The last we heard anything about Affliction’s ticket sales for “Banned” they had sold $250,000 worth within the first 30 minutes of them going on sale. In a conversation with USA Today, Tom Atencio, VP of Affliction Entertainment, is now saying somewhere between 7,000 to 8,000 tickets have been sold.
Atencio might sound like a diehard MMA fan gleeful over his upcoming fantasy matchups, but he’s not alone — 7,000 to 8,000 tickets have been sold so far, he said. If that figure is correct, it would mean that without any major marketing and with the show still a month away, Affliction: Banned is already close to hitting the live numbers of Elite XC’s much-hyped May 31 event, which reported 8,033 paid tickets for a card that had a fraction of the Affliction line-up’s cachet.
That’s a pretty good number all things considered. The show is now a month away and Atencio claims the main promotional push is still a week or two out.
Affliction’s main promotional push will start two to three weeks before the show, Atencio said. “We’ve got a bunch of stuff in the works,” he said. “It’s definitely going to be there.”
Tom also discussed his thoughts on the UFC’s last minute decision to put together a live event on Spike TV to counter their pay-per-view.
“I guess it’s flattering,” Atencio told me Wednesday. “They obviously view us as competition.”
Atencio declined to discuss the Affliction’s internal targets, but he insisted that UFC’s free card won’t have much impact on PPV numbers.
“As far as I’m concerned, people are going to Tivo (the UFC show) and watch our fight, and then go back to (watch UFC) later,” he said. “Obviously you’re going to get those people who are going to watch something for free (rather) than pay. … But our card is definitely stacked. I don’t know anybody that can say it’s not a great card.”
Everyone seems to have a different opinion on how much or little Ultimate Fight Night 14 will affect Affliction’s pay-per-view buys. My initial impression was that the UFC’s event would cripple Affliction’s numbers, but the UFN 14 card really isn’t anything spectacular even with Anderson Silva headlining. The Affliction card certainly trumps it. I still think the UFC event will hurt Affliction, but the expectation of Affliction doing UFC type numbers was rather unrealistic to begin with. It will be interesting to see what kind of ratings the UFC pulls and the number of buys Affliction does.
I don’t know about you, but I will be watching “Banned” live and recording UFN 14 for later.