It appears that Spike TV have finally been forced into action after Bellator’s ‘Fight Master’ reality show failed to take off as they’d hoped.
Initially being broadcast in a primetime Wednesday night slot, the show has struggled to gain a solid foothold and dipped as a low as 398,000 viewers last week, prompting the network to now shift it to a less favorable timeslot at 11pm on Thursday nights.
This move doesn’t bode well for the future of the series which it had originally been hoped would be Bellator’s answer to the UFC’s ‘Ultimate Fighter’ show which was a big hit on Spike TV for many years, regularly pulling in 1.5 million+ viewers.
If there’s a small light at the end of the tunnel here though it’s that the show will now follow on from TNA Wrestling’s show, and earlier in the year that proved to be a solid combination during Bellator’s eight season of live events which regularly pulled over 700,000 viewers. However, the key difference is that those shows were airing at 10pm as opposed to 11pm which has a significant impact on the ratings they are likely to be able to draw.
Looking ahead it raises the question of how well the ninth season of Bellator’s live events are going to fare in their new Friday night timeslot in September without the help of TNA as a lead-in.
It’s now going to have to stand on it’s own two fight during a night that even the UFC struggled to make work over on FX last year, so they’re going to have their work cut out for them and another mis-step at this stage would be disastrous.