Well the numbers are in....
...and according to Spike TV' President Kevin Kay, they're "fantastic"
Bellator Fighting Championships debuted on Spike TV last night (Jan. 17, 2013) and while the promotion was expected to see a ratings upswing, no one knew for certain how many viewers were going to tune in to a mixed martial arts (MMA) product not associated with the UFC.
Appearing on a special media conference call just moments ago, Kay revealed all the relevant statistics about last night's stellar show:
"It was the most watched Bellator event in the history of Bellator. We started the night in the first 15 minutes with 1.2 million viewers. 1.1 watched the Curran-Pitbull fight in the first half hour. We were up 394% over the MTV 2 broadcasts and had an average 938,000 viewers watching the entire broadcast with a 950,000 peak for the Chandler vs Hawn title fight."
Not bad at all, especially considering that's a better number than the majority of this past season of The Ultimate Fighter on FX, which forced the reality show to move to a different day of the week.
The Bellator event kickstarted with a Bellator Featherweight Title fight between champion Pat Curran and challenger (and season four tournament winner) Patricio Freire, which was a very evenly matched and entertaining five round battle which seemed to have held a significant portion of the TNA pro wrestling audience which was the lead-in.
While this number was very, very good, it will be very interesting to see how the ratings hold up as Bellator has really started its debut on Spike TV with a bang, loading its first two shows up with a significant portion of its biggest stars.
What do you make of these ratings? Are they sustainable?