Bellator moving to Friday nights in Fall

 

Following an exclusive interview with Spike TV president Kevin Kay, SI.com's Loretta Hunt is reporting that Bellator MMA is moving from Thursday to Friday nights from 9-11 p.m. ET starting Sept. 13.

The move came via a process of elimination:
Monday: Monday Night Raw
Tuesday: Original programming
Wednesday: UFC programming on FOX Sports 1
Thursday: TNA believed better than Bellator vs. NFL
Friday: Bellator MMA

Despite the California-based promotion’s tangible growth this past season, Kay said the NFL’s return this fall precipitated an obligatory move for Bellator.

TNA Impact Wrestling, which previously served as Bellator’s lead-in, has already been moved back into Thursday’s 9 p.m. slot, where Kay said pro wrestling’s dedicated audience will hold up better against sport’s greatest juggernaut. Kay said the strength of WWE’s Monday Night Raw and Spike’s Tuesday night original programming eliminated an early-week slot for Bellator, which left Wednesdays or Fridays.

Fox Sports 1, the rebranded Speed channel, announced in May that it would feature UFC programming on Wednesdays.

“I don’t want to see Bellator going head to head with the UFC,” said Kay. “I don’t think that makes any sense for fans. No matter who would win in that scenario, you don’t want to not give the fans the choice to watch both.”

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Recent Comments »

Chromium site profile image  

6/13/13 5:30 AM by Chromium

Friday is the second least-watched night of the week on television. This is based on decades of statistical evidence. So no, not the best move for them.

Chromium site profile image  

6/13/13 5:26 AM by Chromium

If they deliver the young male demographics (they will still skew young on Friday) then they can survive on fewers viewers than that. I'll make a wild guess that they'll do 500k-600k. Also, you said they were leaving Thursdays purely to help TNA. I doubt that's the only reason. Spike, I'm sure, would like Bellator to tentpole another night for them, even if Friday isn't a great night for them. This shows a certain amount of faith in them, even if TNA is considered a higher priority (along with whatever they're airing on Tuesdays apparently).

Chromium site profile image  

6/13/13 5:17 AM by Chromium

I hate to break it to you but Bellator's live gates are already barely a factor. The tv deal is much more important. Also WWE Smackdown filmed for years on Tuesdays and did just fine, so it can certainly be done.

Reed Rothchild site profile image  

6/13/13 12:47 AM by Reed Rothchild

I expect Bellator to do very well on Friday night with a better time slot. Remember Spiketv is the home of MMA

raf_269 site profile image  

6/12/13 1:17 PM by raf_269

I expect a drop off in ratings. If the UFC couldn't do good on Fridays, can't anticipate Bellator to do any better. That sucks because I was hoping for Bellator to keep putting up solid numbers for the good product they've built up and maintained.

JimmersonzGlove site profile image  

6/12/13 12:57 AM by JimmersonzGlove

"Fans" who root against orgs are the ghey. Theyd rather talk about how bodog is gonna fail than be stoked to finally get to see a prospect like cain on free tv.Picking orgs to fail is like picking silva over bonnar. The deck is stacked against them but its better to get to watch prospects live on free tv than it is to buy kotc and ifc dvds at the store.

McCorkledbyMartialArtsMixed site profile image  

6/12/13 12:51 AM by McCorkledbyMartialArtsMixed

Hey I wonder how that spider rashad match his "sources" predicted went? Or his total dicktucking with duffee? He literally pulls numbers out of his ass. Masturbating to the thought of a promotion dying, sad really.I will see them on dvr. If I watch even one it will be more than the UFC fuel shows I've seen legally which is zero. Suck a dick Comcast/fox

Chris27 site profile image  

6/12/13 12:18 AM by Chris27

Or DVR'ing it.If I'm home on Friday I'll watch, if I go out I'll DVR it and watch it Sat morning.

RKing85 site profile image  

6/12/13 12:16 AM by RKing85

no matter what night it is, I'll be watching.

GayGuardMooseSaucy site profile image  

6/11/13 11:54 PM by GayGuardMooseSaucy

Good for the fans HORRIBLE for Bellator