Numbers are in for the Glory debut on Spike. Glory 11 Chicago drew an average of 381,000 for the company's Spike debut last Saturday.
So what exactly does that number mean? It's a bit below recent numbers for both UFC and Bellator, though not terribly so. The UFC on Fox Sports 1 event headlined by Ryan Bader vs. Glover Teixeira drew 539,000 viewers (numbers for Maia vs. Shields are not yet available). Bellator's season 9 debut on Spike pulled in 437,000, though the company has seen steady improvement this season, resulting in 700,000 viewers for Bellator 100.
It is, however, higher than the numbers being seen by World Series of Fighting. Their August event, headlined notably by Glory fighter Tyrone Spong, was the company's highest to date, drawing 264,000 viewers. That company's debut pulled in only 198,000.
Given these comparison points, and that this is the first time they've ever been on Spike, the first time American fans have ever really been exposed to kickboxing at this level since the 1970's, this is a fine base to build from. And that's what really matters.
As Spike executives explained to Bloody Elbow, they are not looking for Glory to come out of the gates swinging with huge numbers here. What really matters to them is the long-term viablity of the promotion. And that will be measured not by one show, but by how those numbers change from show to show. If Glory 12 is bigger, and Glory 13 is bigger still, then Glory is succeeding.
So for now, there's not too much that we should take from these numbers and how they impact the future of Glory. They are simply a helpful baseline that shows the core audience. The key will be next month's numbers as we find out who tuned in for a second time, and how many people Glory picked up.
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