GLORY 20 in Dubai was the tenth event on Spike TV for the global kickboxing promotion, taking place last Friday (April 3, 2015) via tape delay. The ratings saw a bit of a decline from the previous GLORY 19 event, which was the second-highest rated fight card in the promotion's tenure on Spike TV with 542,000 viewers.
When all was said and done, 359,000 viewers tuned in to watch Robin van Roosmalen defeat Andy Ristie to retain his lightweight title, while Gabriel Varga bested Mosab Amrani for the first GLORY featherweight title and Simon Marcus won the middleweight contender tournament (full results here).
The peak viewership, according to Spike, was 745,000 viewers.
The GLORY 20 event had a few things working against it: the card was aired via tape delay, took place on a holiday weekend, started at 10 p.m. ET instead of the usual 9 p.m. ET slot, and the MMA fan base draw, Pat Barry, was lost to injury a few weeks out from the fight, which killed the crossover fan base.
GLORY viewership surpassed that of the lone combat sports competition that was also being aired that evening, "Friday Night Lights" on ESPN2.
The good news for kickboxing fans and fans of GLORY is that while this may seem like a lower number, GLORY is sustaining a solid fan base. The average viewership for the 10 televised events on Spike TV is just under 460,000 viewers. Many fans are still being introduced to kickboxing and the fighters on the GLORY roster.
That takes time to build.
With Spike pushing the "Friday Night Lights Out" branding, which includes Bellator MMA and now, Premier Boxing Championship, GLORY can continue to build throughout 2015, while keeping its loyal fan base in tow.
GLORY 21 will see the world's leading kickboxing promotion return to U.S. soil in San Diego, Calif., with the GLORY middleweight champion Artem Levin defending his title against the GLORY 20 contender tournament winner, Simon Marcus. Also on the card will be a four-man qualifier tournament, featuring American heavyweights.
That card will take place on Friday, May 8, 2015 from the Valley View Casino Center.