On Figure Four Online’s podcast last night talking about the WWE Network launch details, Dave Meltzer also broke the news that UFC 168 did between 1 to 1.1 million PPV buys. This is the highest PPV buy rate since July 2010.
Shane Carwin faced Brock Lesnar at UFC 116. That show did just over 1 million PPV buys. While there have been a couple shows since then that have hit the 900Ks in buys, the UFC has not seen another PPV hit this benchmark until now.
UFC 168 was fueled by the rematch of Anderson Silva-Chris Weidman and Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey. The marketing and promotion for this event was over the top as the UFC pulled out all the stops (except a UFC Primetime) in promoting the event. For the most part, the fights did not disappoint except maybe for the gruesome ending of the Silva-Weidman match.
Also, the $5 bump in PPV cost did not seem to hurt the buy rate as many folks decided it was worth the extra money to watch the fights.
Anyone else find it interesting that the UFC released its PPV numbers the same time that the WWE announced the details and launch date of its network? Still, the numbers bring up the UFC PPV average for 2013 up to 475,385 (assuming 1.1M for UFC 168). This outdoes the prior two years which shows that the UFC PPV business is not dying and it’s still a viable revenue stream. Is UFC 168 the recipe for PPV success? If so, what was the driving force behind it? The featured fighters or the promotion for the event? Hopefully for the UFC, it will not be another 3 years before it sees another 1 million PPV event.