GLORY kickboxing struck a deal with ESPN last Thursday (Nov. 5, 2015) to broadcast GLORY 25 on both ESPN3 and ESPN2 last Friday (Nov. 6, 2015). The former aired the fight card live from Monza, Italy, and the latter aired a tape-delayed replay at 1:30 a.m. ET later that evening.
According to SportsTVRatings.com (h/t Liverkick.com), 198,000 viewers tuned in to see Robin van Roosmalen's controversial unanimous decision win over Sittichai Sitsongpeenong, Giorgio Petrosyan defeat Josh Jauncey in his GLORY return, and Murthel Groenhart win the night's Welterweight "Contender" tournament.
"We feel really good about the numbers on ESPN2," said GLORY CEO Jon J. Franklin. "Between the live show, the repeat and visibility on demand, the results are super solid. We felt great about working with ESPN to bring GLORY to our fans. And with the live show still available to all on the 'Watch ESPN' app, the numbers are increasing every day. We did not have a long promotional window to get the word out so a shout goes out to our great fans."
The numbers, which don't include the live ESPN3 viewers, are quite encouraging because the two parties came to an agreement just one day prior to showtime. In addition, there was almost no promotion and the replay aired at 1:30 a.m. ET.
"We are pleased to serve a passionate audience with this live event on ESPN3 and delay on ESPN2," said ESPN spokesperson, Kristie Chong," who confirmed the accuracy of the ratings numbers and added that numbers for ESPN3 are not shared.
- The NCAA football game between Temple vs. SMU that aired from 8 p.m. until 11:33 p.m. ET had 1.8 million viewers.
- The SportsCenter that followed the football game and ended at 12:30 a.m. ET had 538,000 viewers
- The next SportsCenter that began at 12:30 am ET -- and led into GLORY 25 -- had 389,000 viewers.
- The replay of the NBA basketball game between Indiana vs. Miami that aired after GLORY 25 had 361,000 viewers.
ESPN confirmed to MMAmania.com last Thursday that the agreement was for GLORY 25 only. However, sources close to GLORY mentioned to MMAmania.com over the weekend that verbal confirmation had been given on GLORY 26 being aired on ESPN platforms.
The kickboxing promotion's last event on Spike TV, GLORY 24, aired at an 11 p.m. ET start time and pulled 283,000 viewers. With a good amount of promotion ahead of the fight card, one can surmise that GLORY could do quite well on ESPN platforms should it come to a new agreement for GLORY 26 and future events.
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