Bellator aired a re-run of their first ever pay-per-view event on Spike TV this past Friday night and drew 890,000 viewers.
That was enough to claim a top 100 spot on the Cable ratings for the evening and makes it the most watched Bellator show of the year, beating out the season 10 premiere back in February – good going for an event that first aired on PPV back in May.
The event had been generally well received at the time, though the main event between Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal was somewhat lackluster. However a controversial decision win for ‘Rampage’ and ‘King Mo’s’ subsequent verbal volley on the mic aimed at Bellator’s CEO at the time, Bjorn Rebney, ensured that there was plenty to talk about post-fight.
That show marked the end of Bellator’s season 10 schedule and they are currently in the midst of their ‘summer season’ of events. That’s been largely overshadowed so far by news of Bjorn Rebney’s departure, with former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker now in charge and looking to steer the sport’s second biggest promotion in a different direction for their 11th season which starts in September.
Coker has indicated that he’d like to see Bellator move away from their current tournament format and instead focus on having more ‘spectacle’ fights. As such he’s already been working behind the scenes to bring in some familiar faces to bolster their roster, including recent additions like Paul Daley, Melvin Manhoef and Bobby Lashley – all of whom he previously worked with during his time as CEO with Strikeforce.
They’ll be hoping to get off to a good start on the ratings for their new season on September 5th, an event headlined by a featherweight title fight between Pat Curran and Patricio Freire, but they’ll face strong competition from the UFC who are set to go head-to-head with them with UFC Fight Night 50: Jacare Vs Mousasi being broadcast on the same night.