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Pay Per View Buyrate

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is, quite simply, the most succesful organization in the history of Pay Per View television. In 2006, the UFC set the all-time record for the largest annual gross revenue in the history of the medium, generating over $222 million for the year, and eclipsing the totals of its nearest Pay Per View rivals, boxing (via HBO Sports) and professional wrestling (via Vince McMahon's WWE). In 2007, HBO briefly retook that mantle, owing in large part to the Oscar de la Hoya versus Floyd Mayweather superfight, which helped it set a new annual record of $255 million in revenue. Since then the record books have been all UFC. The Zuffa, LLC owned promotion has left its Pay Per View rivals in the dust, shattering records on an annual basis with $283 million in Pay Per View gross revenue in 2008, and an estimated $350 million in 2009. These records were set during the worst recession in modern U.S. history, suggesting that but for the state of the economy, the totals would have been much higher.

The UFC's annual revenue increases are driven, of course, by the increases in Pay Per View buyrates for UFC events. From a total of 145,000 total annual Pay Per View buys in 2001, UFC PPV sales grew to over 5.1 million in 2007 and approximately 8 million in 2009. Of the top ten Pay Per View events in 2009 as measured by total purchases, the UFC had six, boxing three, and professional wrestling one.

Held on December 30, 2006, UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz 2 was the Ultimate Fighting Championship's first ever Pay Per View event to reach the 1,000,000 buy plateau. The economics of that event are representative of the extraordinarily lucrative market Pay Per View sales represent. The live event itself was attended by 13,700 fans, of whom approximately 12,000 were paid entrants, generating a live gate total of $5,397,000. The 1,050,000 fans who ordered UFC 66 on Pay Per View, by contrast, would have brought in over $45 million in gross sales at the current standard Pay Per View purchase price of $44.95. In short, despite the ever-increasing television audiences, live gates, merchandising and licensing sales enjoyed by the UFC juggernaut, the organization's cash cow has been and remains Pay Per View.

While the UFC's Pay Per View success has been unprecedented, it has not been shared by the remainder of the MMA community. Strikeforce and EliteXC's co-promoted 2007 Shamrock vs. Baroni foray into the Pay Per View market met with a paltry 35,000 buys, and the first (and last) ever Pay Per View event held under Zuffa's WEC banner, WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber in April of 2010, has been estimated variously at between 60,000 and 150,000 buys, depending on the source. Affliction 1 and Affliction 2 met with approximately 100,000 and 90,000 buys, respectively, before the promotion was folded.

Pay Per View Buyrate (142)

Event   Name   Date   Buyrate
UFC 100 2009.07.11 1,600,000
UFC 116 Lesnar vs Carwin 2010.07.03 1,160,000
UFC 121 Lesnar vs. Velasquez 2010.10.23 1,050,000
UFC 114 Jackson vs Evans 2010.05.29 1,050,000
UFC 66 Liddell vs. Ortiz 2 2006.12.30 1,050,000
UFC 92 The Ultimate 2008 2008.12.27 1,050,000
UFC 168 Weidman vs. Silva 2 2013.12.28 1,025,000
UFC 148 Silva vs. Sonnen 2 2012.07.07 1,000,000
UFC 158 St. Pierre vs. Diaz 2013.03.16 950,000
UFC 94 St-Pierre vs. Penn 2 2009.01.31 920,000
UFC 91 Couture vs Lesnar 2008.11.15 900,000
UFC 101 Declaration 2009.08.08 850,000
UFC 129 St. Pierre vs. Shields 2011.04.30 800,000
UFC 124 St. Pierre vs. Koscheck 2 2010.12.11 785,000
UFC 61 Bitter Rivals 2006.07.08 775,000
UFC 111 St-Pierre vs Hardy 2010.03.27 770,000
UFC 141 Lesnar vs. Overeem 2011.12.30 750,000
UFC 126 Silva vs. Belfort 2011.02.05 725,000
UFC 154 St. Pierre vs. Condit 2012.11.17 700,000
UFC 145 Jones vs. Evans 2012.04.21 700,000
UFC 79 Nemesis 2007.12.29 700,000
UFC 71 Liddell vs Jackson 2007.05.26 675,000
UFC 81 Breaking Point 2008.02.02 650,000
UFC 97 Redemption 2009.04.18 650,000
UFC 98 Evans vs. Machida 2009.05.23 635,000
UFC 167 St. Pierre vs. Hendricks 2013.11.16 630,000
UFC 87 Seek and Destroy 2008.08.09 625,000
UFC 107 Penn vs. Sanchez 2009.12.12 620,000
UFC 60 Hughes vs Gracie 2006.05.27 620,000
UFC 117 Silva vs Sonnen 2010.08.07 600,000
UFC 155 Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2 2012.12.29 590,000
UFC 146 Dos Santos vs. Mir 2012.05.26 560,000
UFC 162 Silva vs. Weidman 2013.07.06 550,000
UFC 68 Uprising 2007.03.03 540,000
UFC 86 Jackson vs. Griffin 2008.07.05 540,000
UFC 118 Edgar vs. Penn 2 2010.08.28 535,000
UFC 159 Jones vs. Sonnen 2013.04.27 530,000
UFC 83 Serra vs. St. Pierre 2 2008.04.19 530,000
UFC 115 Liddell vs Franklin 2010.06.12 520,000
UFC 113 Machida vs Shogun 2 2010.05.08 520,000
UFC 135 Jones vs. Rampage 2011.09.24 520,000
UFC 175 Weidman vs. Machida 2014.07.05 500,000
UFC 62 Liddell vs Sobral 2006.08.26 500,000
UFC 123 Rampage vs. Machida 2010.11.20 500,000
UFC 65 Bad Intentions 2006.11.18 500,000
UFC 104 Machida vs Shogun 2009.10.24 500,000
UFC 112 Invincible 2010.04.10 500,000
UFC 140 Jones vs. Machida 2011.12.10 485,000
UFC 74 Respect 2007.08.25 485,000
UFC 88 Breakthrough 2008.09.06 480,000
UFC 84 Ill Will 2008.05.24 475,000
UFC 76 Knockout 2007.09.22 475,000
UFC 157 Rousey vs. Carmouche 2013.02.23 450,000
UFC 152 Jones vs. Belfort 2012.09.22 450,000
UFC 128 Shogun vs Jones 2011.03.19 445,000
UFC 102 Couture vs. Nogueira 2009.08.29 435,000
UFC 73 Stacked 2007.07.07 425,000
UFC 59 Reality Check 2006.04.15 425,000
UFC 57 Liddell vs. Couture 3 2006.02.04 400,000
UFC 78 Validation 2007.11.17 400,000
UFC 63 Hughes vs Penn 2006.09.23 400,000
UFC 67 All or Nothing 2007.02.03 400,000
UFC 143 Diaz vs. Condit 2012.02.04 400,000
UFC 69 Shootout 2007.04.07 400,000
UFC 160 Velasquez vs. Silva 2 2013.05.25 380,000
UFC 106 Ortiz vs Griffin 2 2009.11.21 375,000
UFC 144 Edgar vs. Henderson 2012.02.25 375,000
UFC 103 Franklin vs. Belfort 2009.09.19 375,000
UFC 153 Silva vs. Bonnar 2012.10.13 375,000
UFC 99 The Comeback 2009.06.13 365,000
UFC 96 Jackson vs. Jardine 2009.03.07 350,000
UFC 93 Franklin vs. Henderson 2009.01.17 350,000
UFC 132 Cruz vs Faber II 2011.07.02 350,000
UFC 172 Jones vs. Teixeira 2014.04.26 350,000
UFC 170 Rousey vs. McMann 2014.02.22 340,000
UFC 134 Silva vs. Okami 2011.08.27 335,000
UFC 156 Aldo vs. Edgar 2013.02.02 330,000
UFC 166 Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3 2013.10.19 330,000
UFC 130 Rampage vs Hamill 2011.05.28 325,000
UFC 77 Hostile Territory 2007.10.20 325,000
UFC 82 Pride of a Champion 2008.03.01 325,000
UFC 131 Carwin vs. Dos Santos 2011.06.11 325,000
UFC 165 Jones vs. Gustafsson 2013.09.21 310,000
UFC 133 Evans vs. Ortiz 2 2011.08.06 310,000
UFC 64 Unstoppable 2006.10.14 300,000
UFC 90 Silva vs Cote 2008.10.25 300,000
UFC 58 USA vs Canada 2006.03.04 300,000
UFC 171 Hendricks vs. Lawler 2014.03.15 300,000
UFC 2 No Way Out 1994.03.11 300,000
UFC 119 Mir vs Cro Cop 2010.09.25 295,000
UFC 139 Shogun vs. Henderson 2011.11.19 290,000
UFC 109 Relentless 2010.02.06 285,000
UFC 137 Penn vs. Diaz 2011.10.29 280,000
UFC 52 Couture vs. Liddell 2 2005.04.16 280,000
UFC 108 Evans vs Silva 2010.01.02 275,000
UFC 164 Henderson vs. Pettis 2 2013.08.31 270,000
UFC 125 Resolution 2011.01.01 270,000
UFC 127 Penn vs Fitch 2011.02.26 260,000
UFC 5 Return of the Beast 1995.04.07 260,000
UFC 6 Clash of the Titans 1995.07.14 240,000
UFC 142 Aldo vs. Mendes 2012.01.14 235,000
UFC 149 Faber vs. Barao 2012.07.21 235,000
UFC 169 Barao vs. Faber 2 2014.02.01 230,000
UFC 80 Rapid Fire 2008.01.19 225,000
UFC 136 Edgar vs Maynard 3 2011.10.08 225,000
UFC 110 Nogueira vs. Velasquez 2010.02.20 215,000
UFC 85 Bedlam 2008.06.07 215,000
UFC 72 Victory 2007.06.16 200,000
UFC 173 Barao vs. Dillashaw 2014.05.24 200,000
UFC 56 Full Force 2005.11.19 200,000
UFC 150 Henderson vs. Edgar 2 2012.08.11 190,000
UFC 7 The Brawl in Buffalo 1995.09.08 190,000
UFC 163 Aldo vs. Korean Zombie 2013.08.03 180,000
UFC 147 Silva vs. Franklin 2 2012.06.23 175,000
UFC 8 David vs Goliath 1996.02.16 160,000
UFC 40 Vendetta 2002.11.22 150,000
UFC 54 Boiling Point 2005.08.20 150,000
UFC 161 Evans vs. Henderson 2013.06.15 140,000
UFC 55 Fury 2005.10.07 125,000
UFC 48 Payback 2004.06.19 110,000
UFC 174 Johnson vs. Bagautinov 2014.06.14 105,000
UFC 47 It's On! 2004.04.02 105,000
UFC 51 Super Saturday 2005.02.05 105,000
Affliction 1 Banned 2008.07.19 100,000
Bellator 120 Rampage vs. King Mo 2014.05.17 100,000
UFC 44 Undisputed 2003.09.26 94,000
Affliction 2 Day of Reckoning 2009.01.24 90,000
UFC 53 Heavy Hitters 2005.06.04 90,000
UFC 1 The Beginning 1993.11.12 86,000
UFC 46 Supernatural 2004.01.31 80,000
UFC 49 Unfinished Business 2004.08.21 80,000
UFC 33 Victory in Vegas 2001.09.28 75,000
UFC 34 High Voltage 2001.11.02 65,000
UFC 36 Worlds Collide 2002.03.22 55,000
UFC 37 High Impact 2002.05.10 50,000
UFC 43 Meltdown 2003.06.06 49,000
UFC 39 The Warriors Return 2002.09.27 45,000
Dynamite!! USA 2007.06.02 35,000
Strikeforce Shamrock vs. Baroni 2007.06.22 35,000
UFC 42 Sudden Impact 2003.04.25 35,000
UFC 35 Throwdown 2002.01.11 35,000
Pride 32 The Real Deal 2006.10.21 30,000
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