The ratings of Bellator MMA on the Paramount Network this year have been a hot topic.
Bellator MMA and Scott Coker are slowly but surely putting together a roster that has a mixture of key fighters to their roster that features not only fighters who have risen through the ranks in Bellator but also fighters who have potential or has a name that was built in the UFC.
With that mix, Coker’s vision of what Bellator could be is being shown and the future no doubt looks bright. They have built their roster with a lot of big names since Coker has taken over through free agency.
2018 has been an interesting year for the Viacom-owned promotion as Spike TV was rebranded as the Paramount Network. Since that change, ratings for Bellator have taken a hit.
Bellator 197 pulled in an average of 242,000 viewers, which was the lowest average viewers that don’t include DVR numbers since Coker has taken over.
The previous four events averaged fewer than 500,000 viewers in 2018. However, their latest event, Bellator 198, that saw Fedor Emelianenko beat Frank Mir in a heavyweight bout did increase viewership.
With DVR numbers, the show pulled in an average of 838,000 viewers between Paramount and CMT with the main event peaking with 1.5 million viewers, which is a great number.
“They just switched, so they’re working on all this new, scripted programming and it’s gonna take time,” Coker told MMA Fighting in a recent interview. “But [MMA] is a business that’s gonna go up and down, up and down, up and down, based on who’s fighting. And actually how good of a job we do promoting. To me, there’s gonna be ups and downs in this business. I think we’re gonna have some big peaks and there’s gonna be some medium bites. That’s just the nature of this business.”
“I think that we broke through the clutter of all that,” Coker said. “I think Fedor and Mir collectively did a great job promoting and I think our guys did a great job making sure that we did everything that we could to get eyeballs on this fight.”
“I think the Chael [Sonnen] fight with Fedor will do a big number,” Coker said. “I think as far as the future with Paramount, the sky is the limit. We can grow this thing as big as we want.”
“HBO has their boxing, Showtime has their boxing and Paramount has their MMA,” Coker said. “We just have to continue pounding it out there and doing a good job to promote it, because I feel like at the end of the day the network is gonna have some amazing shows and we’re gonna be a part of that.”
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