Rising MMA promotion Bellator Fighting Championships signed a new television deal between season one and season two of their tournament style fight series. They made their season two debut on Fox Sports Net on Thursday April 8th, with a replay of that broadcast airing on Sunday April 11th. Both of those broadcasts set marks for the highest rated national broadcasts for the network in their time slots.
Bellator officials say that the Thursday live broadcast produced a 60 percent increase in viewership for the same time slot in the second quarter of last year, while Sundays rebroadcast produced a 57 percent rise from the same time slot in 2009.
As expected, the broadcasts were highly successful increasing viewership in the under 54 year old male demographics. Thursday’s live broadcast saw a 143 percent increase in the 18-34 year old male audience, a 153 percent increase in the 18-49 year old male audience, and 180 percent in the 25-54 year old male audience.
In Bellator’s ratings release, the promotions founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney said:
In our first week on FOX Sports Net, we were able to drive a substantial increase in viewership to the network nationally. We are confident that working with FSN, together we can significantly build upon this strong foundation. My focus from day #1 has been to produce and promote compelling, competitive tournament based MMA programming designed to appeal to MMA fans just like me. My belief is that our tournament format, combined with great fights, world class fighters and strong attention to production quality will continue to increase viewer support for our events on Fox Sports Net.