Thursday, Bellator loaded another Spike TV card with a title fight. Once again, the viewers were unresponsive.
According to TvbytheNumbers.com, Bellator 89 averaged a measly 715,000 viewers. That is nearly a 12 percent decrease from the previous week.
This should be of serious concern for Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney.
Not only is Bellator on Spike TV tanking, the “Ultimate Fighter” on FX is flourishing. This completely contradicts Rebney’s now infamous assertion that MMA fans identify their sport solely with Spike TV.
“When you look at the tremendous ratings success that Spike has with [the UFC] in the past, and you look what happened from a ratings perspective since the UFC went to their new home, I think it paints a pretty clear picture,” Rebney boasted to MMA Junkie nearly a month ago.
“MMA fans like myself, along with millions of MMA fans across the country, associate Spike TV with MMA.”
It is turning out Rebney was completely wrong.
This season of the UFC’s reality show “The Ultimate Fighter” has seen ratings improve over 50 percent on the FX network. Tuesday’s episode of “TUF” raked in 1.25 million viewers, which is a modest increase from the previous week’s 1.19 million viewers.
On a recent episode of “UFC Tonight”, UFC President Dana White briefly acknowledged the Bellator on Spike TV shortcomings. ”What kind of ratings does Spike TV pull every week? Our prelims on FX pull bigger numbers than their live main events do,” White said.
Other than that brief statement, the normally outspoken White has been silent about Bellator’s failure on Spike TV. In this instance, White can sit back and let the poor ratings do the talking for him.