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

January 18, 2013
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Bellator MMA LogoIt was almost a given that Bellator MMA would draw much better TV ratings with its move from MTV2 over to Spike TV, but the question was how much of a difference the move would make.

Following Thursday night’s Bellator 85, which was the promotion’s debut on Spike TV, we now have an answer.

Bellator’s Spike TV debut was a resounding success.

“We had a great night last night. (The ratings) are fantastic,” remarked Spike TV president Kevin Kay on Friday. “938,000 viewers watched the entire (Bellator 85)  broadcast.”

That number is head and shoulders above anything that Bellator was able to do on MTV2.

Kay was hesitant to reveal any sort of target that he or Spike’s other executives had for Bellator 85, but he sounded very pleased with nearly hitting the one million mark.

“They are really good numbers,” he repeated. “I never want to make any kind of guesses because I don’t think you’re ever right. I’m just happy with them. That’s a great start. It’s 400 percent higher than what we were doing on MTV2.”

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.”

The question now becomes how much of the initial TV ratings are generated from curiosity and how much of it will remain intact from week to week, and only time will tell the tale on that.

But for now, Spike and Bellator seem rather pleased with the start of their television partnership.

Stay tuned to for all the latest Bellator MMA news and fight coverage.

  • humby49

    congrats to Bellator, we now have a new number 2 orginainzation, and I don;t see UFC buying this one anytime soon….

  • ely palacios

    this will be the only good card they put on.think about it they had to put to title fights on the that the first fight was a title fight they wanted people to watch.look at the rest of the bellator cards sorry to say they suk.its not like king mo will give them 1 million views.ha ha ha

  • Eli

    This is going to kill bellator ratings, the fact that many people on the west coast get it on tape delay, which proves a problem as its usually spoiled by the time we watch it, resulting in way less viewers.

  • wow from 200k to 900k they’ve caught up to the fx ratings 900k-1mil is what ufc prelims normally pull