According to Micheal Rome of Bloodyelbow:
Internal estimates were in the 800-900 range, the 1.2 million was public bluster to get ESPN to cover it. The tactic worked, but I get the feeling that scam will only work once.
Rome got the scoop via Dave Meltzer's weekly newsletter. I must say that is an impressive feat on three fronts:
- The UFC didn't spend a great deal of money promoting the card
- The card was heavily centered on the main event
- Doing those type of numbers in this economy while applying the first two bullets
You can read my thoughts on what I thought the card would do here. Actually myself and a few of MMA4Real readers were pretty much on target if these numbers do indeed hold up. Also, If I'm reading that statement correctly the UFC basically gassed ESPN into covering the event? They estimated the show would do 800-900K PPV buys all along.
Now the interesting thing is how will the next card featuring Brock Lesnar do PPV wise? His next opponent will be either Frank Mir or Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, as both guys are getting really good exposure on this season of TUF. You make the call.