Bjorn Rebney Feels the Heat as Interest in Bellator Wanes
The ratings for Bellator 87 are in, and they are not good. Multiple news outlets report Bellator 87 drew a measly 705,000 viewers during its highly coveted Thursday night time slot. What is even more troubling for the organization is the complete lack of interest by the media during the post fight press conference.
Bellator 87 was the promotion’s third event since moving to Spike TV. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney had high expectations coming into his promotion’s deal with Spike TV. However, Rebney has watched his promotion’s ratings decrease 25 percent since scoring 938,000 viewers in the season’s premier.
More troubling than the lack of viewers for Thursday night’s event was the lack of media interest at the post fight press conference. The press conference, which lasted roughly 25 minutes, yielded only three questions for the fighters, including one which centered solely on Lloyd Woodard’s facial hair. This left Rebney scrambling to fill the dead time by rambling on about how great he felt the night was.
Rebney is obviously feeling some heat. He came into this deal with Spike TV extremely confident about his organization’s future. However, Rebney became cocky and unnecessarily raised the stakes by taking multiple verbal shots at the UFC. Rebney even went as far as suggesting Bellator would capture the UFC’s fans simply by replacing them on Spike TV.
Rebney, at one point, boasted to reporters, “Look at what happened from a ratings perspective when the UFC went to their new home. I think it paints a pretty clear picture that MMA fans, like myself and millions across the country, associate Spike TV with MMA.”
It is turning out that MMA fans associated Spike TV with the UFC. Bellator’s ratings are dropping at an alarming rate while the UFC’s “Ultimate Fighter” raking in record ratings on FX.
Maybe now Rebney wishes he had refrained from shooting his mouth off.