Rebney not concerned with Bellator ratings dip

March 31, 2011

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney is not concerned with the latest dip in ratings according to MMA Junkie. Rebney indicated he is concerned more with building the brand than the latest television numbers.

Via MMA Junkie:

“What we’re doing in terms of building out this brand and this partnership with MTV2 and MTV networks, this is a marathon – this is not a sprint,” he said.

So, the executive is not sweating week-to-week fluctuations.

“What I’m getting drawn up in is improving the quality of our production, increasing the quality of our fights, and trying to make this bigger and better,” Rebney said. “The fights we’ve got coming up over the next four weeks are just blistering, so I’m looking forward to seeing what happens and what kind of impact that has both in terms of live event attendance and the ratings we do.”

Just wondering, can the Gracies show us the inverted triangle choke on Youtube?

Bellator has faced stiff competition from the UFC and NCAA March Madness in the past couple weeks causing the ratings to dip. Yet, Bellator points to Youtube as a positive sign.

YouTube videos featuring Bellator highlights continue to be a counterpunch to the challenges in building an audience. The most recent win for the promotion on that front was this past Saturday’s clip of Richard Hale’s inverted triangle submission over Nik Fekete, which Rebney said is around 140,000 hits on the video channel. (MMA Junkie)

To combat the UFC fights on Saturday night, Bellator has moved its time slot to avoid direct competition. But Rebney stated that this may have actually hurt viewership.

Fight Opinion explains:

The obvious point to make regarding Bellator’s ratings on MTV2 is that the idea of moving the show around on Saturday nights and not having a consistent timeslot because you want to avoid running head-to-head against Zuffa is a bad idea. Yes, people who watch Bellator are aware of what is happening with the UFC. However, you can’t confuse your fans and make it a struggle for them to figure out when to tune in, how to find you on their DVR, so on and so forth. If accessing your show becomes any sort of challenge or requires any sort of effort (Americans can be lazy), it will hurt the ratings. If you’re a half-glass full person, I suppose you can say that Bellator retained 75% of their viewers despite the moving time slot.

Payout Perspective:

Rebney has the correct attitude in addressing the ratings dip. While the numbers are disappointing, there are obvious factors involved in the low ratings. What is disappointing is that M-1 on Showtime on Friday night outdrew Bellator with little promotion. M-1 drew 189,00 viewers versus Bellator’s 150,000. Yet, Rebney recognizes that its a marathon not a sprint and the long-term plans of brand building means more than short-term ratings. It appears that MTV2 will give Bellator the time to build.

Another point here is that Rebney recognizes that the time slot shifting is not a good idea as Zach Arnold points out. This shows that Bellator is actively recalibrating its strategy. Also, embracing Youtube should be a good thing. While we recently have seen the UFC protect its copyright interests against unauthorized use of its content, Bellator could use this as a marketing tool. Perhaps Bellator works a deal with the Gracies or someone else in having a BJJ breakdown on Bellator’s own Youtube channel. This could draw interests from fans.

5 Responses to “Rebney not concerned with Bellator ratings dip”

  1. Matt C. on March 31st, 2011 11:23 AM

    “Just wondering, can the Gracies show us the inverted triangle choke on Youtube?”

    Of course they can as long as they aren’t using someone else’s copyrighted material to do so. If they quit using copyrighted music and video in their clips there wouldn’t be a problem and they could breakdown all the moves they wanted.

  2. Jason Cruz on March 31st, 2011 11:55 AM

    Matt C.:

    Just a little sarcasm in the “just wondering” comment. 🙂

    But, thanks for the response.

  3. BrainSmasher on March 31st, 2011 3:34 PM

    Agree with Matt C. There was no reason for the Gracies to use copyrighted material. Anyone who is watching their demo most likely had already seen the fight. The few that have not dont need to see it to have the move explained. There are thousands of BJJ instruction videos on the market that manage to teach the moves without stealing UFC content to add credibility. The Gracies stole the content to appear more official and give themselves credibility and to use the UFC name to draw viewers.

  4. Steve on April 1st, 2011 5:00 AM

    I found the Gracie thing to be hilarious, considering Rorian’s legendary reputation for protecting the Gracie brand. Hell, Rorian has sued his own family members for inappropriate use of the family name. Rener probably should have talked to his old man before using those clips.

  5. Machiel Van on April 1st, 2011 7:01 AM

    “This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

    Unfortunately in a marathon if your pace steadily declines… you lose.

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