Bellator wrapped up their ninth season on Friday night to an average of 691,000 viewers.
That’s down 102,000 viewers from the previous week’s installments which had been bolstered by Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson’s debut, but it still qualifies as the fourth most watched event of the season.
That leads to an average of 672,000 viewers for the season overall, down from 792,000 last season, though Season 8 aired on Thursday nights rather than Friday’s (with a couple of Saturday’s thrown in for good measure) and was helped by having TNA Wrestling as a lead-in.
Overall, it’s been something of a mixed bag for Bellator this season. It started off disastrously with just 437,000 viewers tuning in for the season premiere, so with that in mind it’s just somewhat of a relief that it managed to dig itself out of that hole.
Friday nights were always going to be a challenge, and so it proved as they struggled to push beyond the 700,000 viewer mark, but it wasn’t as bad as had originally been feared.
‘Rampage’s’ debut did break through with 793,000 viewers though and had a peak of 1.2 million viewers which was definitely one of the high points of the season.
Strangely though, the season’s best moment, the promotional record 1.1 million average pulled for Bellator 106, also qualifies as it’s lowest moment as the card had originally been intended for pay-per-view, but had to be aired on free-TV at the last moment after the main event between Tito Ortiz and ‘Rampage’ fell through due to injury.
It’ll be interesting to see how they proceed from here. More than likely they’ll now continue on in this Friday night spot and try to build on the foundations they’ve now set there.
A big question mark still remains regarding the potential for another attempt at a pay-per-view next season. It seems like it’d be better just to focus on growing their television ratings and spread out their high profile fights over the season as a whole rather than bundling many of them into just one big fight card, but who’s to say what Bellator’s overlords, Viacom, may have in mind in 2014.
Bellator Season 9 Ratings:
Bellator 98 – 437,000 viewers
Bellator 99 – 660,000 viewers
Bellator 100 – 700,000 viewers
Bellator 101 – 649,000 viewers
Bellator 102 – 675,000 viewers
Bellator 103 – 539,000 viewers
Bellator 104 – 615,000 viewers
Bellator 105 – 520,000 viewers
Bellator 106 – 1.1M viewers
Bellator 107 – 683,000 viewers
Bellator 108 – 793,000 viewers
Bellator 109 – 691,000 viewers