Bellator will be moving from their current Saturday night spot on MTV2 to Friday night’s starting with their sixth season in 2012.
The decision came after it became increasingly apparent that the promotion’s ratings were being significantly impacted by going head-to-head with the likes the UFC and Strikeforce on numerous Saturday nights, along with other major sporting events such as boxing and college football.
“We didn’t really dig into the analysis and try to assess who was one, who was two and who was three, or what we were trying to avoid the most,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney told USAToday. “It just kind of came down to an analysis of, is there a night where all the factors made it to where we can maximize live-event attendance, where we can reach the largest audience from an television perspective, to give MMA fans an opportunity to really make a night for themselves with Bellator.”
Friday night is definitely a better spot for their needs. It steers them clear of the big UFC events while also still allowing them to occupy a night that should not impact greatly on their live gates.
It’s not a perfect solution though when you consider that in March the newly revamped version of The Ultimate Fighter will begin airing live on FX on Friday nights.
Overall though it’s good to see both Bellator and MTV are willing to experiment and hopefully it will provide more stable ratings as a whole going forward.