The early pay-per-view buy rate is in courtesy of the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer and he’s pegging it at around 65,000 sales.
That would be seen as a disaster by the UFC standards, who’s base level tapers off at around 150,000 buys, but Bellator are new to this side of the business and so they can’t be judged in the same light. According to Meltzer on his latest podcast, 65,000 was around about what Viacom / Spike TV had expected heading into the PPV and so they weren’t unhappy with how it went.
They won’t have made a profit from that level of sales, particularly since they have to foot the bill for big name star’s like Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Tito Ortiz, but nevertheless it’s believed that this won’t be a ‘one and done’ situation and they could end up doing two to three events on PPV a year if they can put together the right fights to make it worthwhile.
Aside from the financial aspect the pay-per-views help bring credibility to the organization both in the eyes of fans and fighters and there’s no doubt Bellator 120 drew a lot more interest from the media than usual, so they’ll no doubt be hoping they can build on that in the future.
‘Rampage’ Vs Ortiz is an obvious PPV fight to make next time, but beyond that the promotion is still in real need of more stars who can grab people’s attention.
Michael Chandler’s loss on the card threw a spanner in the works, meaning that the trilogy fight with Eddie Alvarez has been devalued (and Alvarez is expected to leave after the last fight on his current deal), while middleweight champ Alexander Shlemenko’s reputation also took a hit after he was tapped out by Ortiz, even if he did move up to 205lbs for the fight.
Michael Page generated a bit of a buzz on the main card of the pay-per-view thanks to his in-cage shenanigans backed up by a TKO finish, so he’s someone they’ll be looking to nurture, and ideally they could use more homegrown talent like him working their way through the ranks sooner rather than later, while a few more astute signings of already-established talent would certainly be welcome too.