Updated viewership ratings for Bellator 179

May 26, 2017

Last Friday’s Bellator 179 drew 659,000 viewers in overall adjusted ratings for those that watched via DVR.  In addition, the main event featuring the Bellator Debut of Rory MacDonald peaked at 955,000 viewers.

The overall main event between MacDonald and Paul Daley drew 877,000 viewers.  On Monday, Nielsen reported the event drew an overnight (Live + SD) rating of 607,000 viewers.

The event was tape-delayed from London.

Payout Perspective:

The tape-delayed event did well in viewership at nearing 1 million viewers for MacDonald’s debut is good news for the promotion.  For MacDonald, it means a new career in a new promotion.  With a reported raise from the Viacom-owned company, the change seems like the best move for The Red King.

MacDonald making less money from sponsors in Bellator

May 22, 2017

Rory MacDonald debuted in Bellator on Friday night with one sponsor on his shorts, Monster Energy drink.  Even though MacDonald is free to sign with multiple sponsors, he has selected a different strategy.

In an interview, last week on The MMA Hour, MacDonald indicated that his UFC-Reebok individual sponsorship deal had run its course.  Recall, MacDonald was just a handful of UFC fighters with their own Reebok deal.

You may recall that prior to the Reebok deal and its exclusivity, MacDonald’s shorts were adorned with multiple sponsors.  Upon leaving the UFC, it looks like that MacDonald will be much pickier about his sponsor partners.  He is seeking out blue-chip brands.

Of course, one of the advantages of leaving the UFC is the opportunity to solicit sponsors which gives fights extra income for their fights.  MacDonald’s training partners, Kajan Johnson, just revealed in an interview with Ariel Helwani that MacDonald is making $400,000 per fight year in Bellator.  Johnson was at the center of controversy at the UFC Retreat this past weekend when he spoke up against the Reebok deal.

Payout Perspective:

Making less on sponsors is helped by making more money to fight.  For MacDonald, his brand strategy makes sense.  He wants to maximize his brand by taking an initial hit on pay with the hope that it lands him bigger deals in the future.  It’s great for guys like MacDonald, but other fighters will need to maximize their pay now and seeking out as many sponsors as they can helps mitigate training costs.  Speaking out, Johnson may have put himself in the doghouse for the UFC, but he felt like it was a necessity least he suffer in silence.

Bellator announces Ortiz and Henderson at NASCAR event

May 2, 2017

Bellator announced that the company’s MMA Fight Series will take place at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20th and will feature Tito Ortiz and Dan Henderson signing autographs for fans.  Henderson’s last fought in the UFC this past October as he lost to Michael Bisping in a bout for the middleweight title.

Via Bellator press release:

Through Bellator MMA, along with longstanding partner Monster Energy, mixed martial arts will be included as a pre-race activation exclusively for fans in attendance. The lineup on Saturday will consist of four MMA bouts featuring some of the best regional up-and-coming talent, with the main event prospects in consideration to be signed to a multi-fight Bellator MMA contract.

Updated Monster Energy Bellator MMA Fight Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway Fight Card:

Heavyweight Main Event: Allen Crowder (7-2, Mebane, N.C.) vs. Robert Neal (4-2, Jefferson, Ga.)

Welterweight Bout: Jeremie Holloway (8-2, Charlotte, N.C) vs. Jacob McClintock (8-2, Charleston, S.C.)

Lightweight Bout: Mike Stevens (6-3, Winston-Salem, N.C) vs. Lashawn Alcocks (6-8, Wilmington, N.C.)

Light Heavyweight Bout: Allen Bose (5-0, Jacksonville, N.C.) vs. Chris Crawford (8-5, Durham, N.C)

Notably, the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race will air on FS1.  We will see if there is extra care taken to avoid Bellator signage during the telecast.

Payout Perspective:

Bellator attempted a similar collaboration with Monster Energy in 2014.  The belief is that MMA and NASCAR share the same demos.  The news comes after the Viacom-owned company apparently jumped the gun on a partnership with NASCAR last month.  The news that Henderson will make an appearance is interesting but makes sense since the retired UFC fighter has ties to Scott Coker and the company is known for having legends at its functions to do meet and greets.

Updated ratings for Bellator 177 and Bellator Kickboxing

April 21, 2017

An update from last Friday’s Bellator 177 has the event peaking at 859,000 viewers per Nielsen.  In addition Bellator Kickboxing last Friday peaked at 452,099 viewers on Spike TV.

Bellator 177’s viewership drew 595,000 viewers in DVR+3 ratings.  Bellator drew 577,000 viewers in overnight plus same day ratings.  Kickboxing’s adjusted viewership increased to 321,000 viewers.  It drew 295,000 viewers and 118,000 in the A18-49 demo per Sports TV Ratings.

Update on Bellator 176 ratings and Bellator Kickboxing draws 399K viewers

April 13, 2017

Bellator 176 peaked with 688,000 viewers on Saturday afternoon on Spike TV per Nielsen.  In addition, Bellator Kickboxing which aired after Bellator MMA on Spike TV drew 399,000 viewers.

Bellator Kickboxing aired immediately after Bellator MMA on Spike TV.  The event aired from Torino, Italy.  It peaked with 579,000 viewers.

Bellator MMA’s DVR+3 rating drew 496,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Relatively speaking, good numbers for Bellator Kickboxing (rating includes DVR+3 rating) considering last September’s edition of Bellator Kickboxing drew 287,000.  In April it drew 346,000 viewers.  In June, it hit its peak of 418,000 viewers.  The DVR numbers are slightly stronger for Bellator MMA as those who were out on Saturday afternoon recorded the event to watch later.

Spike TV’s deal with PBC is over

April 12, 2017

ESPN reports that Spike TV will no longer air Premier Boxing Champions on Spike TV which ends a two-year partnership to air PBC on Spike TV.

In March 2015, Spike TV launched “Friday Night Lights Out” with Glory Kickboxing, Bellator MMA and PBC with Haymon’s company as the big add to the network.  According to Spike TV, a third-year option was negotiated was not included in the final contract.

Notably, Spike TV was not happy with the quality of PBC cards aired on Spike TV and the network wanted to commit to Bellator MMA.

The last PBC on Spike TV card aired this past January.  The network stated that it is willing to revisit PBC and/or a boxing event but it looks like its combat sports programming will be limited to Bellator MMA.

Payout Perspective:

It’s interesting that Spike was frank about the quality of PBC cards.  Most of PBC cable cards are now airing on FS1.  The best PBC on Spike TV did on the network was its March 2015 debut when it drew 869,000 viewers.  The ratings have struggled to grasp a consistent audience with its events on Spike TV.  The network, which ended its relationship with Glory, now seems to be making a concentrated effort into Bellator MMA.  Will this equate into a push for bigger ratings and more sponsors?  We shall see.

Saturday afternoon’s Bellator 176 draws 438,000 viewers

April 12, 2017

Bellator MMA drew 438,000 viewers on Saturday afternoon per Sports TV Ratings.  The promotion aired the event from Italy live instead of tape delay.

The telecast drew 198,000 viewers in the Adult 18-49 demo according to Sports TV Ratings.  The event featured Melvin Manhoef versus Rafael Carvalho.  The Brazilian Carvalho won via TKO.

Payout Perspective:

Probably a good idea for Bellator to avoid UFC programming but a Saturday afternoon spot without any real fighter of notoriety on the card results in this rating.  With The Masters and baseball on during the day, this event could have got lost in the shuffle.

[UPDATED] Bellator 175 draws 907,000 viewers

April 4, 2017

Bellator 175 drew 907,000 viewers on Spike TV Friday night per Sports TV Ratings.  The main event featuring Rampage Jackson taking on King Mo Lawal in a rematch of their 2014 fight drew 1.2 million viewers.

The event took place at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.

Bellator MMA Live Ratings for 2017 (Live + SD)

Bellator 170: 1,374,000 viewers *tentpole

Bellator 171: 720,000

Bellator 172: 807,000  *Mitrione-Fedor cancelled

Bellator 173: 557,000

Bellator 174: 755,000

Bellator 175: 907,000

Payout Perspective:

Rampage-King Mo did not seem to evoke the spark you would anticipate however according to Nielsen, the main event drew 1.2 million viewers.  While 907,000 viewers is a nice bump from the general Bellator events, it may show that Jackson is no longer the draw that Bellator would hope it shows that Jackson can still draw.  Likely not helpful that in an ESPN interview hyping the fight he stated he regrets ever starting MMA.  But, based on the information coming in about the ratings, his comments may not have mattered.  MMA Payout will have more on the ratings tomorrow.

Coker announces NASCAR partnership, which company denies

April 4, 2017

Scott Coker tweeted out on Monday a new partnership between Bellator, Monster Energy and NASCAR.  However, NASCAR says it does not have a partnership with the company.

Per MMA Junkie, NASCAR stated it “does not have a partnership with Bellator.”  ESPN reported it obtained a revised news release from Bellator which stated “Details to come soon.”

The tweet from Coker has since been deleted.

In 2014, Bellator partnered with Monster Energy to host fights at the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas.  Bellator held four fights at a Supercross event as a way to establish a huge crossover in its target demo.

Payout Perspective:

Interesting faux pas by Bellator or NASCAR here.  Usually these partnerships include positive quotes from all parties involved.  The fact NASCAR denied the partnership makes one think that someone doesn’t want to be associated with MMA.  We will see what the updated details will be.

Bellator: NYC to have suggested price tag of $49.99

March 28, 2017

Scott Coker revealed on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani that Bellator:NYC, the company’s second PPV will be priced at $49.99 HD.

It is the company’s second stab at having its product on PPV and is headlined by a grudge match between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva.  Also, Fedor Emelianenko will face Matt Mitrione in the co-main event of the show.  Bellator 120, the company’s first PPV, had a price point of $30-$45 depending on the satellite or cable company.

Similarly, despite the announcement of the suggested retail price of $49.99, a provider may raise the price.

For those wondering, the UFC will have a PPV on June 3rd, UFC 212 featuring Jose Aldo taking on Max Holloway.  The day after Bellator:NYC on June 24th, the UFC is having a Fight Night the day after on FS1.

Payout Perspective:

With the UFC PPV’s priced at $59.99 HD, having its PPV $10 less is advantageous for those that are not huge followers of the Bellator product.  While there are hardcore MMA fans that would purchase the event no matter what the cost, the $49.99 price point is something of a price break for those on the fence about spending more money on PPV.

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