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

James Gallagher Predicts a Finish of Mike Cutting at Bellator 158

  • 17 days ago
  • 7 views

James Gallagher predicts that he'll finish Mike Cutting in their Bellator MMA 158 featherweight bout on July 16 at O2 Arena in London. read news >>

Michael Page Looking To ‘Leave a Mark’ at Bellator 158 in London

  • 17 days ago
  • 28 views

Undefeated Bellator MMA welterweight contender Michael "Venom" Page puts his unbeaten streak on the line at Bellator 158 against Evangelista Santos in London. read news >>

Bellator 158: Daley vs. Lima Fight Card, TV Info, Predictions and More

  • 16 days ago
  • 32 views

Bellator MMA takes London on Saturday from The O2 Arena. A crucial welterweight bout tops the Bellator 158 card as Paul Daley takes on Douglas Lima. The 170-pound division will again be on the displa read news >>

Bellator 158: Daley vs. Lima Fight Card, TV Info, Predictions and More

  • 16 days ago
  • 18 views

Bellator MMA takes London on Saturday from The O2 Arena. A crucial welterweight bout tops the Bellator 158 card as Paul Daley takes on Douglas Lima. The 170-pound division will again be on the displa read news >>

Bellator 161 Features Cheick Kongo vs. Tony Johnson in Heavyweight Headliner

  • 6 days ago
  • 12 views

Bellator MMA is heading back to the “Lone Star State,” where a heavyweight bout pitting Cheick Kongo against Tony Johnson will serve as the main event. read news >>

Kimbo Slice’s Son, Kevin Ferguson Jr., to Debut at Bellator 160

  • 4 days ago
  • 48 views

Kevin Ferguson, Jr. (aka Baby Slice) is set to follow in the footsteps of his father, Kimbo Slice, when he makes his pro debut at Bellator 160. read news >>

Saad Awad vs. Derek Anderson Added to Bellator 160 Main Card

  • 4 days ago
  • 7 views

A lightweight bout pitting Saad Awad against Derek Anderson has been added to the main card of the recently announced “Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull” event on August 26. read news >>

UFC on FOX 20 TV Ratings Peak with 4.687 Million Viewers for Main Event

  • 3 days ago
  • 11 views

UFC on FOX 20 sent FOX's tv ratings for UFC events through the roof, peaking with 4.687 million viewers for Holly Holm vs. Valentina Shevchenko. read news >>

Paul Daley on Bellator 158 Douglas Lima Bout: ‘I Have to Knock Him Out’

  • 16 days ago
  • 12 views

Paul "Semtex" Daley faces Douglas Lima in the Bellator 158 main event at the O2 Arena on London on July 16 an plans to score a knockout. read news >>

WSOF Signs UFC and Bellator Veteran Paul Bradley

  • 16 days ago
  • 6 views

World Series of Fighting announced on Thursday that it has signed UFC and Bellator veteran Paul Bradley. read news >>