UFC Popularity is Dwindling During the COVID-19 Pandemic

» Posted by on Oct 30, 2020 in Fighter, MMA | Comments Off on UFC Popularity is Dwindling During the COVID-19 Pandemic

UFC Popularity is Dwindling During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Foolish predictions for UFC 254 were made by President Dana White, who suggested that the Pay-Per-View would evoke the highest views to date. UFC 245 was slated to be the largest PPV that the Ultimate Fighting Championship had held at Abu Dhabi’s Fight Island. What Dana White was suggesting would’ve also broken all records for UFC Pay-Per-View history. Conor McGregor & Khabib Nurmagomedov had been the previous record holder in October 2018.

That record wouldn’t be overtaken until Jorge Masvidal & Kamaru Usman fought this year. Dana White presumed history would repeat itself with Nurmagomedov’s battle against Justin Gaethje. However, viewership records were the lowest the UFC has seen throughout 2020. For the eyes of UFC President Dana White, it’s likely a failure & indication that new viewers must be approached.

The UFC 245 Pay-Per-View is reported to have acquired 675,000.00 viewers, meaning that hundreds of thousands paid $64.99 to witness the fight. That’s still an incredible profit for four hours of hosted entertainment. Without spending any respective fees & costs associated with hosting this fight, Dana Whites UFC would’ve made $43 Million. Its likely profit margins are roughly $30 Million. It should be clarified though that margins are lower than what would’ve been earned with Usman vs Masvidal ranking 1.3 Million viewers. PPV Costs were still the same at $64.99.

Details regarding viewership for the Ultimate Fighting Championship was provided through ESPN+. It was noted that 500 thousand viewers were obtained through America. The remaining 175 thousand PPV buyers were international supporters. What this shows is dwindling popularity in the UFC. Justin Gaethje last fought in May 2020 against Tony Ferguson, with that Pay-Per-View ranking 700k viewers.

The Nelk Boys

Preliminary fight viewership also saw its lowest ratings in 2020. The UFC 245 Prelims saw 343 thousand recorded viewers, with the demographic ageing between 18 to 49. It means the UFC must reach new audiences quickly to sustain future growth from 2021 to 2022. One method that UFC President Dana White has worked to create new viewers is with the NELK Boys, a YouTube Channel that averages 5.3 Million views per video. Dana White was seen on their latest video, with suggestive discussions indicating that members of the NELK Boys could join the UFC. Justin Gaethje & Khabib Nurmagomedov also appeared in this video.