Bellator 208 draws 521,000 viewers on Paramount

October 17, 2018

Bellator 208 on Paramount Saturday night drew 521,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event featured Fedor defeating Chael Sonnen in the last semi-final of the Heavyweight Grand Prix.

It was the second of back-to-back nights for the promotion.  The event also aired on DAZN.

In addition to Fedor and Sonnen, Benson Henderson defeated Saad Awad.

Payout Perspective:

Although 521,000 viewers does not seem that impressive, it is the best viewership since Bellator 199 this past May.  One might infer that there were more viewers since DAZN was an optional way to view the event.  The viewership suggests that Fedor is still a draw for many MMA fans.

Bellator 207 draws 416,000 viewers on Paramount Friday night

October 15, 2018

Bellator 207 on the Paramount Network Friday night drew 416,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  It was the first of back-to-back shows on the network.

The event featured the semi-finals of the Heavyweight Grand Prix as Ryan Bader made easy work of Matt Mitrione to make his way to the finals of the tournament.

Also on the card, Sergei Kharitonov looked impressive in his KO of Roy Nelson.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings have to be a little disappointing considering this was one of the semifinals for their Heavyweight Grand Prix.  Saturday night’s event will be an interesting look to see with PFL and Top Rank Boxing on ESPN going on at the same time.

Bellator 205 draws 346,000 viewers on Paramount Network

September 24, 2018

Bellator MMA Live on the Paramount Network Friday night drew 346,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The event featured A.J. McKee as he defeated John Macapa in the first round of their matchup via KO.  Bellator 205 took plaice at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho.

Payout Perspective:

The event did better than Bellator 204, but its average is still down over last year. 2018 is averaging 462,000 viewers while 2017 averaged 614,000 viewers.

Hawaii gets Bellator MMA event this December

September 18, 2018

Bellator MMA announced its first-ever event to be held in Hawaii this December.  The card will be highlighted by Ilima-Lei Macfarlane defending her flyweight title.  In honor of the occasion, the mayor of Honolulu proclaimed September 17th Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Day.

The Bellator flyweight will defend her title December 15th at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii against Valerie Letourneau.  Also on the card, Rafael Carvalho will face former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.

The event was announced earlier this week and will be a first for the promotion.  As we know, the UFC negotiated with Honolulu officials to have an event in Hawaii but that did not come to fruition.

Bellator will feature Macfarlane and she has made the rounds to promote the event as highlighted via MMA Junkie.

Payout Perspective:

While the expense to hold an event in Hawaii is more than the standard reservation route, the event has a chance to score big with Hawaiians that have been hoping that Max Holloway would return to defend the title.  But, that does not seem like an event happening anytime soon.  The event is a chance to highlight a Bellator women’s champion, a division that is rarely highlighted by the company.  If Macfarlane can defend the title, she can be a major figure for the company when it comes to women’s MMA.

Bellator 204 peaked with Gallagher fight with 699K viewers on Paramount

August 22, 2018

Bellator 204 peaked for the James Gallagher-Ricky Bandejas fight with 699,000 viewers  on Paramount according to Nielsen.  The event drew 413,000 in DVR + 3 ratings.

The event drew 319,000 viewers in Live + SD ratings on Friday night.  The event featured Darrion Caldwell as he defeated Noad Lahat.  Gallagher was a top prospect and patterned himself after Conor McGregor.  But, he ran into Ricky Bandejas who scored the upset over Gallagher.

Payout Perspective:

The peak occurred prior to featured main event which reflects the interest in Gallgher as he is a McGregor disciple.  The ratings reflect a decline in viewership from the previous weeks which may be a concern.

Bellator 204 draws 319,000 viewers

August 20, 2018

Bellator 204 on the Paramount Network drew 319,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

Bellator 204 featured Darrion Caldwell as he defended his Featherweight title against Noad Lahat.  Caldwll won via TKO in the second round.  The telecast also featured the stunning upset of prospect James Gallagher as he was stopped by Ricky Bandejas in the first round.

Payout Perspective:

It was the second-lowest rating of the year for Bellator and brings down the average to 471,000 for 2018.  There has not been an event over 500,000 viewers since Bellator 199 in May.

Bellator 203 and Kicboxing ratings

July 19, 2018

Bellator MMA 203 on Saturday night drew 471,000 viewers on the Paramount Network.  Bellator Kickboxing drew 212,000 immediately after the MMA event from Rome.

Alessio Sakara’s first round TKO victory over Jamie Sloane scored the peak rating for the telecast with 702,000 viewers.  The main event saw Patricio Freire score a split decision victory over Daniel Weichel.

Bellator Kickboxing peaked with 409,000 viewers.  The main event saw Gabriel Varga defeat Kevin Ross via TKO in the first round to become the featherweight world champion.

Bellator 203 took place one night after Bellator’s event in the U.S.  On Friday night, the telecast peaked with 817,000 viewers with the main event featuring Julia Budd.

Payout Perspective:

It was a busy night for combat sports on Saturday and the ratings for Bellator are good considering the Pacquiao fight and UFC Fight Night.  Kickboxing ratings are always lower than MMA despite being its lead-in.  For Bellator, the ratings improve on its event the night before despite a Saturday tape-delayed event.

DAZN enters crowded U.S. streaming market at $9.99 per month

July 17, 2018

DAZN is the latest over the top streaming service to launch in the United States and will do it with a huge boxing event featuring heavyweight Anthony Joshua taking on Alexander Povetkin.  DAZN CEO James Rushton announced on Tuesday that the it will begin September 10th at a cost of $9.99 after a one month free trial.

“We launched DAZN to disrupt the status quo and change the way the world sees sports,” stated Rushton at a press conference in New York City Tuesday to announce the launch of it service in the US.

DAZN’s parent company Perform Group entered into a reported $1 billion deal with boxing promoter Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom boxing in May.  A month later, Bellator joined the stable to stream its MMA events on the service.

Joshua, arguably the best heavyweight in boxing aside from Deontay Wilder, will take on Povetkin on September 22nd.  Bellator’s first event will be on September 29th and feature Gegard Mousasi vs. Rory MacDonald.

DAZN will stream 70 combat sporting events from Matchroom Boxing, World Boxing Super Series and Bellator.  The Viacom-owned MMA promotion will stream 22 fights on DAZN but 15 of those will also be streamed on Paramount.

Payout Perspective:

Get ready to shell out more money for another streaming service if you are a combat sports fan.  ESPN + came on board at $5 per month this past spring.  There is still UFC Fight Pass and the WWE Network if you are into sports entertainment (btw, the stock just surpassed $80).  This is in addition to another multitude of platforms out there looking to provide content for fans.  Then, there are the heavyweights of Amazon Prime, Facebook and Google’s YouTube that are offering a wide-range of streaming content.  Facebook Watch airs PFL as well as an exclusive MLB game every week. DAZN will offer something a little different with a mix of boxing and MMA and we will see the interest level fans will have after the one month trial ends.

50 Cent says he sold trademark to Bellator for $1 million

June 28, 2018

Did Curtis Jackson really sell a catchphrase to Bellator for $1 million?  If so, it would be his best business deal since he invested in Vitamin Water.  But, likely it’s a ruse to get MMA fans to talk about Bellator.

Jackson posted on social media (and reported by MMA Junkie) that he met with Scott Coker and made the transaction.  The reason?  Jackson, who has been using the hashtag “Get the Strap” in social media posts claims that he has sold the trademark phrase to Bellator for use on t-shirts, etc.

l did a deal today l sold (get the strap) for a million dollars to Viacom’s Bellator. So you will see lt on some cooler clothing shortly. 👀see how l make something out of nothing. LOL

A post shared by 50 Cent (@50cent) on

It is true that Jackson has applied for the trademark “Get the Strap” in a class of goods for clothing, “namely T-Shirts, Sweathshirts; Hats.”  Jackson filed for the phrase with the USPTO on April 17, 2018.  With the filing of the mark so recent, there has not been a determination by a USPTO examiner as to whether or not his mark would be approved.  Moreover, there’s no transaction listed that Bellator owns the mark.  The owner is listed as Curtis Jackson.

It does appear that 50 will be involved with Bellator in some way, or at least, he would like to be based on the below tweet regarding the promotion’s latest deal with DAZN.

Payout Perspective:

It looks like Jackson will be a part of Bellator in some way or another.  Whether or not he sold the mark to Bellator is another question for the promotion really.  Why would you buy (or likely pay for a license) for a catchphrase that hasn’t even proven to be notable?  At this point, its not clear if the mark will be cleared by the USPTO as it must go through a process that will take several months and may meet opposition.  For instance, the NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights dealt with opposition over its name and the dispute went on throughout the hockey season and was not resolved until the Stanley Cup.  If Bellator has paid Jackson to license the catchphrase, you have to give it to the rapper for his business acumen.  He flipped a phrase without even a determination as to if he can be owner.  He just filed for it first.  But, perhaps not his real estate choices.

Bellator announces deal with sport streaming service DAZN

June 26, 2018

Bellator announced a 9-figure, multi-year deal with sport stream service DAZN on Tuesday.  The deal will feature 7 exclusive stacked fight cards per year on DAZN and another 15 that will be simulcast on Paramount Network and DAZN.

DAZN will launch in the U.S. and Italy in 2018 according a press release.  It is already live in Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan.

“The investment will enable us to continue expanding our roster with free agents that make sense, so we can put on PPV-worthy fight cards that fans want to see. Plus, on DAZN’s worldwide platform, our fights will be seen live for the first time to new audiences around the globe,”  said Bellator President Scott Coker.

The deal begins on Saturday, September 29th in San Jose as Bellator kicks off its Welterweight Grand Prix.  Also, Gegard Mousasi takes on Rory MacDonald for the Bellator Middleweight Title.  Also, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson takes on Wanderlei Silva in their 4th fight.

Payout Perspective:

Last month, DAZN and Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing announced a deal worth $1 billion in rights fees over 8 years.  The move sought to make inroads into the U.S. market.  With news of the Bellator deal, its clear DAZN wants to be a player in the OTT landscape in the U.S.  How will consumers react when most have tried, and no longer subscribe to UFC Fight Pass and ESPN +.  Much will determine on the price point and the types of events held on the platform.  For Bellator, it’s a great move

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