based upon publicly available information.

In the mean time, I’ll continue to go with my gut; 500,000-600,000 is more or less what I expected once this fight had ended. The early trending reports of 1 million were a pleasant shock, but seemed almost too good to be true.

To get an idea of what this means in correlation.

UFC 111: 770,000
UFC 112: 525,000
UFC 113:  520,000
UFC 114: 1,050,000
UFC 115: 520,000
UFC 116: 1,200,000
UFC 117: ~600,000