UPDATED: 6/27 Bellator-Spike announce a ratings number for Bellator 180 over two networks

June 26, 2017

MMA Fighting reports that Bellator 180 Saturday drew 901,000 viewers across two networks: Spike TV and CMT.  The event aired prior to Bellator: NYC, the company second-ever PPV.  According to Nielsen Spike TV drew 758,000 viewers and another 143,000 viewers on CMT. 

Here’s a question:  How many of those 143,000 viewers were converted to buy the PPV?

The televised event featured Phil Davis and Ryan Bader in the main event of Bellator 180.  The main event peaked at 1.1 million over the two networks.  Yes, I do not know what that means either.  According to the MMA Fighting report written by Dave Meltzer, the company sent out the information via press release.

The article notes that Bellator was trending on twitter and received 200,000 google searches Saturday night.

Payout Perspective:

I have been traveling so I’m not sure if MMA Payout received the release.  Usually when there is big news regarding ratings I am not on the “preferred” media list to receive this info.  I guess that this is news except why did Viacom show this across two networks and then report the ratings as one?  We all know for folks that are interested in ratings, you will be looking at one rating and not whether it was aired on two networks.  So to report the 901K number seems a little weird since a rating for each network cannot be provided in the press release.  If you were to just look at the headline, you’d think that the 901K was on one network and think it was good.  We’ll see once all the info comes out.

The Ratings Buffet for the week ending June 16th

June 16, 2017

Welcome to the second edition of The Ratings Buffet.  This week there was a UFC Fight Night on Spike TV Saturday and a PFC on FS1 event on Sunday night in addition to TUF and various wrestling programs.

Saturday

UFC Fight Night 110 on FS1:  923,000 viewers

UFC Fight Night 110 Prelims on FS1:  696,000 viewers

UFC Fight Night 110 Post Fight show on FS1: 351,000 viewers

Sunday

PBC on FS1 Sunday: 374,000 viewers for Brandon Rios-Aaron Herrera

Monday

Monday Night Raw

Hour 1: 2.769 million viewers

Hour 2: 2.522 million viewers

Hour 3: 2.335 million viewers

Countdown to Bellator NYC on Spike TV:  200,000 viewers

24/7 Ward/Kovalev 2 on HBO: 153,000 viewers

Tuesday

SmackDown: 2.072 million viewers on USA

Wednesday

TUF 25 Episode 9: 422,000 viewers

Lucha Underground: 123,000 viewers for the first showing at 8pm and 51,000 for the immediate replay at 9pm

Thursday

Impact Wresting on PopTV 327,000 viewers

Sonnen and Silva will be drug tested prior to Bellator NYC

June 13, 2017

MMA Fighting reports that Bellator NYC main event participants Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva will undergo drug testing prior to their matchup on June 24th.  The drug tests, which have already taken place, will be conducted by an independent third party and will be paid by each athlete.

The New York State Department of State confirmed that each athlete will pay for the costs of the tests.  No mention of the third-party agency that will administer the tests and the nature of the tests or how many.  Scott Coker stated that the results of the tests are expected to return before the bout.

Both Sonnen and Silva have had drug suspensions related to Performance Enhancing Drugs which is the likely reason for the extra emphasis on the main event.

According to the MMA Fighting report, Sonnen was tested four times prior to his fight against Tito Ortiz in California.  It will Silva’s first fight since he was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.  His last fight was in 2013 in Japan.

Payout Perspective:

Drug testing validates the main event and it should be something the promotion should look to do in the future.  For those skeptical about the fight, the drug tests attempt to ensure that both fighters are clean.  Certainly, drug testing for Bellator athletes is a good idea and makes sense for these two.

Bellator signs former UFC TUF winner Roy Nelson

May 27, 2017

MMA Fighting has confirmed with several sources that Roy Nelson has signed with Bellator.  The heavyweight joins the growing list of former UFC fighters signing as free agents with the Viacom-owned company.

Nelson spent 8 years with the UFC.  He was 9-10 in the UFC and was a TUF contestant.  Notably, he was the first fighter to face Kimbo Slice and defeated him and an exhibition bout on the show.  Nelson went on to win Season 10 of TUF.

At 40, Nelson is on the tail-end of his career and ended 1-2 in his last three fights for the UFC.

Nelson will bring his UFC resume and knockout power to Bellator.  Whether he will be considered a contender for the Bellator Heavyweight title is something we shall see.

Payout Perspective:

With Derrick Lewis saying on The MMA Hour this week that he just signed a new contract for the UFC for “six figures,” maybe this is where the company found the money for the raise.  Nelson’s last reported show money was $100,000 to show which made him one of the higher paid fighters on the roster.  The decision not to re-sign him made sense for the UFC and also was a good business decision from Bellator’s perspective.  Assuming Nelson can still get in condition to put in 3 rounds with the potential for a KO, Bellator should be happy.

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.

Bellator NYC available in selected theaters

May 26, 2017

Bellator NYC: Sonnen v. Silva will be made available in movie theaters according to a company press release.

Via press release:

One of the year’s biggest combat sports events is headed to the silver screen. Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs Silva, headlined by the long-awaited fight between two of the biggest names in mixed martial arts history,Chael Sonnen (29-15-1) and Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC), will be available in movie theaters nationwide on Saturday, June 24, in addition to pay-per-view.

Emanating from the legendary Madison Square in New York City, the mecca of combat sports, this blockbuster event includes a heavyweight bought between Russian icon Fedor Emelianenko and hard-hitting Matt Mitrione along with two championship bouts including Douglas Lima (28-6) defending his 170-pound strap against Lorenz Larkin (18-5, 1 NC) and current lightweight champion Michael Chandler (16-3) putting his world title on the line against the undefeated Brent Primus (7-0).

Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva will be broadcast live to cinemas nationwide for this special one-night event at 10:00 p.m. ET/ 7:00 p.m. PT. In addition, audience members will receive an exclusive commemorative poster with their ticket purchase (while supplies last).

Tickets for Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva can be purchased beginning Friday, May 26, online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 350 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). A complete list of theater locations will be available May 26 on the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

“MMA fans will be treated to a very exciting and unique experience by watching this momentous event on the big screen,” said Kymberli Frueh, Fathom Events VP of Programming. “This is the biggest MMA event of the year – and if you can’t attend at MSG, the theater experience will be unforgettable.”

Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva also airs live on pay-per-view beginning at 10pm ET/7pm PT. Prior to the pay-per-view event, SPIKE will air Bellator 180 LIVE and FREE on both coasts, beginning at 8pm ET/5pm PT. Additionally, Bellator 180 prelims will air exclusively on Bellator.com and the Bellator Mobile App at 6pm ET/ 3pm PT.

Payout Perspective:

In my area, the tickets are going for $15 per adult.

 

You may recall that the UFC and major boxing events used the movie theater strategy to reach out to a broader audience for those that did not want to purchase the PPV at home or did not have access to it.  If you are a “cord cutter” or “cord-never” (a term I just learned of last week) , you would not have access to purchase the PPV.  The theater option gives a cheaper alternative to watch the event.  How many more people will it add, we shall see.  But, it’s clear that  Bellator is pulling out all stops to ensure that next month’s event in New York is big.

Tape-delayed Bellator 179 draws 607,000 viewers

May 22, 2017

Bellator 179 on Friday night scored 607,000 viewers on a tape delayed event from the UK on Spike TV.  The event featured Rory McDonald’s debut in Bellator and he earned the win over Paul Daley via submission.

ShowBuzz Daily reports that it drew 0.24 in the A18-49 demo.  The show aired Friday night starting at 9pm ET.

The event was slightly less than last month’s live event and better than the two previous events.

Payout Perspective:

This event could have done much better than 607,000 viewers but the ratings are on par with other Bellator live events.  So the question is whether Spike TV would be willing to uproot its normal programming to air an event on a Friday afternoon instead of Friday evening.  Obviously, it was not willing to do it.  One would think that if they did show it live, they would be a need to replay it later that night for those that missed it.  But, at a time when everything is live, it’s somewhat odd to have an event on via tape delay (unless of course it’s the Masters).

Bellator 178 peaked with over 1M viewers

April 26, 2017

Bellator 178 this past Friday drew 733,000 viewers in DVR+3 ratings per Nielsen.  The main event between Patricio Friere and Daniel Strauss scored 933,000 viewers on Spike TV.

The peak viewership for the event was 1,033,000 viewers.

The ratings improved over the overnight and same day rating of 674,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Not bad numbers for Bellator considering the jump in viewers for the people tuned in for the main event.  Notably, the event ended early so the ratings for the main event reflect the fact that there was likely an increase in viewership as the telecast went on as opposed to people jumping in in the last quarter hour.

Bellator 178 draws 674,000 viewers

April 25, 2017

Bellator 178 on Spike TV Friday night drew 674,000 viewers per Show Buzz Daily.  The event featured another return match between Patricio Freire and Daniel Strauss.

The event drew 674,000 viewers in overnight and SD viewership.  It drew 0.24 in the A18-49 demo.

It brings the 2017 average to 737,000 viewers.  But, if you take away Bellator 170 (which drew over 1.3M viewers) the average goes down to 667,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

We will have more on the peak viewership and DVR ratings for this on Wednesday.  The event ended early as Freire stopped Strauss early in an entertaining matchup.  The viewership did improve over the past two Bellator events which were both held overseas.

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.

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