Bellator 174 peaks at 1.1M viewers

March 8, 2017

Bellator 174 this past Friday on Spike TV drew 755,000 viewers and peaked at 1.1 million viewers according to Nielsen.  The ratings reflect the adjust DVR+3 ratings.

The overnight rating drew 686,000 viewers and 255,000 in the adult 18-49 demo per Sports TV Ratings.  The event featured the inaugural women’s featherweight title bout as Julia Budd defeated Marloes Coenen.  Budd is now champion and Coenen, a women’s MMA pioneer, decided to retire after the fight.

Payout Perspective:

Not big numbers here as the card did not have any big names.  However, to get the peak over 1 million viewers is still a testament to the fact that Bellator continues to garner a core audience.

Bellator 173 draws 557,000 viewers

February 28, 2017

Bellator 173 on Friday night on Spike TV drew 557,000 viewers per Sports TV Ratings.  The event also drew 237,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

The event featured Liam McGeary and Brett McDermott with McGeary taking the decision in the light heavyweight matchup.  The event took place in Belfast, Northern Island.

The rating is the lowest since Bellator 168.

Payout Perspective:

It wasn’t the best event and did not receive a back-to-back week boost from last week’s Bellator event.  The Bellator viewer average for 2017 sits at 865,000 viewers.

Bellator 172 peaked at 1.2M viewers

February 23, 2017

Bellator 172 this past Saturday on Spike TV drew 873,000 viewers in DVR +3 ratings per Nielsen.  The event peaked at 1.2 million viewers.

This past Saturday featured Patricky Freire and Josh Thomson as the original main event was scrapped due to an injury to Matt Mitrione.

Bellator
Overnight A18-49 Peak DVR + 3
Bellator 170 1,374,000 703,000 1,850,000 1,500,000
Bellator 171 720,000 310,000 1,100,000 795,000
Bellator 172 807,000 407,000 1,2,00,000 873,000

More on Bellator Motion to Quash UFC Subpoena

February 23, 2017

On Wednesday, Bellator filed a Motion to Quash a Subpoena served on it by the UFC in its antitrust lawsuit filed in Nevada.  MMA Payout has obtained the documents related to the motion to quash.

Bellator is not a party to the lawsuit.  There is no date set for the hearing.  Since the pleading was filed in California, it’s not known at this point whether Zuffa will make Bellator file in Nevada or make an appearance in California.

The motion essentially is a court order relieving Bellator of its duties under the UFC-issued subpoena.

The requests are outlined by Bellator in its motion.  It made attempts to compromise by providing certain information but the UFC would not do it.

The filing includes a Declaration of Scott Coker.  In the 8 page Declaration he states that the reasons why Bellator cannot provide the requested information to Zuffa.

Notably, he states that providing athlete contract information, competitors would be able to anticipate Bellator’s recruitment strategies.  Also, “[d]isclosure of Bellator’s fighter contracts to the Plaintiffs…and to other MMA athletes would place Bellator at a grave competitive disadvantage in its negotiations with athletes.  With comprehensive knowledge of Bellator’s existing deals, price points, negotiating tactics, and business development priorities, athletes and their management would have more leverage to drive their own desired deal terms and precipitate disputes among athletes already under contract.”

Declaration of Scott Coker by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

This is the general dealing in discovery fights.  The subpoena request is broad, the one producing the documents wants to limit, while the requester always wants more information.  The Motion to Quash is the relief that Bellator has to avoid the subpoena in order to not be in violation.  From Bellator’s perspective, it does not want to release the information as the UFC and other competing organizations can use it in the future.  MMA Payout will keep you posted.

Bellator 172 draws 807,000 viewers

February 22, 2017

Bellator MMA drew 807,000 viewers on Saturday night on Spike TV per Sports TV Ratings.  The event also drew 407,000 in the adult 18-49 demo.

The main event was to be Matt Mitrione and Fedor Emelianenko but that fell through just hours before the show was to start.  The event went on with Josh Thomson taking on Patricky Freire in the main event.  Pitbull stopped Thomson in the second round in his home town.

Payout Perspective:

Certainly, you have to think that Bellator expected more from this event but with the late cancellation and no Fedor, 807,000 viewers seems pretty good.  It went up against NBA All-Star Saturday night on TNT which drew over 5.6 million viewers as well as Showtime Boxing during a free preview weekend.

Mitrione out of Bellator 172, so is Fedor

February 18, 2017

Matt Mitrione is out of Bellator 172 with a sickness just hours before the start of the main card.  Bellator has indicated it will look to reschedule the fight at a later date.

The new main event is Josh Thomson and Patricky Freire.

There was much anticipation for this fight as the legend of Fedor is something that old school fans and new casual fans were interested in.  The cancellation derails momentum for this event and potential big ratings for tonight.

Although Bellator scrambled to find a replacement, one can imagine how hard it would be to find a replacement just hours before the fight.

Bellator had been banking on this event and the pre-fight shoulder fighting was unique and entertaining.  See below.  Comedian Adam Carolla narrated this video vignette with many guest appearances.

Spike TV to rebrand to Paramount TV

February 8, 2017

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Spike TV will be rebranded as the Paramount Network.  A formal announcement will happen on Thursday during Viacom’s quarterly earnings call.

Kevin Kay, the SpikeTV head is expected to stay on with the rebranding according to the report.

Rebranding could begin as early as 2018.

The network’s target demo has been young males.  The UFC started on Spike before it signed its television deal with Fox.  It was the birthplace for The Ultimate Fighter.  It currently airs Bellator MMA programming.

Payout Perspective:

It’s not known whether the rebranding will mean a refocus on programming.  But, whenever there are rebranding efforts, there’s a likelihood that it means that there will be changes to make the network more attractive to a greater group of people.  With more cord cutters and alternative means of viewing programs, network executives are attempting to change with the new normal.

Ortiz-Sonnen drew 2.2M viewers on Spike TV

January 26, 2017

Bellator 170 drew 2.2 million viewers for the main event between Tito Ortiz and Chael Sonnen on Spike TV on Saturday night.

The Paul Daley-Brennan Ward fight drew 2 million viewers as well.  The entire 3  hour telecast drew 1.5 million viewers in adjusted DVR+3 ratings.

Notable DVR+3 main events for Bellator on Spike TV:

Rampage Jackson-Satoshi Ishii at Dynamite 2 (June 2016): 1,040,000 viewers (entire fight)

Kimbo Slice-Dada 5000 at Bellator 149 (February 2016): 2.9 million viewers

Liam McGeary-Tito Ortiz at Dynamite 1 (September 2015): 891,000 viewers

Kimbo Slice-Ken Shamrock at Bellator 138 (June 2015): 2.8 million viewers

Tito Ortiz-Stephan Bonnar at Bellator 131 (November 2014): 2 million viewers

Bellator 170: 1.374M viewers on Spike TV

January 24, 2017

Bellator 170 drew 1.374 million viewers on Saturday night on Spike TV per Sports TV Ratings.  It peaked at 1.85 million viewers during the Chael Sonnen-Tito Ortiz fight per Spike TV.

Sports TV Ratings notes that it drew 703,000 in the A18-49 demo.

Spike TV notes that the co-main event between Paul Daley and Brennan Ward drew 1.7 million viewers.  The 3-hour broadcast ranked first in cable with men 18-49 in the timeslot.

Payout Perspective:

The event drew less than Bellator 149’s average of 1,964,000 viewers but 170 was the highest-rated event on Spike since last February’s event.  The event shows the drawing power of the elder MMA fighters.  Certainly, the promos for the fight between Sonnen and Ortiz helped promote the event and drew 1.85 million for their fight.  The peak viewership for the main event was slightly more than the 1.8 million that tuned in for Tito versus Stephan Bonnar in November 2014.

Light requests to dismiss lawsuit against Bellator

January 9, 2017

Zachery Light is dismissing his lawsuit against Bellator.  Light’s attorney filed a Request for Dismissal on December 20, 2016.

The Request was signed by Light’s attorney, William Crosby, and Bellator’s counsel Richard Kendall.

The dismissal is “with prejudice” which would end both Light’s lawsuit against Bellator and Bellator’s cross-claim against Light.  The details can be found here and in the original lawsuit in which Light  stated that the promotion disobeyed laws for forging medial information for fighters.  Light claimed that Scott Coker and Rich Chou advised the former Bellator employee not to press the issue.

Bellator claimed that Light requested a loan from the company and was given $9,403 and entered into a written agreement with Light that made him pay back the money on an agreed schedule.  Bellator claims that he never paid back the loan.

Payout Perspective:

In all likelihood, the parties have decided to settle their dispute without incurring further litigation costs.  Also, I would suppose a non-disclosure agreement was signed by Light which would preclude him from talking about the case.  It would be interesting to know of the allegations regarding Bellator hiring Kogan while he still managed fighters.  Of course, Light probably could not sustain paying his legal bills up against Bellator.  From all indications, he is now working for MMAAA.

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