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

Freire, Kongo and Koscheck top Bellator 172 payouts

February 22, 2017

MMA Fighting reports the payouts from Bellator 172 this past Saturday night.  The salaries were released by the California State Athletic Commission.

Via MMA Fighting:

  • Patricky Freire ($40,000 + $40,000 = $80,000) def. Josh Thomson ($10,000)
  • Cheick Kongo ($75,000 + no win bonus = $75,000) def. Oli Thompson ($25,000)
  • Anatoly Tokov ($10,000 + $10,000 = $20,000) def. Francisco France($12,000)
  • Veta Arteaga ($6,000 + $6,000 = $12,000) def. Brooke Mayo ($8,000)
  • Mauricio Alonso ($10,000 + $10,000 = $20,000) def. Josh Koscheck ($75,000)
  • James Terry ($3,000 + $3,000 = $6,000) def. J.C. Llamas ($2,500)
  • Nikko Jackson ($1,000 + $1,000 = $2,000) def. Cesar Gonzalez ($1,000)
  • Juan Cardenas ($1,000 + $1,000 = $2,000) def. Luis Vargas ($1,000)
  • Bobby Escalanate ($1,000 + $1,000 = $2,000) def. Anthony Do ($1,500)
  • Jeremy Murphy ($1,200 + $1,200 = $2,400) def. Matt Ramirez ($1,800)
  • J.J. Okanaovich ($1,500 + $1,500 = $3,000) def. Zach Andrews ($1,500)
  • Justin Tenedora ($1,000 + $1,000 = $2,000) def. Roque Reyes ($1,000)
  • Martin Sano ($2,000) vs. Diego Herzog ($2,500) ruled majority draw
  • Gaston Bolanos ($4,000 + no win bonus = $4,000) def. Abner Perez ($1,000)
  • Abraham Vaesau ($1,000 + $1,000 = $2,000) def. Dominic Sumner ($1,000)

Payout Perspective:

Freire, Kongo and Koscheck were the big money earners with each making at least $75,000.  Freire earned $80,000 with his win bonus.  Notably, no one else made over $20,000.  One has to think that Fedor and Mitrione would have also made over $75,000 with Fedor likely making the most for the night.  One has to think that Koscheck’s pay might not be commensurate with his skill at this stage in his career.

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.

Bellator 171 peaked at 1.1M viewers on Friday

February 1, 2017

Bellator 171 this past Friday drew 795,000 viewers and peaked at 1.1 million during the Rickels-Derrow fight per Nielsen.

The event was ranked #3 overall in all of cable live sports programming.

The DVR+3 number increases the overnight rating of 720,000 reported two days ago.  The increase is on par with Bellator events.

Bellator 2017
Overnight A18-49 Peak DVR+3
Bellator 170 1,374,000 703,000 2,200,000 1,500,000
Bellator 171 720,000 310,000 1,100,000 795,000

Bellator 171 draws 720,000

January 30, 2017

Bellator 171 drew 720,000 viewers on Spike TV Friday night per Sports TV Ratings.

The event also drew 310,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 category.

In the main event, Chidi Njokuani defeated Melvin Guillard via unanimous decision.  Also of note, David Rickels did a pretty cool Mannequin Challenge in which the fans assisted for his walkout to his fight.

Bellator 171 comes one week after the big tentpole event of Bellator 170 which drew an average of 1.374M viewers.

Payout Perpsective:

It was a pretty good viewership rating for this event considering the level of interesting talent on the card.  Previously, Spike has ran events a week after tentpole events and received similar ratings (Bellator 150 drew 733K viewers and Bellator 139 drew 764K viewers).  The moral here may be to strike upon Bellator programming after a big event to keep the momentum going.

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.

Update on Bellator 169 ratings

December 21, 2016

Bellator 169 drew 699,000 viewers in DVR +3 ratings per Nielsen.  The event peaked with 965,000 viewers.

The event, which aired on Friday on tape delay drew 965,000 viewers.  The event featured King Mo Lawal as he defeated Satoshi Ishii in Dublin, Ireland.  It was the most-watched international Bellator MMA event to date.

The event drew 643,000 viewers in live + SD ratings.  It was the best showing for a Bellator TV event since September 2016.  Friday’s event was the highest peak since Bellator 167 peaked at 967,000.

16 for 16: No. 14 Bellator 149

December 20, 2016

In match-ups that reflect the organization’s penchant for odd attractions, Bellator 149 featured former street fighters Kimbo Slice and Dada 5000 and fighters past their prime Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie.

Actually, you could argue that all four of the featured fighters should not have been in the cage on February 19th.  Yet, it was the biggest audience for Bellator in 2016.

In the last fight of the night, Gracie defeated Shamrock in round 1.  While we could digest this since it didn’t last long, Slice-Dada was unbearable to watch after the first minute of the fight.

Booked as a brawl between two ex-street fighters, Kevin Ferguson and Dhafir Harris ran out of gas after the first minute of the fight and, as we learned later, Harris almost died in the cage as he essentially gave up due to exhaustion.  Ferguson tested positive for the banned substance nandrolone post-fight and his win was overturned to a no-contest.

In addition, Shamrock tested positive for the banned substance nandrolone and methadone.

Despite the main event of Slice and Dada and the post-fight failed tests, the event was the highest-rated event for the company.  Each fight on the telecast drew over 1.9 million viewers while the fights between Ferguson-Harris (2.9M) and Gracie-Shamrock (2.8M) surged to over 2 million viewers on Spike TV.

The Bellator tentpole model has worked and this event highlights the sports entertainment aspect of MMA.  The Slice-Dada promos for the fight were “must see” television.  The actual fight was not.  But, viewers were drawn to watch.  Ferguson, who passed away this past June, was a ratings magnet which likely helped the ratings.  Nostalgia of Shamrock-Gracie also brought casual viewers to watch.

One of the big questions about the event was how the main event participants were able to obtain a license to fight.  While there is no link between Ferguson’s death and his fighting career, one has to wonder what was included in his medical information to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.  Same could be asked of Harris.  It was clear he was in no condition to fight, yet was still granted a license.   While he met the requirements, one has to wonder how stringent they were at the time.

16 for 16: No. 16 Former Bellator employee sues company, organization sues back

December 19, 2016

As 2016 comes to an end, we take a look back at some of the bigger legal and business issues in MMA this year.  It’s clear we know the top 3 or 4 business stories but in the coming days we’ll walk you back through some other stories.

  1. Former Employee sues Bellator, company sues back

In May 2016, Zachery Light sued Bellator and parent company Viacom for wrongful termination.  The lawsuit includes allegations of disobeying laws by forging medical information for fighters.  He also claims that he was pressured by Scott Coker and Rich Chou not to press issues related to this.  He also claimed that Mike Kogan was hired by Bellator in an executive capacity while at the same time managing fighters that were put on Bellator cards.  Light claimed that due to stress from the job he took a leave but was terminated upon his return.

Zachery Light vs Bellator Sport Worldwide LLC by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

In response to the lawsuit, Bellator filed a Cross-Complaint citing Light for conversion, theft and a breach of written contract.

X Complaint to Zach Light by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

The Bellator Cross-Complaint claims 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.  In addition, Bellator claims that he did not return “thousands of dollars in VIP ticket sales” related to Bellator 136 in Irvine, California.

Light filed an Answer in August denying the allegations made in Bellator’s Cross-Complaint.

Zachery Light Answer by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

A Case Management Conference was to be heard to give a status on the case in November but it appears that there has been a continuance of this.  Light now works for MMAAA per Bjorn Rebney at the organization’s debut press conference earlier this month.  It will be interesting where this lawsuit will go or if the parties will determine to settle the case before any salacious information about either Light or Bellator’s business practices surfaces for the public.

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