Bellator MMA Live First Season a Success

April 11, 2013

Bellator’s inaugural season on Spike TV scored an average of 861,000 viewers according to a recent press release.  Despite some issues during the season, it was an overall success.

Via Bellator press release:

Spike TV’s debut season of Bellator MMA was a ratings success for the network, delivering an average of 861,000 viewers, culminating with 952,000 viewers for its finale event this past Thursday, April 4.  Emanating from venues all around the country, Bellator’s live events on Spike TV improved the timeslot (Thursdays from 10pm – 12:00am) in the hard-to-reach male demographic of Men 25-34 by 36% (compared to last year).

Bellator’s shift from MTV2 to Spike TV proved to be a ratings bonanza for the rising MMA league. The most recent season 8 on Spike TV delivered +388% more viewers than Season 7 on MTV 2 and +403% more viewers than Season 6.  Also of note, the weekly encore presentation of the Bellator events drew an average of 336,000 on Thursday night (12:00-2:00am) – thus the weekly cume was an impressive 1,197,000 viewers.

Competitively, Bellator MMA consistently placed in the top 10 in cable among Men 18-34 and Men 18-49 in the timeslot.  For the live finale last week, Bellator placed #6 with Men 18-49 with a 0.7 rating.  Also, Bellator’s April 4 event was a hit on social media as it ranked #5 on cable for tweets during episode airtime, the highest during this season.

Kevin Kay told MMA Fighting that he thought the ratings would be between 600K to 700K.  He also indicated that they were unsure how much TNA had an impact (sorry) on its ratings.

Payout Perpsective:

According to our count, Bellator MMA Live did a season average of 793,000 viewers so the 861,000 may include the replays and/or 3 day DVR totals.  Despite an upset loss by the highly touted Mo Lawal, some suspect judging and minor production issues, the season was a success. It also developed an app which many seemed to like and created another platform for fans to connect.  It now must work on introducing fans to the likes of Pat Curran and Michael Chandler to gain a following.

7 Responses to “Bellator MMA Live First Season a Success”

  1. Weezy02 on April 12th, 2013 2:13 AM

    They did very well and I thought most of the events were very entertaining.

  2. Sampson Simpson on April 12th, 2013 5:51 AM

    Who was right? Me?

    Yep… I was right.

  3. Chris on April 12th, 2013 8:05 AM

    Yeah it was a solid season but they did 792.9k viewers average not 862k, that could be DVR or peak average but they did under 800k for the season.

    Still good numbers but they will now have to build on them in the summer and fall.

  4. Chris on April 12th, 2013 8:13 AM

    Anyone else think the reality show will do better numbers than the live events?

  5. Diego on April 12th, 2013 1:11 PM

    Good for Bellator. Now we get more fights.

  6. BrainSmasher on April 12th, 2013 2:29 PM

    I wouldn’t be surprised. The way they do thei5r events there is no way anyone can give a damn about any of the fighters. At least the reality show will allow someone of the fighters to stand out and get someone to care. This reality show although I don’t think will be very good. Will give a little boost to a failed tournament model.

  7. Diego on April 16th, 2013 6:30 AM


    Considering that Bellator is the #2 promotion in MMA and has managed to succeed without any big stars, do you really think the tournament model failed? I get why the UFC doesn’t do it, but for Bellator it’s a good idea since they lack marquee names that put buts in seats.

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