Last weekend’s bout between Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar was part of Scott Coker’s new-look for Bellator.
The fight was to bring in the attention of some casual fight fans, while giving a taste of the changes in format that Coker, the former President of Strikeforce, was innovating.
It’s not clear how the changes are being accepted with fans. But it’s clear that the bout brought in a lot of eyeballs.
According to statistics recently released by SPIKE TV, the two combined for the highest-rated MMA bout on cable TV in 2014.
The Ortiz/Bonnar fight drew a high of two million viewers to SPIKE, and an average of 1.8 million. The broadcast averaged 1.2 million viewers for its duration.
“The Ortiz-Bonnar fight ranks as 2nd highest-rated MMA fight telecast in all of television with Men 18-34 and Men 18-49, including broadcast, in 2014,” reads a SPIKE TV press release sent today. “Also, Ortiz-Bonnar ranked #2 in its timeslot in all of cable with Men 18-34 and Men 18-49.”
In total, the Bellator 131 broadcast was the most-watched in the promotion’s six year history. It also is said to have reached new highs in social media interaction.
“Bellator 131 was an incredible event that had something for everybody, and I’m thrilled to see our efforts were so well-received by our fans,” said Coker. “I’m very proud of our entire Bellator and Spike family for all of the hard work they put resulting in these record-breaking ratings. The most exciting thing for me is the knowledge that that we are just getting started, and I can’t wait for everyone to see what we have in store for the future.”