"We haven't based decisions based on wild expectations or wild conjecture," Rebney said. "We've made them based on real numbers."
And also real opinions. Rebney said his promotion has conducted over a dozen focus groups at live events and estimates he's done eight more aimed at getting opinions from television viewers.
"We're consistently doing every type of empirical study that you can do to get a better handle on just who's watching, and not just where they want to watch, but most importantly what they want to watch," he said.
In the past year, MMA programming on Spike TV, including re-aired UFC events and the original talk show "MMA Uncensored," consistently has drawn ratings that match or exceed live UFC programming shown on FOX-owned networks FX and FUEL TV (although the latter is available in less than half the homes of Spike TV).
"It's been almost a year now since there's been any live content on Spike network," he said. "My anticipation is that it will play itself out very nicely because of how the consumer base and the hardcore demographic views Spike as the home of MMA."
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