MIXED MARTIAL ARTS (MMA) and professional wrestling had a solid showing in online viewership in 2019, this, according to statistics released by independent global data and online video analytics provider Tubular Labs.

Using certified matrix in online video analytics under the official YouTube Measurement Program, Tubular Labs data show that last year end users and consumers leaned more towards combat sports and martial arts content, compared to other sports.

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) topped the charts in 2019 with 14.6 billion video views, followed by perennial industry leaders National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Football League (NFL) with 10.3 billion and 6 billion views, respectively.

Singapore-based martial arts organization ONE Championship was fourth with 5.6 billion views, ahead of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in fifth with 3.8 billion.

For stakeholders of martial arts and combat sports, to see their segments occupy three of the top five spots in the Tubular Labs list is quite impressive considering how popular sports like basketball and football are.

This was apart from the fact that competition for viewership is fierce, and target audiences are fragmented and crowded.

“I am excited to announce that ONE Championship ranked #4 in the world out of 5,000+ sports media properties in 2019 in terms of online viewership!” ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong wrote on his Facebook page when the Tubular Labs data were released.

“When I started ONE Championship 8.5 years ago, I could never have imagined this extraordinary adventure in a million years. In the early days, all of the haters, doubters, and naysayers told me that I was crazy, stupid, or foolish… No one would give us a break. Today, ONE Championship is Asia’s largest global sports media…” he added.

Organizations like ONE Championship, the WWE and the UFC boast a strong social media influence and have consistently delivered a stream of online video for mass media consumption.

Online viewership is expected to be further enhanced this year with demand growing as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to be a concern and fans are forced to enjoy their sporting fix at home.

Tubular Labs is an authority in online video analytics, providing comprehensive and actionable video intelligence by gathering data and information from online video platforms including YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo