It’s official: Bellator’s canceled pay-per-view was the greatest thing that ever happened to the promotion. (Called it!) According to a press release distributed today by Spike TV, Bellator 106: Chandler vs. Alvarez 2 delivered 1.1 million average viewers during the Spike telecast, which made it the most-watched event in Bellator history and the most watched mixed martial arts show on television this fall. As the release goes on to explain:
The “Chandler-Alvarez II” fight card peaked at 1.4 million viewers at 11:17pm and reached its high mark with Men 18-49 with a 1.1 rating for the Alvarez-Chandler bout. The telecast also ranked #2 in cable in its timeslot with Men 18-49.
For fans who missed the fight, or who recorded it but the end was cut off due to the extraordinary length of the event, Spike TV will replay the Chandler-Alvarez II main event bout on Friday, November 8 at 8:00pm ET/PT. The replay will lead into a live Bellator event featuring heavyweights Cheick Kongo vs. Peter Graham and a co-feature with lightweight contenders Joe Warren and Travis Marx.
Note to Bellator: Don’t brag about the “extraordinary length” of your event. That shit was nearly four hours long, and people almost died out here. (It’s worth noting that the audience peaked well before the main event had even begun.) On the plus side, it must feel amazing for Bellator to clown the UFC with that “most watched mixed martial arts show on television this fall” line, especially at a time when the UFC is probably kind of sensitive about that sort of thing.
Shortly after Bellator 106, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said that he’d like to do the rubber-match between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler on pay-per-view. Hopefully these Spike TV numbers will make him realize that not being on pay-per-view is what made the success of this event possible. Granted, not all of Bellator’s future shows will be able to draw as many eyeballs as this, but if they can occasionally put on events headlined by genuinely exciting fights, fans will tune in.
And just to clarify — Chandler vs. Alvarez is a genuinely exciting fight. Rampage vs Tito is not.