Bellator posts lowest Paramount Network ratings in 2019 this past weekend

August 29, 2019

Bellator 225 which took place on Saturday night drew just 285,000 viewers on Paramount according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The event, which also aired on DAZN, featured heavyweights Matt Mitrone and Sergei Kharitonov.  The former Strikeforce fighter won via TKO via the former TUF competitor in the second round.  The event drew an overall share of just 0.09.

Per Jed I. Goodman, here are the Paramount Network ratings for the 2019 events:

Bellator 224 325k

Bellator 223 386k

Bellator 222 DAZN

Bellator 221 DAZN

Bellator 220 DAZN

Bellator 219 307k

Bellator 218 255k

Bellator 217 349k

Bellator 216 DAZN

Bellator 215 365k

Bellator 214 697k

Bellator did go up against PBC on FS1 which drew 345,000 viewers.  But the boxing telecast started after the MMA telecast.

Payout Perspective:

With a Bellator average on The Paramount Network at 325,000 viewers, one has to hope more viewers are on DAZN watching the events.  Granted, it was the start of College Football and the end of NFL Preseason which has many sports fans interested in the sport than MMA.  With this card having little interest, the ratings were likely expected.

Bellator MMA 223 draws 386,000 on The Paramount Network for tape-delayed card

June 25, 2019

Bellator MMA Live 223 drew 386,000 on The Paramount Network Saturday night.  The event was a tape-delayed telecast as the show took place earlier in London.

The event saw an upset as Rafael Lovato, Jr. defeated Gegard Mousasi to win the Bellator MMA middleweight world championship.

The telecast aired on digital streaming service DAZN as well as Paramount.

The last three Bellator events have been exclusively on DAZN.  The last event airing on Paramount was Bellator 219 which drew 307,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

It’s hard to gage how much Bellator viewership has dropped off since the event also airs on DAZN and we are not privy to the digital platform’s viewership.  With tape-delayed card, you can expect a lower viewership number since most of the hardcore fans will find ways to watch the event live.

Bellator 219 draws 307,000 viewers on Paramount

April 1, 2019

Bellator 219 took place Friday night in Temecula, California and drew 307,000 viewers on the Paramount Network per Nielsen.

The main event saw a good scrap between Brandon Girtz and Saad Awad.  Girtz defeated Awad in the lightweight matchup.  The event also saw the return of Daniel Straus as he submitted Shane Kruchten via first-round rear naked choke.

Bellator saw a slight increase in its viewership share with a 0.10 rating in the A18-49 demo.

Bellator went up against the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament.  TBS ruled the night as it showed the Auburn-North Carolina game, which drew over 5.6 million viewers, the most for Friday night on cable.  It also showed Houston-Kentucky which drew over 3.4 million viewers.

Bellator
Event Rating
Bellator 214 697,000
Bellator 215 365,000
Bellator 216   DAZN
Bellator 217 349,000
Bellator 218 255,000
Bellator 219 307,000

Payout Perspective:

Perhaps you can chalk the ratings up to strong competition Friday night but this event, which also aired on DAZN, did not have much drawing power although the return of Daniel Straus was notable.

Bellator 217 draws 349,000 on Paramount

February 28, 2019

Bellator 217 took place this past Saturday night and drew 349,000 viewers via Nielson per ShowBuzz Daily.  The card took place in Ireland and featured James Gallagher as he defeated Steven Graham.

The event took place at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland and drew 13,150 for a gate of $1.2 million.

The event aired on the Paramount Network and DAZN.

Saturday’s event was the lowest-rated of the three this year.  The 2019 average is down to 470,000 viewers.

The show on Saturday seemed to get overlooked due in part to the UFC event.  One would hope that Bellator would be able to turn the ratings around lest we see another decline in ratings this year.

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.

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