June 29, 2015
Bellator 139 drew an average viewership of 764,000 viewers on Spike TV Friday night per Sports TV Ratings. The event is down from its tent pole event of a week prior but it still was the second-best rating on the network since February.
In the main event of Friday night, former UFC heavyweight Cheick Kongo defeated Alexander Volkov. The other big news coming out of Bellator 139 was the KO of Joe Schilling by Hisaki Kato. Per Nielsen sources, the peak for the show was 988,000 viewers during the last quarter hour (10:45-11pm).
Bellator 137 pulls the promotion’s 2015 Spike TV average up to 800,000 viewers.
Sports TV ratings also notes that boxing on TruTV drew 303,000 viewers Friday night in the 10pm-12am slot. The TruTV fights are promoted primarily by Top Rank. Also, boxing on FS1 on Friday drew 129,000 viewers. The event on FS1 appears to be the last promoted by Golden Boy. Additionally, Showtime aired a prospect card Friday night although no information on the ratings were available at this time.
There were a lot of viewing options Friday night for combat sports enthusiasts but viewers tuned in to Bellator 139 which should be seen as a positive for the company and Spike. It’s interesting that it did so well the week after its tent pole event. The last tent pole event, Bellator 131, did not have a follow event the next week. In fact, the next Bellator event was not until January 2015. We could see more follow up events the week after to take advantage of the momentum.
In terms of boxing ratings, the TruTV ratings are surprising and it looks like Top Rank has found a nice way to promote its HBO fights the next night.
May 18, 2015
Sports TV Ratings is reporting that Bellator 137 on Friday night on Spike TV drew an average viewership of 594,000 viewers. It drew a 0.2 rating in the 18-49 demo.
The ratings represent a 10 percent decrease from April’s Bellator 136. In the main event, Brandon Halsey defeated Kendall Grove via TKO in the main event although Halsey was stripped of the middleweight title for his failure to make weight.
Bellator Events in 2015
Bellator 132: 767,000
Bellator 133: 565,000
Bellator 134: 872,000
Bellator 135: 607,000
Bellator 136: 655,000
Bellator 137: 594,000
The average for 2015 sits at 677,000 viewers.
On another ratings note, boxing on TruTV received 288,000 viewers on Friday night.
Bellator went up against the NBA playoffs on Friday night but the viewership did not fall too far off its previous two showings. Halsey’s inability to make weight is unfortunate for Bellator as he could be one of those fighters that Bellator could groom into a known commodity for the organization. He still has the potential, but he will need to make weight if he is to regain the middleweight title.
April 2, 2015
Earlier this week Top Rank Boxing and truTV announced a deal that would put boxing on the Turner Network starting with live fight cards on Friday, May 1st.
truTV is best known for running men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament games during March. Otherwise, most sports fans would not know of the network’s existence.
The series will hold 8 card this year and will be “in association with Turner Sports and HBO Sports” per ESPN. For those wondering, HBO and Turner are under the same umbrella owned by Time Warner.
HBO will promote the series and the first three events (May 1st, May 8th and May 15th) on truTV will de facto serve as promotional tolls for bigger fights put on by HBO the next day.
Turner Sports will assist in marketing and producing the series. The broadcast team is not known at this point although it will be provided by Turner Sports and/or Top Rank.
truTV is in 89.7 million households according to TV by the Numbers.
Another boxing series on television although this was does not involve Al Haymon. The series may compete with SpikeTV’s lineup of combat sports (which include’s Haymon’s PBC) and the new line of boxing coming up later this year on ESPN. With all the boxing that has been announced this year, it’s hard to fathom a network not carrying the sport. Is there a point where there is too much boxing? While I do see the benefit of running live events to further promote bigger events, one would have to wonder if these truTV cards would be only for the most ardent boxing fan.