Season two of Bellator will commence this fall, and with its success this season on ESPN Deportes, the rookie fight promotion could find itself with a bigger ESPN audience for the second go-around.
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"Our [April 17] show (in Oklahoma) ran last week, and a replay 48 hours after the original broadcast did a 1.2 (household rating)," Rebney said. "That's a great number especially for a replay. Anything over a 1.0 is pretty strong."
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"It would be really cool and interesting to see if we're doing 1.2s on replays right now on a Spanish-language network, what would be doing if we were on ESPN2 right now?" Rebney said. "I've got to assume the numbers would be out of this world."
There's no doubt that the amount of advances in the coverage and display of MMA in the past few years have been great. A few years ago, if you said that eventually there would be a network that's dedicated to showing regional events all over the country (HDNet), that ESPN would actually put their support towards a webshow dedicated to the sport, and one day live MMA would air on network television (CBS), you would have been considered...well...an optimist with really high (read: unrealistic) hopes. But yet here we are.
Now after all of that progress could this be the watershed moment we have all been waiting for? There's always talk about MMA eventually breaking through becoming "mainstream". Is this where it starts?
Consider this: ESPN Deportes is available in approximately four million households. ESPN and ESPN2 are available in nearly 100 million each.
Color me excited.