Yesterday, news came out that Bellator 149, headlined by Ken Shamrock vs. Royce Gracie III and Kimbo Slice vs. Dada 5000, was a huge ratings success for the promotion. The Spike TV televised event averaged nearly 2 million viewers, with a peak average viewership of 2.5 million for Kimbo vs. Dada 5000.
Today it's been revealed that the broadcast peaked at the 11:30 PM ET hour with 2.7 million viewers for the Kimbo bout, not including DVR +3 totals (which will be out on Wednesday). As noted on Monday, this is the highest-rated Bellator broadcast in history, and peak viewership exceeded the previous record of 2.4 million, set by Kimbo vs. Shamrock last year.
As Spike TV's release also noted, World Series of Fighting and the UFC ran their own cards (on Saturday and Sunday, respectively), and Bellator easily had the upper hand in viewer interest. WSOF 28 averaged just 161,000 viewers, which is way down from WSOF 27's 213,000. Six of their last nine events have failed to clear 200,000 on NBC Sports Network.
UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Oliveira averaged 983,000 viewers (prelims at 829,000) on FS1, which is well down from the 1.3 million average for Stephen Thompson's win over Johny Hendricks on Super Bowl weekend. It did peak at 1.2 million viewers for the main event between Donald Cerrone and Alex Oliveira. The January 17th show headlined by T.J. Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz averaged about 2.28 million, although the card peaked during Travis Browne vs. Matt Mitrione.
All in all, a pretty good week for Bellator MMA. They're back in action with a Friday show headlined by bantamweight champ Marcos Galvao against Eduardo Dantas, while the UFC will have Anderson Silva vs. Michael Bisping stream live on Fight Pass.