Bellator 215 draws 365,000 viewers on Paramount Network Friday night

February 19, 2019

Bellator MMA 215 drew 365,000 viewers on the Paramount Network Friday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily. The ratings continue a precipitous slide for the promotion on television.

The event was the first of two nights for the promotion in Uncasville, Connecticut. Friday night’s event featured Matt Mitrione taking on Sergei Kharitonov in a Heavyweight matchup. However, the fight never came to fruition as an errant Mitrione kick hit Kharitonov for a low blow and the Russian could not continue.

The ratings reflect a continued drop in viewership for Bellator. One might argue that viewership may have been skewed since the event was also on DAZN. Yet, the ratings have seen a downturn over the years.

Payout Perspective:

Top Rank Boxing on Friday night scored 704,000 viewers on ESPN in the same time slot. While Bellator 214 did well in the ratings, the lack of consistency here should be a concern for the promotion. As Jed I. Goodman points out, there is a downward trend in viewership since its time on Spike.

Bader-Fedor fight drew 1.2M viewers on Paramount Saturday night

January 30, 2019

Bellator 214 scored an overall rating of 697,000 viewers on Saturday night.  The Fedor-Ryan Bader showdown drew 1.2 million viewers on the telecast.

Bellator 214 took place at The Forum in Inglewood, California.  It featured the finals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix with the promotion’s Light Heavyweight Champion winning the Heavyweight Championship.

Also on the card, Jaker Hager (aka Jack Swagger) defeated J.W. Kiser in the first round via submission.  The bout drew 809,000 viewers.  Aaron Pico’s surprising KO loss to Henry Corrales drew 808,000 viewers.

It was a busy night for sports on Saturday with PBC on Fox, Showtime’s replay of Pacquiao-Broner and the NBA on ABC and the NHL All-Star Game.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are the best for Bellator since last January when Chael Sonnen faced Rampage Jackson at the beginning of the Heavyweight Grand Prix.  It should be noted that the top 3 fights lasted less than a round.  The Fedor-Bader matchup which drew over 1 million viewers was just 35 seconds.  Yet, the ratings show that there is an audience that is either looking for a UFC alternative or has been trained to look for MMA on Saturdays.  The good news is that Bader proved himself a star and Hager’s performance showed that he is a legit threat in the heavyweight division although we have yet to see his chin.  Perhaps the only bad news is the loss of Aaron Pico, a fighter the promotion had hoped it could promote as a superstar.  It still can but his fight style might need a quick rehab.

Bellator ends year with 212 show drawing just 285K viewers on Paramount

December 17, 2018

Bellator MMA Live 212 drew 285,000 on Friday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event was the first of two shows taking place in Honolulu with the first event airing on Paramount.

The second event aired on DAZN exclusively.  Friday’s event also aired on DAZN.

On Friday night Michael Chandler regained the Bellator lightweight title from Brent Primus.  We also saw Javy Ayala tap out Frank Mir to strikes.

 

Bellator
Rating
192 770,000
193 470,000
194 476,000
195 465,000
196 420,000
197 242,000
198 598,000
199 605,000
200 421,000
201 466,000
202 405,000
203 471,000
204 319,000
205 346,000
206 DAZN
207 416,000
208 521,000
209 381,000
210 270,000
211 207,000
212 285,000

Payout Perspective:

It’s been a down year for Bellator ratings one would think that the DAZN partnership might alleviate some concern about visibility of the promotion.  The average viewership for 2018 is 428,000 viewers with the last 4 events not clearing the 400,000 viewers threshold.  In comparison, 2017 averaged 614,000 viewers with no event below 394,000 viewers.  This year there were 7 fights under 394,000 viewers.

 

 

 

 

ONE signs television deal with Turner Sports

December 11, 2018

ESPN reports that ONE Championship has signed a three-year broadcast deal with Turner Sports.  According to the report by Ariel Helwani, the deal for the Singapore-based company begins on January 1, 2019.

The company will have 24 events to air live on TNT beginning next year and on its digital platforms including B/R Live.  Financial details were not announced.

The first televised event is schedule for January 19, 2019 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The company had promised a North American deal earlier this year.  It has made some significant signings with former UFC fighters including Eddie Alvarez, Demetrious Johnson (technically via “trade”) and most recently Sage Northcutt.  It also signed Miesha Tate as a ONE exec.  With those moves, it seemed as though the company was ready for a big move.

Turner Sports had been in discussions for the UFC media rights and one point and it appears that the company sought to expand its live content.  B/R Live most recently aired the Phil Mickelson-Tiger Woods one on one golf round the Friday after Thanksgiving.  However, the attempt to market it on PPV was a bust with technical glitches causing the match to be aired for free and refunding those that paid $19.99 to watch.

Payout Perspective:

This is an interesting venture for Turner Sports as TNT has a much broader base than Fox Sports or Paramount.  As of this past September, TNT is received in approximately 89.573 million homes.  In comparison, Fox Sports 1, where the UFC currently resides is in 83,290 million homes.  Paramount Network, home of Bellator, is seen in 80,240 million homes.  NBC Sports Network, home of the PFL, is in 83,404 homes. Notably, ESPN, the future home of the UFC, came in at 85,988 million.

 

In my opinion, the signing of ONE Championship is more for the B/R Live digital content than it is for TNT.  The company is trying to expand its digital reach and signing a deal with ONE Championship gets it into the sport.  Aside from its anchor sports of NBA and golf, TNT airs esports on Friday night to steady, but not outstanding ratings.  Yet, it maintained a viewership base of younger viewers.  This will be an interesting signing and we will see if the casual viewer will acclimate to ONE.

Bellator 209 peaked at 574,000 viewers

November 21, 2018

Bellator 209 peaked at 574,000 viewers on The Paramount Network per Nielsen.  The tape-delayed event from Israel drew 448,000 viewers in DVR + 3 ratings.

The event featured Patricio Freire as he defeated Emmanuel Sanchez.

The Live + SD viewership of the event on Friday drew 381,000 viewers.

The DVR numbers did not add much to the event which is unfortunate but expected considering this was a tape-delayed event.

Tape-delayed Bellator 209 on Paramount draws 381,000 viewers

November 19, 2018

Bellator MMA Live 209 drew 381,000 viewers on the Paramount Network according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The telecast was also available via digital streaming service DAZN.

The event was tape-delayed from Israel and featured Patricio Freire as he defeated Emmanuel Sanchez for Friere’s Featherweight title.

The event drew 0.13 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

You can certainly stick the blame for the ratings on the one-day tape delay.  The ratings this year for Bellator have been disappointing.

Bellator 208 draws 521,000 viewers on Paramount

October 17, 2018

Bellator 208 on Paramount Saturday night drew 521,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event featured Fedor defeating Chael Sonnen in the last semi-final of the Heavyweight Grand Prix.

It was the second of back-to-back nights for the promotion.  The event also aired on DAZN.

In addition to Fedor and Sonnen, Benson Henderson defeated Saad Awad.

Payout Perspective:

Although 521,000 viewers does not seem that impressive, it is the best viewership since Bellator 199 this past May.  One might infer that there were more viewers since DAZN was an optional way to view the event.  The viewership suggests that Fedor is still a draw for many MMA fans.

Bellator 207 draws 416,000 viewers on Paramount Friday night

October 15, 2018

Bellator 207 on the Paramount Network Friday night drew 416,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  It was the first of back-to-back shows on the network.

The event featured the semi-finals of the Heavyweight Grand Prix as Ryan Bader made easy work of Matt Mitrione to make his way to the finals of the tournament.

Also on the card, Sergei Kharitonov looked impressive in his KO of Roy Nelson.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings have to be a little disappointing considering this was one of the semifinals for their Heavyweight Grand Prix.  Saturday night’s event will be an interesting look to see with PFL and Top Rank Boxing on ESPN going on at the same time.

Bellator 205 draws 346,000 viewers on Paramount Network

September 24, 2018

Bellator MMA Live on the Paramount Network Friday night drew 346,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The event featured A.J. McKee as he defeated John Macapa in the first round of their matchup via KO.  Bellator 205 took plaice at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho.

Payout Perspective:

The event did better than Bellator 204, but its average is still down over last year. 2018 is averaging 462,000 viewers while 2017 averaged 614,000 viewers.

Bellator 204 peaked with Gallagher fight with 699K viewers on Paramount

August 22, 2018

Bellator 204 peaked for the James Gallagher-Ricky Bandejas fight with 699,000 viewers  on Paramount according to Nielsen.  The event drew 413,000 in DVR + 3 ratings.

The event drew 319,000 viewers in Live + SD ratings on Friday night.  The event featured Darrion Caldwell as he defeated Noad Lahat.  Gallagher was a top prospect and patterned himself after Conor McGregor.  But, he ran into Ricky Bandejas who scored the upset over Gallagher.

Payout Perspective:

The peak occurred prior to featured main event which reflects the interest in Gallgher as he is a McGregor disciple.  The ratings reflect a decline in viewership from the previous weeks which may be a concern.

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