Posted by TNA Wrestling News Staff on Jun 11, 2013
Bellator MMA Moving To Friday Nights – Details

Bellator MMA Moving To Friday Nights – Details reports that Bellator Season 9 will debut on Saturday, September 7 on Spike TV before the promotion begins regular shows on Friday nights. The September 7 show will be a live season finale for the show Fight Master. Bellator will then occupy the 9-11 PM ET slot on September 13. Fight Master debuts on June 19.

Bellator did well on Thursday nights with season eight, which ran through early April. They averaged 862,000 viewers for 11 events on Spike (which is available in 100 million homes). This was the promotions most-watched season so far. Bellator previously aired on Friday nights on MTV2 in 80 million homes without HD, where it averaged 155,000 and 162,000 viewers for its sixth and seventh seasons. Viacom purchased a majority stake of Bellator in 2011.

Spike TV President Kevin Kay said that the NFL’s return in the fall (and the NFL Network airing premium games on Thursday nights) helped prompt the move. TNA iMPACT! Wrestling, Bellator’s previous lead-in, was already moved to its old 8 PM slot, and Kay said that their audience will hold up better against the NFL. He added that WWE’s Monday Night RAW and Spike’s Tuesday night programming eliminated an early week spot, which left Wednesdays and Fridays. Wednesdays were eliminated when Fox Sports 1 announced in May it would feature UFC programming then.

Kay said: “I don’t want to see Bellator going head to head with the UFC. I don’t think that makes any sense for fans. No matter who would win in that scenario, you don’t want to not give the fans the choice to watch both.”

The Ultimate Fighter had its lowest ratings on Fridays, but Kay thinks Bellator will gain a following on the new night, similar to boxing’s Friday Night Fights on ESPN.

He added: “The Ultimate Fighter on Fridays was doing over a million viewers a week. I’ll take that, and with live fights, I think we’ll do even better. There’s a lot of young men at home across [the] 18-49 [age demographic]. Gold Rush on Discovery does 4 million viewers on Friday nights. [The viewers] are there. You just have to give them the right thing and I think live fights on Friday, without competition, is going to be the best place for Bellator.”

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5 Responses to “Bellator MMA Moving To Friday Nights – Details”

  1. Dante_Cross says:

    Oh look, Spike is available in 100 million homes. Well seems that isn't the problem with TNA's ratings, as it remains at averaging 1% of the available viewers.

    Guess you'd then take into account out of those 100 million potential viewers actually watch Spike TV, then come up with a better assessment of numbers.

    Anyone got it?

    • pepsilover2008 says:

      I think it has more to do with the content they used to have. They used to have shows that only attracted mature men, so it kinda created an idea of it was only for men. They've done better recently with diverse content, but it's still there and it's probably why there have been rumors of renaming their network.

  2. nicholal79 says:

    Everybody knows Friday nights in the fall is high school football night in the US! Key demo is the same age group as football fans! Viewership in Texas will be nonexistent!

  3. whatsup121 says:

    Hope the ratings for MMA crush Friday night Smackdown

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