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

Bellator 199 payouts: 3 earn $150K

May 18, 2018

The California State Athletic Commission released the purses from Saturday night’s Bellator 199 in San Jose, Caliornia.  Three fighters earned $150,000 each.

The breakdown by MMA Junkie:

  • Ryan Bader $150,000 (no win bonus)
    Muhammed Lawal: $150,000 (no win bonus)
  • Jon Fitch $120,000 (includes $60,000 win bonus)
    Paul Daley $30,000
  • Aaron Pico $70,000 (includes $35,000 win bonus)
    Lee Morrison $12,000
  • Cheick Kongo $150,000 (no win bonus)
    Javy Ayala $30,000
  • Adam Piccolotti: $36,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus)
    Carrington Banks $14,000
  • Deron Winn $2,400 (includes $1,200 win bonus)
    Ahmed White $1,200
  • Justin Tenedora $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
    David Rivera $1,200
  • Gaston Bolanos $5,000 (no win bonus)
    Malcolm Hill $1,200
  • James Terry $6,000 (includes $3,000 win bonus) def. Danasabe Mohammed $1,500
  • Amber Leibrock $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
    Janay Harding $10,000
  • Jordan Williams $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
    Brandon Hester $1,750
  • Hyder Amil $2,400 (includes $1,200 win bonus)
    Elias Anderson $1,200
  • Ignacio Ortiz $2,400 (includes $1,200 win bonus)
    Matt Aragoni $1,200
  • Mark Climaco $2,400 (includes $1,200 win bonus)
    Daniel Oseguera $1,200
  • J. Okanovich $2,400 (includes $1,200 win bonus)
    def. Hugo Lujan $1,200
  • Thomas Ponce de Leon $2,400 (includes $1,200 win bonus)
    Dominic Sumner $1,200
  • Hohelin Hernandez $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
    Josh San Diego $2,000
  • Josh Paiva $5,000 (includes $2,500 win bonus)
    Adam Antolin $2,500
  • Cass Bell $2,400 (includes $1,200 win bonus)
    Khai Wu $1,200

Payout Perspective:

King Mo, Ryan Bader and Cheick Kongo earned the most for this card.  Kongo should not be a surprise with his earnings as he’s an established veteran that is a ratings magnet.  We will see if fighters earning six figures becomes more of a common happening for Bellator.

Cro Cop’s end around his USADA drug suspension

March 10, 2018

Should Cro Cop have served his USADA suspension in full?

Bellator announced that Mirko Cro Cop would be facing Roy Nelson at Bellator 200 in London on May 25th.  Cro Cop “retired” in November 2015 in lieu of serving a two-year ban for violations of the UFC’s anti-doping program.  Cro Cop admitted to the use, attempted use and possession of human growth hormone following an out-of-competition test.  He was eventually released from the company.

But, Cro Cop did not retire, and in fact fought for Rizin FF in Japan.  Despite the inference that the USADA ban would be honored by other promotions and athletic regulators, it has not happened.

According to an MMA Junkie article, it’s still unclear on whether there will be an issue with Cro Cop obtaining a license.  Association of Boxing Commissions and Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation president Mike Mazzulli noted that he still considers Crop Cop “in the process of being licensed, and therefore subject to immediate drug tests.”  Yet, that does not answer the question about the USADA suspension.  Mohegan will be the regulator for Bellator in May for the London event.  It’s not clear as to if a fighter sits out a sanction but fights in an unregulated promotion, then comes back after the time of the sanction if they must adhere to the remaining time suspended.

Mazulli assumes that if they are able to drug test Cro Cop, the commission is likely to view the suspension served.

Payout Perspective:

Cro Cop’s suspension was issued in 2015 and since its March 2018, one might argue that the USADA suspension has been served.  Or has it?  Cro Cop was active during the two-year period in which he was supposed to be inactive.  So, we see the end-around with drug testing.  While one might not think this is an issue, it could come to a head with Bellator as more and more past-UFC fighters become available.  There is no consistent, regulatory drug-testing protocol or policy in place to deal with these issues.  While it is a product of the UFC’s proactive drug testing policy, Bellator must address what it will do in these grey areas.  Or, if it will not do anything at all.

Bellator 195 peaked at 745,00 viewers

March 8, 2018

Bellator 195 peaked with 745,000 viewers on Friday night on the Paramount Network.

The event featured Darrion Caldwell’s defense of his featherweight title as he submitted Leonard Higo in the very first round.

The ratings are on par with the past three Bellator telecasts, none of which surpassed 500,000 viewers.  The peak viewership is on par with the last 3 as well.

Bellator 195 draws 465,000 viewers

March 5, 2018

Bellator MMA Live 195 on Friday night on Paramount drew 465,000 viewers according to Nielsen.  The event featured Darrion Caldwell as he faced Leandro Higo.

Caldwell successfully defended his Bellator bantamweight belt against Higo with a guillotine choke submission in the very first round.

It’s the third straight Bellator telecast drawing less than 500,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Once again there seems to be a disconnect with MMA fans and Bellator Friday nights as we are seeing a decrease in overall viewership.  While Bellator will get some viewership numbers back in DVR ratings.

Bellator 194 draws 476,000 viewers on Paramount

February 20, 2018

Bellator MMA Live 194 on the Paramount Network drew 476,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The event featured the second fight in the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix with Matt Mitrione defeating Roy Nelson.  The telecast also featured Patricky Friere as he stopped Derek Campos in the first round.

Bellator
Event Rating DVR + 3 Peak
192 770,000 1,000,000 1,500,000
193 470,000 534,000 715,000
194 476,000

Payout Perspective:

The event did slightly better than last month’s Bellator 193 but is below of 2017’s average of 614,000 viewers.  Through just 3 events this year, the average is down to 572,000 viewers.  One would have suspected this event doing better than 476,000 viewers since it featured the Heavyweight Grand Prix.   But, it was going up against the Winter Olympics so that may have come into play.

 

 

Bellator 193 draws 470,000 viewers on Paramount

January 29, 2018

Bellator 193 drew 470,000 viewers on Paramount Television Friday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event featured Lorenz Larkin as he picked up a win over Fernando Gonzalez.

The event drew 0.16 in the A18-49 demo.  Last week Bellator’s tentpole event drew 770,000 viewers on Paramount.

The ratings are the lowest since last month’s Bellator 190 which drew just 394,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Notwithstanding the tentpole events, the Bellator shows are drawing less viewers.  Last year, there were 7 events which drew less than 500,000 viewers.  The year before there was just one.  Two events in, we see one of the two events already south of 500,000 viewers.

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