Bellator 58: 269,000 viewers

November 22, 2011

MMA Junkie reports that Bellator 58 held this past Saturday scored an average of 269,000 viewers. Bellator 58 tied for highest ratings this season and is an  impressive number considering it went up against UFC 139.

Despite the competition from the UFC, Bellator ratings doubled from last week.

Via MMA Junkie:

An additional 160,000 viewers watched an immediate replay of Bellator 58, meaning a total of 429,000 viewers watched the event on fight night.

The company does not release viewership numbers for the preliminary streams, but a source close to the promotion said the figure was up 97 percent from the previous week’s total.

Payout Perspective:

Very good numbers for Bellator which were aided by Hector Lombard and the Chandler-Alvarez fight. The replay earned solid numbers likely from the social media buzz of the Chandler-Alvarez fight. The ratings could be a sign that Bellator can compete with the UFC. But, more likely, its a sign that the UFC promoted its Fox debut so much that 139 was an afterthought that did not get a lot of promotion. Based on the UFC on Fox’s numbers, the Bellator ratings increase for its stream and show are impressive but must be tempered considering how big the Fox debut was for UFC (and for Fox).

4 Responses to “Bellator 58: 269,000 viewers”

  1. Assassin on November 23rd, 2011 10:52 AM

    Yes, the numbers were impressive, as were the fights. I do think it was helped by a UFC card that people were not wild about buying, but still interested in seeing some fights. That said, you had the 2 marque fights in the promotion, Alvarez and Lombard both fighting on the same card. Plus Sando has a name and well I think Anguklar is cute.

    Compare that to this weeks card for 59. Now if BF59 does a 269k/+160k you might have something, but my guess is it drops back to below 150k (like BF57 at 129k). They need to get off Saturday night.

    I know Bjorn’s original business model was built around venues/tix covering all operating expenses and that required Saturday shows at the casinos and fairgrounds. But with Viacom now in the fold, I think they would be better served to go to another night in 2012. I would suggest Wednesday as Thursday has too much non-MMA competition and Friday will have TUF-FX and HdNet fights. I would also work out some deal with the UFC to allow Bellator to move to Spike in 2012 with some sort of cross ownership of the UFC library in 2012 betteen Spike and Fuel/Fx. Not sure if that is even possible though.

  2. Jason Cruz on November 23rd, 2011 11:29 PM

    Assassin,

    I believe Bellator will be reairing Chandler-Alvarez this weekend to capitalize on the buzz of that fight. That should help with some viewers that heard about it but didn’t get a chance to see it. Also, running unopposed to UFC will help get some more viewers.

    I think moving to another night would be a very good idea. A Tuesday or Wednesday could work as you’ve spelled out the problems with the other days of the week.

    As for the cross-ownership of the UFC library, my opinion is that its all or nothing with the UFC. I think Zuffa is willing to wait out the year and keep Bellator off of Spike TV for as long as it can.

  3. Ed Stock on November 24th, 2011 6:10 PM

    Since Saturday is locked down by the UFC, Bellator’s options are limited. The problem with any night from Sunday to Thursday is that many people have to work the next day. That leaves Friday.

    Regardless whether UFC counterprograms or people want to go out after work, it’s the only night other than Saturday that offers no real restriction on running late with the fight card. UFC’s TUF series is getting stale, and given the choice most fight fans would, I believe, opt for live fights among experienced pros. I don’t consider TUF or HD Net’s obscure / re-tread fighters to be a barrier to Bellator grabbing ratings.

    One of the chief criticisms of Bellator has been that their champs sit idle too long. That’s solely a function of how few broadcast hours they have available for tournaments. Bellator needs to go to at least a three hour broadcast window if it wants to expand its tournaments to get several title fights per weight class per year. The current two hour / four fight format limits them in terms of how many tournaments can be run simultaneously, and it restricts them to no more than two title fights per weight class per year.

  4. terrence from southeast on November 25th, 2011 5:53 PM

    Bellator 58 did a good number for where their position at.But for long term the company will need to get upwards in the 600,000 viewers area.In order fo Bellator to grow they’ll need to get aay from the touney format.

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