Bellator 85: 938,000 viewer average

January 18, 2013

MMA Junkie reports that Bellator’s debut on Spike TV came through with an average of 938,000 viewers. The viewership was described as “fantastic” by Spike TV president Kevin Kay.

The viewership numbers bested all previous showings of the MMA organization on MTV2. Bellator 85 was the centerpiece of the new Thursday night lineup which included TNA Wrestling then Bellator MMA and a documentary on King Mo Lawal ended the night.

Bellator 85: 938,000 viewers

The best Bellator did on MTV2 was an average of 325,000.

Payout Perspective:

Nothing like a faux pro wrestling marriage and a heel turn to get an audience for Bellator’s debut episode on Spike TV. That’s what transpired with TNA Wrestling serving as the lead in to Bellator.

MMA Payout’s Adam Swift called the ratings on Thursday morning:

Bellator was smart by showing the card in reverse as it started off the night with a championship bout featuring Pat Curran and Patricio Friere. No need to hype the fight, just show it to maintain the viewers that were just tuning in to see what Bellator was all about. Another improvement in its move to Spike was watching Bellator in HD which makes the viewing experience much easier. Overall a success Thursday night. We will see if Bellator can continue with the momentum going into next week.

10 Responses to “Bellator 85: 938,000 viewer average”

  1. Sampson Simpson on January 18th, 2013 4:20 PM

    Annihilates Fueltv ratings and on-par with UFC on FX.

    The cycle continues…

  2. Brain Smasher on January 18th, 2013 8:23 PM

    This was a good event from what i seen. I fell a sleep and caught the Hawn/Chandler fight. The commentary seemed a little lost to me. Just dint have a good feel at all. But the fights were good.

    I do think the ratings will trend down from here. This was a year of build up with constant talk about this move after the FOX deal and Spike did a good job of letting everyone know it was coming. So i expected this to be a little higher than what they will average. I expect the show to average in the 500K to 600K range depending on who is fighting. They can build on this over time with star developement if they are lucky. But with the tournament format i think it will be hard for them to do. They just made two new prospect on this card with wins over Babalu and Petrazeli. They are in the tournament with King Mo. So at best 2 of them are going to be wasted before they get any return on them. This is a problem Bellator will always have with this format. It makes it hard to make many stars. But they are promoting the tournament and not so much the fighter. So we will see what gives. I dont think the tournament sells and it makes it hard to make stars. They will have to pick one in the near future or their promotion will never reach its protential.

  3. Chris on January 18th, 2013 8:27 PM

    Sampson Simpson, why do you keep comparing Fuel to Spike?

    FX and Spike are what you compare, thats like comparing FX numbers to MTV 2 numbers, actually thats not true because MTV 2 is in double the homes Fuel is in.

    anyway great numbers for the debut and they should hold strong next week but they will go down the following weeks imo. I hear TNA lead in was the biggest in a long time, they had a long time to promote that one show and it had two title fights.

    Now they only have a week between events and after next week with Mo and Askren the cards arent gonna be as big so I think they will drop to 700/800k.

  4. Brain Smasher on January 18th, 2013 8:41 PM

    If they could have started this a week sooner. They could have had Mo on this week and retained more of the TNA crowd. I think next weeks card will be in the 800K but after that 500-600 will be the norm. As the seasons go on and people get burnt out on tuning in every single week. Some will dip below 500k on the weak events imo.

  5. Aintitthetruth on January 19th, 2013 1:36 AM

    This is great for Bellator. If this increases they stand to usurp the UFC as the number on mma event on cable television. They will just have to get better fighters and be able to compete with looming live UFC events to counter Bellator.

  6. Sampson Simpson on January 19th, 2013 8:50 AM

    You ladies sound like scared Zuffa cheerleaders

  7. Steve on January 19th, 2013 10:40 AM

    And Sampson Simpson sounds like a bitter, angry fan.

  8. Sampson Simpson on January 19th, 2013 12:11 PM

    Bitter? By predicting that Bellator will succeed in creating new champions and stars recognized by as many as the UFC champs are?


  9. Sampson Simpson on January 19th, 2013 12:54 PM

    1.219 million live viewers was the peak

  10. Steve on January 19th, 2013 3:43 PM

    Yep. Sampson Simpson is angry and bitter because all he does is complain and moan.

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