[UPDATED with CA ratings] Bellator MMA draws just 242K on Paramount Network

April 16, 2018

Bellator MMA drew just 242,000 viewers on The Paramount Network Friday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The simulcast on CMT drew an additional 161,000.

In the main event, Michael Chandler defeated Brandon Girtz in the first round via technical submission with an arm triangle choke after Girtz was put to sleep with the submission.  On The Paramount Network, it drew 0.09 in the A18-49 demo.  On CMT, it drew 0.07 in the A18-49 demo.

Notably, Combate Americas ran an event later that night on Univision and drew 181,000 viewers.  It did 0.10 in the A18-49 demo.

UPDATED 4/17/18:  According to Nielson, Combate Americas on Friday, according to Nielsen, ratings for the live simulcast was 583,000 P2+ viewers, and 296,000 viewers in the 18-49 year old category.

Payout Perspective:

These ratings have to be disappointing for Bellator as it sinks to another ratings low.  Prior to this week, last Friday’s event featuring Benson Henderson drew 420,000 viewers.  This week saw almost half those viewers return on Paramount.  The CMT viewership combined brings the total viewership to just 423,000 viewers.  Combate Americas on the Univision Network drew just 181,000 viewers but with less expectations.  Moreover, it drew more in the younger demo than either showing of Bellator on either network.  Granted, the CA was on later in the evening than Bellator, but the ratings for the promotion are not going in the right direction.

Bellator 196 draws 420,000 viewers on Paramount

April 11, 2018

Bellator 196 drew 420,000 viewers on the Paramount Network Friday night.  The event featured Benson Henderson taking on Robert Huerta in Budapest, Hungary.

This past Friday’s event was the fourth one this year under 500,000 viewers with just one event over 500,000.  The event drew 0.14 in the A18-49 demo per ShowBuzz Daily.

Payout Perspective

The ratings have to be a concern this year even though we are in April.  At this point, Bellator is averaging just 520,000 viewers per live telecast which is the lowest since 2014.  This past Friday’s event featured a former UFC Champion and drew the lowest viewership of the year.  While international events seem to draw lower ratings, Henderson was thought to bring name recognition and fans to telecasts and that does not seem to be the case.

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.

Jon Fitch signs with Bellator

March 1, 2018

Jon Fitch has signed with Bellator according to a company release.  Previously, Fitch had been associated with the Professional Fighters League.

The press release did not state a debut date for Fitch but he enters a welterweight division with Rory MacDonald, Douglas Lima, Paul Daley, Michael Page to name a few.

Fitch, the PFL welterweight champion indicated early last month that he would head to Bellator.  Fitch announced that he was a free agent as of February 2nd.  The former UFC title contender had been the WSOF, now PFL welterweight champion.

Payout Perspective:

The news that Fitch is heading to Bellator is good news for Bellator as it adds another name to its roster.  It does not bode well for PFL as it has yet to hold an event this year.  Also, the inability to re-sign Fitch is a loss of a recognizable name for its upcoming season.  Despite turning 40, Fitch can still be competitive in Bellator.

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.

Bellator 192 DVR ratings bump event average to 1M total viewers

January 26, 2018

Bellator 192 averaged 1 million viewers peaking with 1.5 million during the Chael Sonnen-Rampage Jackson fight according to Nielsen in DVR + 3 ratings.  The numbers reflect the combination of Paramount and CMT.

The average viewership for the Sonnen-Jackson fight drew 1.4 million viewers while the Rory MacDonald-Douglas Lima fight drew 1.2 million viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The numbers do not divide out the Parmount and CMT ratings although I would suspect that Paramount’s peak viewership would include most of the former Spike TV audience.  In Live + Same Day Viewership Bellator 192 drew 770,000 viewers on Paramount and 161,000 on CMT.  The Sonnen-Rampage first round averaged 1.2m viewers while MacDonald-Lima averaged 1.1 million viewers.  The numbers do show that this event was recorded in light of the UFC and/or boxing events on at the same time.

Bellator 192 peaks with 1.34M viewers

January 23, 2018

Bellator MMA averaged 931,000 total viewers on the Paramount Network and CMT.  It peaked with 1,340,000 million during the Chael Sonnen-Rampage Jackson fight.

The first round between Sonnen and Rampage averaged 1.2 million viewers.  The Rory MacDonald-Douglas Lima bout drew 1.1 million viewers.

According to the release, Bellator 192 was the most watched event for the franchise since Bellator 170: Sonnen-Ortiz last January.

Via Bellator release:

In its timeslot (9:00pm-12:30am), Bellator 192 on Paramount Network ranked #3 with Men 18-49 and #4 with Men 18-34 in all of cable.  Bellator 192 was also the most watched combat sports event that evening on cable. (DVR +3 numbers will be available later this week)

Payout Perspective:

Bellator drew 770,000 on Paramount and 161,000 on CMT.  For Bellator 180, CMT viewership was 143,000.  180 was the first event where Viacom has decided to broadcast the event on CMT.  It’s an interesting strategy.  While it does not pick up a lot more viewers, I think the idea is to broadcast it to a broader audience/demo.  We’ll see if this helps the overall viewership.

UFC 220 Prelims draw 905,000 on FS1, Bellator 192 770,00 viewers on Paramount

January 23, 2018

The UFC 220 Prelims on FS1 drew 905,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The prelims overlapped with Bellator 192 on Paramount which drew 770,000 viewers.

UPDATED:  Bellator 192 was also on CMT network.  Thanks to a reader who pointed this out.  Based on the combined ratings Bellator 192 drew 931,000 viewers (CMT chipped in with the additional 161,000 viewers)

The UFC Prelims were highlighted by Julio Arce versus Dan Ige.  The event on FS1 drew 0.39 in the A18-49 demo.  In comparison, last year’s first PPV, UFC 208, which occurred in February drew 824,000 viewers. Bellator 192 featured Rampage Jackson and Chael Sonnen as it began the Heavyweight Grand Prix.  It also saw Rory MacDonald win the welterweight belt from Douglas Lima.  The event drew 0.32 in the A18-49 demo.

In addition, on Saturday night, the UFC Prefight Show on FS1 drew 286,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Bellator 192 was the highest-rated Bellator event on Spike TV, now Paramount, since March 2017’s Bellator 175 which featured Rampage against King Mo.  Bellator 180 had a higher viewership in the aggregate but was shown on Spike and CMT.  While the event produced the best ratings in almost 10 months, it still does not come close to the initial tentpole events which drew near 1 million viewers.  Obviously, the head-to-head with the prelims and the UFC PPV hurt Bellator this time around.  For the UFC Prelims, the 905,000 is a nice rating considering the fights did not have any “named” fighter on them which bodes well for the PPV buys.

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