It seems outside TRT and Injuries, "Over Saturation" is the big issue. Many blame the UFC for putting on too many events. This year, the UFC planned 32 events(31 with the UFC 151 debacle)
4 FOX events:
8 FX events: 6 FN's + 2 TUF finales
6 Fuel TV events: Wish I had the channel!!
This is 18 non-PPV events, 4 of which are on Fox and suppose to be PPV like, about 8 FN's, and 2 TUF finales. TUF Australia(is that on? I'd like to watch it) and TUF Brazil became their own events rather than Finales.
This leave 14 PPV's to sell to the fans. People tend to think 14 is a lot, but it's always been that way dating back to 2009 at least when the sport started to take off. Here's a little breakdown of PPV buy rates:
2009: 610,000 PPV buys on average: 13 events
2010: 600,000 PPV buys on average: 15 events
2011: 425,000 PPV buys on average: 16 events
Notice the huge gap between 2010 and 2011? In 2011, the UFC had 27 events where as 2010 had 24. Why the fall? Did the UFC just absolutely peak in 2010 or was 2011 just that bad of a year? If you look now, in 2012, the UFC planned 32 events, most likely due to the Fox deal. The Fox deal essentially replaced Versus and Spike TV but added 4 events that are suppose to be PPV like.
So far in 2012 by the way, the UFC averages roughly 475K through 10 events not counting 147 which to my knowledge was never confirmed. They still have 2 to go, which should be pretty big numbers as their PPV king GSP is set to make his return(700K at least) and 155 is stacked, will probably do 400-500K.
So, what can the UFC do in 2013 to get back to the 2010 days where PPV was selling like crazy? Well let's breakdown a little outline.
Here's what 2013 may look like:
4 FOX events 4 Fight Nights 6 FUEL TV cards
2 TUF Finales
So for Fox, we got at least 18 events. We could see some of those rumored Japanese events possibly take place on Fuel, if ou remember, Dana hinted at UFC Circuit shows that would show local talent in various countries, supposedly, Japan, Canada, and Brazil are among those that may take place.
As for PPV, right now we know of the following:
3 in Canada
3 in Brazil
4 in Vegas is also a guarantee 1 in Texas is a guarantee 1 in Jersey is almost a lock
Then the other 2 will be split between Philly, Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, LA, Seattle, Expect these to be the location of the Fox Events, I think the UFC enters all these areas in 2013, they will be either Fox events or PPV. I'm leaving out England, I assume they will be either Fuel TV cards or FX, sorry UK!
Internationally we could see Ireland, Germany, that place where UFC 112 took place!, France, South Africa, and Sweden, but they will probably be Fuel or FX cards.
So, I am expecting 32 events next year, everybody panic!!! But I have a few suggestions that could make 2013 a successful year assuming this is the schedule.
#1: Leave the bigger weight classes for PPV barring any superfights
There are 8 champions, one of which probably cannot headline on his own. So my suggestion is 155 and under should stick to Fox Events. Each Fox event should feature a championship fight and 3 other solid fights.
Lorenzo stated that he wanted to build Nate Diaz through Fox, well that's an excellent idea, and he already kind of has. Of the 5 Fox events, Nate has or will be headlining 2 of those events. So, why stop, continue to do so.
Do the same with the Featherweight division, Bantamweight, and Flyweight divisions. Flyweights/Bantamweight could even headline FX events. The WEC thrived on selling the lower weight classes for free, UFC should do the same. Not all of the championship fights should be on Fox, but at least one of them, especially the Flyweight division as of now.
Now though, Aldo-Edgar, Faber-Cruz are all big fights that could sell PPV or at least be headliners, so they could be fine as they could stand on their own.
#2: Better Co-Main Events: UFC 151 rule! Every event, needs 1 or even 2 other fights that could buy your interest or be there in case of emergency injuries, drug tests, crazy crackwhore wives..whatever.
#3: Better spacing of the Events and PPV's. There are 12 months, with 14 possible PPV's. Space them out like the following.
January: 1: PPV February: 1 PPV + 1 Fox event March: 1 PPV April: 1 PPV + Fox Event June: 2 PPV July: 2 PPV August: 1 PPV
September: 1 PPV October: 1 PPV + Fox Event November: 2 PPV December: 1 PPV + Fox Event
This pretty much gives you 1 PPV a month. In 2012, it was like there was 2 PPV's a month sometimes and other months with just no events at all, remember that 6 week hellstorm? 1 PPV a month, or at least a Fox card to accommodate. The Fox events would be better spaced out to get promoted by Baseball and Football. October= World Series, Feb= Super Bowl, Dec= Mid NFL Season, hell, you could even move that April event back a little.
What do you guys think: Can the UFC succeed in PPV terms with 32 events? What do they need to cut down, would more Fox shows help?