New Insights Into UFC PPV Business, Fan Base And Fight Pass Service

Over the course of the past few days some interesting numbers and stats have emerged regarding a number of different aspects of the UFC’s business.

First up, according to a report from the Sports Business Journal, the UFC’s pay-per-view business now accounts for only 30% of the promotion’s overall revenue based on figures from 2013.

That’s down 15% from 2009, which in all fairness was a high watermark for the promotion producing two events in a row that were watched by over a million viewers, including UFC 100 which remains the most watched UFC PPV of all time with 1.5 million viewers.

While the UFC’s pay-per-view business has shown to be eroding significantly, it’s not all doom and gloom for the company as over the same period total revenue as actually increased 50% and that’s thanks to the promotions aggressive expansion into international markets which has brought with it a major boost in TV revenue.

Meanwhile, a new Sports Business Daily poll offered increased insight into MMA’s fan base in the U.S.

The poll found that more blue collar workers watch MMA than any other sport, while it also polls No.1 in terms of the number of fans currently employed as a whole.

There’s a catch that comes with that, however. Due to the work ethic of the average UFC fan that means they have less free time and watch less sport than all but one other sport.

In terms of raw numbers that means that the average UFC fan in the U.S watches 6.59 hours of sport a week.

These are definitely interesting figures and somewhat calls into question the UFC’s current strategy which has involved drastically ramping up the number of events they put on, with sometimes as many as two in the same day at times such as this past weekend.

At the same time these statistics as a whole put into sharp focus why the UFC have put such a strong focus on growing their business outside of their home market in the United States.

Meanwhile, viewership numbers are still hard to come by for the UFC’s ‘Fight Pass’ internet subscription service which launched earlier this year, but’s Kevin Iole was able to get his hands on some data this week regarding what fans are actually investing their time watching on the platform.

Below you can find out who the top 10 most searched fighters and most watched fights are on the service to date, with perhaps the most intriguing stat being that Conor McGregor is the fighter who people are most interested in seeking out on Fight Pass.

Top 10 Most Watched Fighters:

Conor McGregor
Jon Jones
Nick Diaz
Anderson Silva
T.J. Dillashaw
Daniel Cormier
Rory MacDonald
Ronda Rousey
Mark Hunt
Cain Velasquez

Top 10 most-watched fights:

Jon Jones-Alexander Gustafsson, Sept. 21, 2013, Toronto, UFC 165
Gilbert Melendez-Diego Sanchez, Oct. 19, 2013, Houston, UFC 166
Anderson Silva-Chris Weidman, July 6, 2013, Las Vegas, UFC 162
Georges St-Pierre-Johny Hendricks, Nov. 16, 2013, Las Vegas, UFC 167
Benson Henderson-Anthony Pettis II, Aug. 31, 2013, Milwaukee, Wisc., UFC 164
Conor McGregor-Max Holloway, Aug. 17, 2013, Boston, UFC FIght Night 26
Cain Velasquez-Junior dos Santos III, Oct. 19, 2013, Houston, UFC 166
Benson Henderson-Rustam Khabilov, June 7, 2014, Albuquerque, N.M., UFC Fight Night 42
Conor McGregor-Marcus Brimage, April 6, 2013, Stockholm, Sweden, UFC Sweden 2
Johny Hendricks-Carlos Condit, March 16, 2013, Montreal, UFC 158

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.