Bellator 98 Poster-478x270Bellator MMA kicked off its ninth season on Saturday night with Bellator 98: Shlemenko vs. Cooper. The season opener delivered an average of 437,000 viewers over the course of the three-hour broadcast on Spike TV.

Bellator faced some stiff competition, launching Season 9 opposite college football and NASCAR, which was reflected in the ratings.

By comparison, Bellator Season 8, the promotion’s first on Spike, opened to 938,000 viewers.

Much of the decline can be contributed to the competition, but viewer confusion over the promotion’s timeslot likely has just as much to do with the low TV ratings.

Season eight took place on Thursday nights. The promotion’s two Summer Series events then moved to Wednesday nights. Season 9 kicked off on Saturday night with Bellator 98, but this week, the promotion moves to its Friday night timeslot for the remainder of the season, save for the Bellator 106: Rampage vs. Tito pay-per-view on Saturday, Nov. 2.

“It was a new night for us; so it’s quite a challenge in getting viewers to find it,” David Schwarz, Spike’s Senior Vice President of Communications told MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday.

“The ratings improved throughout the show, which is encouraging, against incredible competition (college football and NASCAR). The Notre Dame-Michigan football game delivered 8.7 million viewers.”

Bellator 98 also underwent a drastic metamorphosis by the time it actually took place. It was supposed to feature the Fight Master reality series finale. That fight was delayed when one of the finalists, Joe Riggs, was injured in training. The event was also intended to include former featherweight champion Joe Warren, but his fight was nixed when he was not allowed to compete due to concerns about the medical paperwork he filed with the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation. Middleweight tournament fighter Andreas Spang was also deemed ineligible to compete on the day of weigh-ins.

All of this came after original middleweight title challenger Doug Marshall was forced out of the main event due to injury.

The Bellator middleweight championship bout between Alexander Shlemenko and new challenger Brett Cooper was a showstopper, which was reflected in the ratings.

The main event delivered 595,000 viewers, peaking at a high point of 663,000 viewers.

Bellator starts its Friday night run with this week’s Bellator 99, which features Patricio “Pitbull” Freire vs. Diego Nunes in the main event, with hopes that settling in for the season brings with it an upward trend to the ratings.

Be sure to Like MMAWeekly.com on Facebook and Follow @MMAWeeklycom on Twitter.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Bellator 152 Results: Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire, Alessio Sakara Pick Up Wins in Italy

  • 12 days ago
  • 11 views

Bellator MMA staged their inaugural international event, Bellator 152: Pitbull vs. Souza, at Italy’s Pala Alpitour this weekend. read news >>

Bellator 152 Results: Winners, Scorecards from Pitbull vs. Souza Card

  • 12 days ago
  • 27 views

In Bellator MMA's first international event, Patricky "Pitbull" Freire easily outfought a passive Kevin Souza to earn a unanimous-decision victory in the featured fight in Torino, Italy, on Saturday read news >>

Would Scott Coker welcome Dada 5000 back to Bellator? - MMA Plus

  • 6 days ago
  • 8 views

Bellator MMA President Scott Coker spoke about the potential return of Dada 5000, whilst squashing rumours of his drastic fight week weight-cut. read news >>

Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson Video Preview

  • 6 days ago
  • 23 views

Take a look at three pivotal fights from Friday's Bellator 153, which includes welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov putting his belt up against Benson Henderson. read news >>

Undefeated Brent Primus Taking Aim at the Top of Bellator Lightweight Division

  • 6 days ago
  • 6 views

Undefeated Brent Primus is ready to get busy rising up the ranks, taking aim at the top of the Bellator lightweight division. read news >>

Michael Page and Fernando Gonzalez set to meet at Bellator 158 in London

  • 6 days ago
  • 11 views

Michael Page will take the next step in his Bellator career when he faces streaking welterweight Fernando Gonzalez at Bellator 158.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Matt Mitrione makes Bellator debut against Carl Seumanutafa at Bellator 157

  • 6 days ago
  • 11 views

Matt Mitrione will step into the Bellator cage for the first time at Bellator 157 when the heavyweight squares off with Carl Seumanutafa.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator 153 results: Andrey Koreshkov dominates Benson Henderson to retain title

  • 6 days ago
  • 18 views

All the talk leading up to Bellator 153 revolved around Benson Henderson’s jump from the UFC to Bellator. Andrey Koreshkov put a five round beating on Henderson to retain his welterweight title and r read news >>

Twitter reacts to Benson Henderson's upset loss to champ Koreshkov at Bellator 153

  • 6 days ago
  • 278 views

Benson Henderson was supposed to make waves in the first fight of his Bellator career at Bellator 153. Apparently Andrey Koreshkov didn’t receive the memo. Check out the top reactions to Koreshkov’s read news >>

Bellator 153 Results: Andrey Koreshkov Routes Benson Henderson to Keep the Belt

  • 6 days ago
  • 64 views

Benson Henderson received a rude welcome from welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov at Bellator 153 on Friday night in Uncasville, Conn. read news >>