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

UFC Declines to Match Offer, Rory MacDonald Likely Headed to Bellator

  • 3 days ago
  • 61 views

Former UFC welterweight title contender Rory MacDonald appears to be headed to Bellator MMA. read news >>

Bellator MMA Officially Announces Signing of Rory MacDonald

  • a day ago
  • 26 views

The news leaked out earlier this week, but Bellator MMA made it official on Friday during the Bellator 160 broadcast. The fight promotion has inked a deal with welterweight Rory MacDonald. read news >>

Bellator 160 Results: Benson Henderson Earns Title Shot Against Michael Chandler

  • a day ago
  • 101 views

Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull took place on Friday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California and the main event ended in bizarre fashion. read news >>

Bellator 160 Results: Winners, Scorecards from Henderson vs. Pitbull Card

  • a day ago
  • 96 views

Benson Henderson got his first win with Bellator on Friday night against Patricio "Pitbull" Freire, but it didn't happen the way most would have wanted. During the second round, Pitbull suffered a ri read news >>

Bubba Jenkins Looking to Avenge Loss to Georgi Karakhanyan in Bellator 160 Rematch

  • 3 days ago
  • 5 views

On August 26 in Anaheim, Calif., Bubba Jenkins gets his long-awaited rematch with Georgi Karakhanyan in a main card 145-pound bout at Belltor 160. read news >>

UFC Loses Top Welterweight Rory MacDonald to Bellator: Big Deal or Nah?

  • 3 days ago
  • 43 views

The Red King has gone in search of a greener fiefdom. Rory MacDonald’s UFC exit on Wednesday was that rare case of “breaking news” that had been in the works for months. Fans have known since a May a read news >>

Saad Awad Eyeing Title Shot if He Defeats Derek Anderson at Bellator 160

  • 2 days ago
  • 7 views

Initially Saad Awad was hoping a title shot would come his way, but instead he’ll be facing fellow longtime 155-pound fighter Derek Anderson at Bellator 160. read news >>

Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull Live Weigh-in Video

  • 2 days ago
  • 10 views

Watch the Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull weigh-in, live at 3 p.m. ET / Noon PT, on MMAWeekly.com. Benson Henderson vs. Patricio Pitbull headlines. read news >>

Derek Anderson Predicts Knockout Win Over Saad Awad at Bellator 160

  • 2 days ago
  • 7 views

Derek Anderson (13-2) will look for his second straight win when he takes on Saad Awad (19-7) in a 155-pound co-main event of Bellator 160 on August 26 in Anaheim. read news >>

Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull Weigh-In Results

  • 2 days ago
  • 52 views

The official weigh-ins for “Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull” took place this afternoon in front of a loud and excited crowd just outside of the Honda Center in Anaheim. read news >>