Bellator’s season four ratings slipped once again on Saturday night with an average of just 150,000 viewers tuning into their fourth show.
That’s a drop of 23,000 viewers since the previous week, and down 50,000 over the season premiere.
Saturday’s show also produced a disappointing 90,000 viewers for the immediate rerun.
It’s likely that Bellator has suffered due to the UFC’s generosity in recent weeks. For instance, despite Bellator wisely moving their show to 7pm do avoid conflict with the UFC’s ‘Fight Night 24’ event on Spike TV later that evening, they still ended up competing with a series of UFC Prelims shown live on Facebook.
Originally the UFC were planning to air just two fights live on the social networking site, but a last minute change meant that five fights in total were shown, beginning just a half-hour into Bellator’s broadcast.
While losing viewers like this to the UFC is far from ideal it’s better than the other scenario which is that MTV2 viewers may simply not be warming to having a live MMA show on the channel.
We should find out for sure this Saturday night when Bellator 39 has no major competition in it’s timeslot.
It also looks to be the strongest card of the season so far, with lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in action against Pat Curran, while in addition to semi-final bouts in both the current lightweight and welterweight tournaments there’s also a spot on the main card for former UFC fighter Ben ‘Killa-B’ Saunders.
That should be enough to produce an upturn in ratings, but if not then that will be a major cause for concern this early in the promotion’s run on the station.