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Thread: Bellator Looking at Ratings on Spike TV as a “Marathon Not a Sprint”

  1. Default Bellator Looking at Ratings on Spike TV as a “Marathon Not a Sprint”

    Bellator Looking at Ratings on Spike TV as a “Marathon Not a Sprint” |

    The next few days will be a crucial time for Bellator Fighting Championships as they debut on Spike TV and look to define themselves as a promotion on the same level of the UFC.

    The UFC has a stranglehold on the market when casual observers are talking about the “major leagues” of MMA, but that doesn’t mean Bellator can’t exist on the same playing field.

    No one doubts that it’s going to take time for Bellator to build an audience and grow viewers at Spike, just like the UFC encountered when they moved to the network in 2005. That doesn’t mean judgments won’t be made based on the first show airing on Thursday night featuring two title fights and the launch of the newest installment of their light heavyweight tournament.

    Whether right or wrong, a secondary judgment will also be rendered when the ratings for Bellator’s debut come out 24 to 48 hours after the show airs. Can Bellator produce the same kinds of numbers that the UFC once did on Spike TV?

    It’s a valid question, but maybe not one that should be asked after one show, and that’s the attitude that Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney is keeping as his company looks to build into the next major MMA promotion on television.

    “One of the things that’s great from my perspective is that Kevin Kay, who heads Spike network, has really been a partner in every sense of the word to me and to the organization. He and I have a very similar view of this – we view this as a marathon, not as a sprint,” said Rebney when speaking about the ratings with MMAWeekly Radio.

    “We’re tweaking it and building it, but our vision is very long in terms of where this is going to go, and very long term in terms of our expectations and how we’re going to build it.”
    Bellator first debuted highlight shows on Spike TV called “Bellator 360″ featuring some of their best and brightest fights from the past couple of years. Between the first two airings, the show ended up with nearly a million viewers overall, and that has to bee seen as encouraging considering the programming barely had any promotion ahead of time.

    Rebney promises not to freak out good or bad when the final numbers for Thursday’s show come back from Nielsen’s rating system. He’s looking at the long-term goals for Bellator and Spike TV, and that won’t be accomplished on the first day they go into business together on live television.

    “You become less concerned with the immediacy and the numbers, and you’re concerned with building out incredible fighters, building up the back stories behind them, creating great programming, creating the best mixed martial arts content anybody can find on television. That’s really what our focus is,” said Rebney.

    “It’s a good start and we’ll see where we go from there.”
    There are many paths to freedom, not all are peaceful

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    Very impressed with the production and camera angles during the fights. Watched the Pitbull vs Curan and the Babalu fight, but had to hit the hay after that. I thought it looked like a solid product...was my first time watching Bellator...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    Caught the fights this morning, I don't have a TV anymore so I can't watch Spike like I used to for the UFC. I always try to catch the big and exciting fights from Bellator and I follow several of its fighters. I hope they do well; I really like the format.

    Zombie is born!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    BC, Canada


    Bellator 85 Pulls Biggest TV Ratings in Promotion History with Move to Spike TV |

    Kay mentioned that the show started off even stronger than the average, drawing 1.1 million viewers for the Pat Curran vs. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire featherweight title fight, and then, as expected, dropped off a little bit as the show went past midnight for East Coast viewers. He mentioned that they always want to try and finish by midnight, as that is the notorious tipping point for viewer drop-off, but “it’s a live event, there’s not much you can do about that.”
    And if you want beef, then bring the ruckus

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    Well I tried to watch but Spike tv went dark for me 5 minutes before it started. All the other channels worked. I dvr'ed it and when I tried to watch the recording, it froze and reset the box. When it came back online, bellator was deleted. Thanks Time warner cable...
    Goodbye Mr. Burton

    All in the reflexes
    Anderson Silva 5: TRT USERS 0 Hendo - Forrest - Nate - Chael... twice

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