Bellator MMA LogoBellator and Spike TV launched the new reality series Fight Master: Bellator MMA on Wednesday night with the Bellator 96 live event serving as lead-in programming. The TV ratings for the night could only be characterized as disappointing in comparison to Bellator’s strong Season 8 showing on Spike TV.

Bellator 96 drew an audience of 480,000 viewers for its two hours of live fights, while the one-hour Fight Master premiere averaged 432,000 viewers, according to Spike TV officials.

To put that in perspective, Bellator 96’s audience was slightly more than half the average viewership for the promotion’s first season on Spike TV. Bellator Season 8’s live events averaged slightly less than 800,000 viewers per show.

Fight Master’s 432,000 viewers on Spike was well below the final season of its counterpart’s run on the network. The Ultimate Fighter wrapped its run on Spike averaging 1.5 million viewers per episode.

Bellator 96 and Fight Master did have significant hurdles to overcome. Bellator followers are more used to a weekly schedule than the sporadic summer events, the summer television viewership in general is drastically below the winter months, and the NHL is currently riding high with a hotly contested Stanley Cup Finals that saw Bellator go up against Game 3.

“A good chunk of those viewers, when asking where did (Bellator’s viewers) go, went to the NHL,” said David Schwarz, Spike TV’s Senior Vice President of Communications. “Our research has shown that there is a lot of crossover between MMA fans and hockey fans.”

That’s not an excuse, just an explanation for why Bellator’s viewership dropped off so significantly from Season 8. Spike believes that Fight Master’s viewership will improve as the series grows legs over its summer run, according to Schwarz.

“We’re still optimistic that we’ll see a jump up in ratings.”

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

James Gallagher Predicts a Finish of Mike Cutting at Bellator 158

  • 10 days ago
  • 6 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

  • 10 days ago
  • 27 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

  • 10 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

  • 10 days ago
  • 17 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 >>

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

  • 9 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

  • 9 days ago
  • 6 views

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

Bellator 158: London Weigh-in Results and Video

  • 8 days ago
  • 105 views

The official weigh-ins for “Bellator 158: London” took place on Friday in front of a packed house at the Café de Paris in Leicester Square. read news >>

Douglas Lima Looking to Finish Paul Daley in Bellator 158 Main Event

  • 8 days ago
  • 22 views

Douglas Lima stepped in for an injured Josh Koscheck to face Paul Daley in the Bellator 158 main event and plans on finishing the Englishman in London. read news >>

Oli Thompson Ready for ‘Huge Opportunity’ Against Matt Mitrione at Bellator 158

  • 8 days ago
  • 14 views

Heavyweight Oli Thompson knows he faces a big challenge at Bellator 158 in London on July 15 when he faces UFC veteran Matt Mitrione at the O2 Arena. read news >>

Bellator 158 Results: Winners, Scorecards from Daley vs. Lima Card

  • 7 days ago
  • 1268 views

On Saturday at the O2 Arena in London, Douglas Lima took down Paul Daley via unanimous decision in the main event at Bellator 158, but Michael "Venom" Page stole the show with a knockout over Evangel read news >>