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.

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.

Will PBC turn strategy into media rights deal?

April 24, 2017

Sports Business Journal (subscription recommended) reports on the current status of Premier Boxing Champions and its strategy of time buys across a broad landscape of networks.  The article looks at the ratings over the court of the innovative and risky experiment.

The hope was to turn the time buys into a lucrative “rights fees” deal.  This has not happened thus far.  Instead, the strategy has seemed to spread the brand thin and ratings have been sporadic.  Recently, Spike TV decided not to pick up its option for PBC stating that it would focus more on Bellator.

Per the article, there is still an opportunity for a rights fees deal but with the UFC shopping its rights package, there is some competition.  CBS might be a potential landing spot for PBC since it already has a tie-in with Showtime and has a $40 million budget for 2017.  In addition, there is the underutilized CBS Sports Network which could use additional live content.  In leadup to the last couple of PBC fights on CBS or Showtime, CBS Sports Network has shown previous fights of boxers that have upcoming fights on the networks which has served as good shoulder programming marketing the fighters.

One of the concerns for PBC is the lack of sponsors to spend consistently in the sport.  Showtime executive vice president and general manager of sports Stephen Espinoza notes that sponsors is where boxing is “living or dying.”  He believes there needs to be more education of sponsors to show that it has a valuable demo to deliver.

PBC has produced 54 cards in the last 12 months that aired across nine channels.  The highest average it has produced was 2.75 million viewers on CBS for two shows.  Its most-viewed show was a Sunday afternoon fight on NBC in August between Errol Spence-Leonard Bundu which aired immediately after the men’s basketball gold medal game.  The fight drew over 4.8 million viewers with a peak of 6.34 million.  More recently, last month’s Keith Thurman-Danny Garcia fight drew an average of 3.1 million viewers with the fight drawing 3.74 million and peaking at 5.1 million.  In February, the return of Adrien Broner on Showtime drew 779,000 of its network subscribers.

Payout Perspective:

The article notes that PBC is at a crossroads in its business model.  Based on the TV ratings, the time buy strategy has not been effective.  Despite the fact, the strategy has not produced desired results the article notes the last couple of events for PBC have produced good ratings highlighted by Keith Thurman-Danny Garcia on CBS.  We should see some decent ratings for Thurman-Andre Berto on Showtime this past Saturday.  Will PBC survive past 2017?  Better events, promoting its top fighters and maintaining a focused network strategy should help a turn around.  Of course, the networks and sponsors which would infuse PBC with an injection of money would help a business that has seeped money since the beginning.

Bellator 177 draws 577,000 viewers

April 18, 2017

Bellator 177 Friday on Spike TV drew 577,000 per Sports TV Ratings.  The event, from Budapest, Hungary featured Eduardo Dantas as he defeated Leandro Higo.

Per Sports TV Ratings it drew 213,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo from 9:00-11:12pm ET on Friday night.

Bellator 2017
Event Overnight Rating on Spike TV
169 568,000
170 1,374,000
171 720,000
172 807,000
173 557,000
174 755,000
175 907,000
176 438,000
177 577,000

Payout Perspective:

It was another overseas event with not a lot of known fighters for the casual fan.  Yet, it did well on Good Friday as it was third in live sports programming for the night to the NHL Playoffs on NBC Sports Network and USA.  Of course, this was without the NBA to compete with as the playoffs did not start until Saturday.

 

 

Spike TV’s deal with PBC is over

April 12, 2017

ESPN reports that Spike TV will no longer air Premier Boxing Champions on Spike TV which ends a two-year partnership to air PBC on Spike TV.

In March 2015, Spike TV launched “Friday Night Lights Out” with Glory Kickboxing, Bellator MMA and PBC with Haymon’s company as the big add to the network.  According to Spike TV, a third-year option was negotiated was not included in the final contract.

Notably, Spike TV was not happy with the quality of PBC cards aired on Spike TV and the network wanted to commit to Bellator MMA.

The last PBC on Spike TV card aired this past January.  The network stated that it is willing to revisit PBC and/or a boxing event but it looks like its combat sports programming will be limited to Bellator MMA.

Payout Perspective:

It’s interesting that Spike was frank about the quality of PBC cards.  Most of PBC cable cards are now airing on FS1.  The best PBC on Spike TV did on the network was its March 2015 debut when it drew 869,000 viewers.  The ratings have struggled to grasp a consistent audience with its events on Spike TV.  The network, which ended its relationship with Glory, now seems to be making a concentrated effort into Bellator MMA.  Will this equate into a push for bigger ratings and more sponsors?  We shall see.

Updated Bellator 175 ratings show peak viewership at 1.6M

April 5, 2017

Bellator 175 on Friday night drew 1.4 million viewers for the main event featuring King Mo Lawal and Rampage Jackson according to a Spike TV release.  The main event peaked at 1.6 million viewers.

According to Sports TV Ratings, the overall event drew 907,000 viewers.  The DVR +3 ratings drew 1 million viewers and a 0.9 rating with Men 18-49.

Per the Spike TV release, Bellator programming on Spike TV is averaging 993,000 viewers which is a 26% increase over 2016.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are better than I had expected.  1.4 million for King Mo-Rampage is very good considering the lack of any spark for this event.  It does show that Rampage is still an interesting fighter despite being on the other side of his career.  Will he continue it in the UFC?

[UPDATED] Bellator 175 draws 907,000 viewers

April 4, 2017

Bellator 175 drew 907,000 viewers on Spike TV Friday night per Sports TV Ratings.  The main event featuring Rampage Jackson taking on King Mo Lawal in a rematch of their 2014 fight drew 1.2 million viewers.

The event took place at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.

Bellator MMA Live Ratings for 2017 (Live + SD)

Bellator 170: 1,374,000 viewers *tentpole

Bellator 171: 720,000

Bellator 172: 807,000  *Mitrione-Fedor cancelled

Bellator 173: 557,000

Bellator 174: 755,000

Bellator 175: 907,000

Payout Perspective:

Rampage-King Mo did not seem to evoke the spark you would anticipate however according to Nielsen, the main event drew 1.2 million viewers.  While 907,000 viewers is a nice bump from the general Bellator events, it may show that Jackson is no longer the draw that Bellator would hope it shows that Jackson can still draw.  Likely not helpful that in an ESPN interview hyping the fight he stated he regrets ever starting MMA.  But, based on the information coming in about the ratings, his comments may not have mattered.  MMA Payout will have more on the ratings tomorrow.

Bellator 174 peaks at 1.1M viewers

March 8, 2017

Bellator 174 this past Friday on Spike TV drew 755,000 viewers and peaked at 1.1 million viewers according to Nielsen.  The ratings reflect the adjust DVR+3 ratings.

The overnight rating drew 686,000 viewers and 255,000 in the adult 18-49 demo per Sports TV Ratings.  The event featured the inaugural women’s featherweight title bout as Julia Budd defeated Marloes Coenen.  Budd is now champion and Coenen, a women’s MMA pioneer, decided to retire after the fight.

Payout Perspective:

Not big numbers here as the card did not have any big names.  However, to get the peak over 1 million viewers is still a testament to the fact that Bellator continues to garner a core audience.

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