Weekend ratings: Bellator 180 averages 901,000 viewers, while UFC OKC pulls in 819,000

This was a rare weekend where Bellator MMA was held on a Saturday while the UFC had a Fight Night card on Sunday. Bellator…

By: Mookie Alexander | 6 years ago
Weekend ratings: Bellator 180 averages 901,000 viewers, while UFC OKC pulls in 819,000
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This was a rare weekend where Bellator MMA was held on a Saturday while the UFC had a Fight Night card on Sunday. Bellator NYC aired on PPV, but the “preliminary card” was advertised as its own numbered event, so it’s been classified as Bellator 180.

Ratings for Bellator 180 included an average of 901,000 viewers for the entire event, with peak viewership of 1.1 million viewers for Ryan Bader’s light heavyweight title win over Phil Davis. Now there is one interesting caveat here, and that’s the fact that both Spike and CMT aired the event live, so there was a combined viewership. Nielsen ratings divided it into 758,000 viewers on Spike, with 143,000 on CMT.

MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer provided some context for the Bellator 180 numbers, which was described as a “very strong start” by Spike officials.

The 901,000 is almost exactly what UFC is averaging for pay-per-view prelims. UFC’s 2017 average for its prelims this year is 902,000, but that’s on one channel, not two.

901,000 is still well above the normal average for a Bellator event on Spike,

It’s way too early to say how many PPV buys Bellator NYC did, but Bellator president Scott Coker considered the mid-200,000s a “respectable” number.

As for UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Lee in Oklahoma City, the average was a pretty good 819,000 viewers. Peak viewing figures were 905,000 for both Dennis Siver’s win over B.J. Penn, as well as the main event between Kevin Lee and Michael Chiesa.

The MMA Report’s Jason Floyd has more facts and figures for you:

Following the conclusion of the preliminary card, the main card aired on FS1 (9p-12a ET) came in with 819,000 viewers and this is up 8 percent over FS1’s Sunday night UFC Fight Night in second quarter of 2016 (757,000, 5/29/16), according to Nielsen. The card was also up 12 percent in the Adult 18-49 demographic (427,000 vs. 381,000) and the UFC Fight Night 112 viewership helped drive FS1 to the number one dedicated sports network in total day for Sunday among total viewers and Adult 18-49.

The peak viewership for UFC Fight Night 112 came during the 9:15-9:30p ET and 11:30-11:45p ET with 905,000 viewers in both of those quarter hours. The first peak viewership came during the featherweight bout between B.J. Penn and Dennis Siver, and the second time the viewership drew 905,000 viewers came during the main event bout between Lee and Chiesa. After the main card concluded, the post fight show on FS1 came in with 268,000 viewers.

The next Bellator event will be Friday, July 14th in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Lightweights Brandon Girtz and Derek Campos will square off in the main event. Bellator 183 on September 23rd figures to be a “tentpole” show, with Patricky Freire fighting Ben Henderson in that card’s headliner, with Roy Nelson’s promotional debut against Javy Ayala serving as the co-main.

Meanwhile, the UFC’s next show will be on Friday, July 7th, with the TUF 25 Finale airing on FS1. Justin Gaethje and Michael Johnson earn top billing honors for that show. Their next Fight Night is actually Sunday, July 16th in Glasgow, Scotland, as Gunnar Nelson takes on Santiago Ponzinibbio in a welterweight main event.

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Mookie Alexander
Mookie Alexander

Mookie is a former Associate Editor for Bloody Elbow, leaving in August 2022 after ten years as a member of the staff. He's still lurking behind the scenes.

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