The next few days will be a crucial time for Bellator Fighting Championships as they debut on Spike TV and look to define themselves as a promotion on the same level of the UFC.

The UFC has a stranglehold on the market when casual observers are talking about the “major leagues” of MMA, but that doesn’t mean Bellator can’t exist on the same playing field.

No one doubts that it’s going to take time for Bellator to build an audience and grow viewers at Spike, just like the UFC encountered when they moved to the network in 2005. That doesn’t mean judgments won’t be made based on the first show airing on Thursday night featuring two title fights and the launch of the newest installment of their light heavyweight tournament.

Whether right or wrong, a secondary judgment will also be rendered when the ratings for Bellator’s debut come out 24 to 48 hours after the show airs. Can Bellator produce the same kinds of numbers that the UFC once did on Spike TV?

It’s a valid question, but maybe not one that should be asked after one show, and that’s the attitude that Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney is keeping as his company looks to build into the next major MMA promotion on television.

“One of the things that’s great from my perspective is that Kevin Kay, who heads Spike network, has really been a partner in every sense of the word to me and to the organization. He and I have a very similar view of this – we view this as a marathon, not as a sprint,” said Rebney when speaking about the ratings with MMAWeekly Radio.

“We’re tweaking it and building it, but our vision is very long in terms of where this is going to go, and very long term in terms of our expectations and how we’re going to build it.”

Bellator first debuted highlight shows on Spike TV called “Bellator 360? featuring some of their best and brightest fights from the past couple of years. Between the first two airings, the show ended up with nearly a million viewers overall, and that has to bee seen as encouraging considering the programming barely had any promotion ahead of time.

Rebney promises not to freak out good or bad when the final numbers for Thursday’s show come back from Nielsen’s rating system. He’s looking at the long-term goals for Bellator and Spike TV, and that won’t be accomplished on the first day they go into business together on live television.

“You become less concerned with the immediacy and the numbers, and you’re concerned with building out incredible fighters, building up the back stories behind them, creating great programming, creating the best mixed martial arts content anybody can find on television. That’s really what our focus is,” said Rebney.

“It’s a good start and we’ll see where we go from there.”

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

‘Baby Slice’ Faces Jonathan Tomasian in Pro Debut at Bellator 160

  • 28 days ago
  • 15 views

“Baby Slice” Kevin Ferguson Jr.'s Bellator arrival was trending on social media for two-straight days. On Monday, Bellator confirmed his first challenge. read news >>

Bellator 160 Adds Female Flyweight Bout to Main Card

  • 27 days ago
  • 12 views

A flyweight matchup pitting Lena Ovchynnikova against Jaimelene Nievera has been added to the main card of Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull. read news >>

Melvin Guillard Fined and Suspended by Kansas Commission for Banned Non-PED

  • 24 days ago
  • 38 views

Bellator fighter Melvin Guillard was suspended by the Kansas Athletic Commission on Friday for a positive drug test result for a non-performance-enhancing substance. read news >>

Chinzo Machida Makes Promotional Debut at Bellator 160

  • 21 days ago
  • 229 views

Chinzo Machida, brother of former UFC champion Lyoto Machida, will make his promotional debut at “Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull.” read news >>

Former Champ Joe Warren Faces Sirwan Kakai in Bellator 161 Co-Main Event

  • 19 days ago
  • 3 views

A bantamweight showdown pitting Joe Warren against Sirwan Kakai has been added to the main card of Bellator 161: Kongo vs. Johnson. read news >>

Bellator 161 Main Card Complete with Addition of Derek Campos vs. Djamil Chan

  • 18 days ago
  • 8 views

A lightweight bout pitting Derek Campos against knockout specialist Djamil Chan has been added to the SPIKE-televised portion of “Bellator 161: Kongo vs. Johnson." read news >>

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

  • 5 days ago
  • 63 views

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

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

  • 5 days ago
  • 6 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?

  • 5 days ago
  • 47 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

  • 4 days ago
  • 8 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 >>