Good news for Bjorn Rebney and his Bellator Fighting Championships. After weeks of hovering around the 200k mark, the promotion finally hit it big with 325,000 viewers for Bellator 44, delivering the largest Ages 18-49 rating for MTV2 in the timeslot. Which is great and all, until you remember that it's MTV2.
To wit, from an MTV Communications press release:
The telecast also delivered the network's highest Men 18-49 rating in the time period and the second largest average audience (behind an airing of 8 Mile in April '06).
Being the highest-rated whatever on MTV2 is like scoring the most points in a junior high basketball game -- when you're 26. Back pats all around.
So where did the bump come from? First, the company had no competition from the UFC or Strikeforce. There was boxing on Saturday (Andre Ward vs. Arthur Abraham), but the crossover for that fight wouldn't hurt ratings as much as the Pacquiao/Mosley fight on the 7th.
In addition to the absence of combat sports, the NBA playoffs were off on Saturday night. And as much as I love the NHL, Game 1 of the Boston/Tampa Bay series on Versus isn't stealing eyeballs away from B-rated MMA.
The show also featured a fighter that MMA fans have interest in (Hector Lombard), plus the finals of the lightweight tournament.
When Bellator insists on running weekly events in a season format, they often become the second or third or fourth option for many viewers on a Saturday night. And when those shows are headlined by the likes of Tim Carpenter and Daniel Gracie (Bellator 38) or Richard Hale and D.J Linderman (Bellator 42), you're going to fall into ratings hell.
Shockingly, when they have an uncontested night with a handful of interesting bouts, people tune in. Go figure.