Bellator’s card in Ireland lost a main event, and was on tape delay on Spike TV. That unlucky combination normally means low ratings, with Dave Meltzer saying it was expected to draw just around 450,000 viewers.
Bellator 187 was a special case though, and things changed with Conor McGregor’s unexpected meltdown that saw him jump the cage, shove a referee and slap a Bellator official. There was a media frenzy after the scuffle, and the promotion also used the incident to market the tape delayed broadcast. For the most part, it worked.
According to Spike TV, Bellator 187 drew an average of 621,000 viewers, and peaked at over one million viewers during the opening quarter-hour that had the scuffle involving McGregor.
Thanks to the over emotional UFC champion, those numbers are some of the best the organization has had in months.
McGregor has since issued his version of an apology about the incident, and no real sanctions have been handed to the massive UFC star just yet.