Ratings are trickling in for Bellator MMA’s big back-to-back event weekend, which featured two Heavyweight Grand Prix semifinal bouts — Ryan Bader vs. Matt Mitrione (Bellator 207) and Fedor Emelianenko vs. Chael Sonnen — that aired live on Paramount Network. Unfortunately, it seems that staging shows on Friday and then Saturday night might not have been a good idea for television ratings.
MMA Fighting reports that Bellator 207 attracted about 416,000 viewers on Paramount. The good news is that’s up from any show in at least four months, dating back to “Macfarlane vs. Lara” back on June 29, 2018.
And now for the bad news.
The opening round of the Grand Prix fared better than the semifinal round in the ratings. The “Bader vs. King Mo”-led event garnered about 453,000 viewers on Paramount, while the “Mitrione vs. Nelson”-led show did 476,000, and the combined DVR+3 and ratings with CMT for those shows were even better. And neither of those events hold a candle to “Jackson vs. Sonnen” on Jan. 26, 2018, nor Bellator 198 in April with “Fedor vs. Mir.”
Meanwhile Spike TV sent us their own numbers for “Mitrione vs. Bader” which paint a slightly different picture. Focusing strictly on Ryan Bader vs. Matt Mitrione they say the show delivered 620,000 peaking at 798,000, although they say the entire telecast drew 493,000 viewers with DVR+3 in, up a bit from the number that MMA Fighting reported.
Here’s to hoping that many more tune in to watch the Heavyweight Grand Prix final between Fedor Emelianenko vs. Ryan Bader at Bellator 214, which takes place at The Forum in Inglewood (just outside Los Angeles), Calif., on Jan. 26, 2019. It’s the conclusion of a very entertaining and historic tournament, which will also crown a new division champion.
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