13 for 13: No. 3 Bellator MMA moves to Spike TV

December 31, 2013

Bellator made its debut on Spike TV in 2013.  The move brought much anticipation on how the MMA organization would do on a stable network available to a broader viewing audience and focused on its key demos.

Bellator MMA Live’s first season drew an average of 861,000 viewers.  The switch from MTV2 to SpikeTV was a success considering it produced +388% more viewers from Season 7 (on MTV2) to Season 8 (on Spike TV).  It also received help with its Thursday placement right after TNA Impact Wrestling which consistently received an average of over 1 million viewers.

After what was deemed a success on Thursdays, Bellator moved to Fridays for its ninth season.   As a result, the season average ended at 671,000 viewers although it was helped by Bellator 106: Alvarez v. Chandler which drew 1.1 million viewers.

Bellator’s first reality show, FightMaster, received an average viewership of 615,000.  While the concept seemed novel, the ratings and interest fizzled.  It was not helped by the fact the final for the show was delayed which meant people forgot that there was an actual final for the show.

The company signed Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz and utilized them on both its MMA programming and on TNA to mixed reviews.

In the end, the average viewership for Bellator MMA’s live events including its Summer Series in 2013 was 797,000 viewers (including DVR usage) according to Nielsen sources.

Was 2013 a success for the company on Spike TV?  How will Bellator do in 2014?  Will it try another MMA-related reality show?

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4 Responses to “13 for 13: No. 3 Bellator MMA moves to Spike TV”

  1. Chris27 on December 31st, 2013 11:18 AM

    I think it was a successful transition, they still have a ways to go, as far as the brand getting recognition by casuals.

    They need to do a better job of promoting their young stars, plenty of talent there.

    The Friday move was a stroke of genius, I and many others thought it would be a colossal failure, but it proved us wrong.

    I hope Fight Master comes back, I really liked the concept.

  2. Jason Cruz on December 31st, 2013 2:35 PM

    @Chris27 I agree that it needs to do a better job. I do recall Bellator airing a special on all of its Russian fighters. Still, we don’t really know their champions which is a problem.

    I had thought Randy Couture would have a reality show of his own. We’ll see if that happens in 2014.

  3. Saldathief on December 31st, 2013 3:14 PM

    Bellator goes on a network that the UFC basically built.

  4. Chris27 on January 2nd, 2014 7:59 AM

    WWF built that channel.

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