Bellator bounces to Fridays this Fall
June 11, 2013
Loretta Hunt of CNNSI reports that Bellator MMA will be moving to Friday nights starting this fall. It will be the company’s second move on Spike TV since premiering in January. Its summer series will be seen Wednesday nights starting June 19th.
According to Spike TV President Kevin Kay, the move to Fridays was related to the NFL as football will begin showing a game a week on Thursdays starting this September. However, the decision to move nights (again) comes at what one might infer as a way to avoid direct competition with the UFC on Wednesdays. The UFC begins airing programming starting on the new Fox network, Fox Sports 1 on August 17th and will continue with shows on Wednesday nights starting on August 28th.
However, as one might recall from the UFC’s lackluster performance on Friday nights, Bellator moving to Fridays appears to be a risky move. The show will air from 9-11pm ET on Fridays.
The fall season of Bellator MMA will actually kick off on Saturday night September 7th as its coupled with the finale of Bellator’s Fight Master.
Confused with the Bellator schedule yet? It started on Thursdays on Spike TV. It is moving to Wednesdays after TNA Wrestling was moved an hour later on Thursdays and now will be seen on Fridays starting this fall. The reason is to avoid the NFL on Thursdays? But, isn’t it going to be seen this summer on Wednesdays? It’s been a public relations issue after another for Bellator these past couple months. This latest move may have been necessary. Ok, we understand the NFL on Thursday reason. So why not Wednesdays? This is to avoid head to head competition with the UFC with the anticipated UFC momentum of being on a new network and The Ultimate Fighter featuring Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. Likely, the UFC ratings would be better than Bellator ratings on Wednesday and the UFC would capitalize on that in advertising and promoting its product. For Bellator, changing from Thursday, to Wednesday and now to Friday creates consumer confusion and negates some of its success in its first season with Spike TV.