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Fedor vs. Sonnen main event averages 802,000 viewers with DVR additions

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Saturday night’s Fedor Emelianenko vs. Chael Sonnen Bellator heavyweight tournament fight averaged 802,000 viewers for the course of the fight, peaking with 1,090,000 when including DVR viewership through Tuesday night.

Overall, Bellator 208 from the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., averaged 521,000 viewers live and picked up another 83,000 viewers over the next three days via DVR viewership. DVR viewership of 16 percent is not unusually high for Bellator. It was thought DVR viewership would be above normal levels based on the heavy sports competition, with college football, major league baseball playoffs and the Terrence Crawford vs. Jose Benavidez boxing match on ESPN which was the most-viewed boxing broadcast on cable this year.

The Friday night show from the Mohegan Sun Casino, which featured Ryan Bader’s semifinal win over Matt Mitrione and a Sergei Kharitonov win over Roy Nelson in a non-tournament heavyweight fight averaged 493,000 viewers, including DVR viewership over the next few days. The positive is that it was Bellator’s highest-rated Friday night broadcast in the 18-49 demo since Bellator 176, a taped show from the U.K. on May 19, 2017, which was headlined by Rory MacDonald vs. Paul Daley from London.

That number was broken down a 416,000 viewers the night of the show and another 77,000 watching via DVR over the next three days, an 18.5 percent increase.

The Bader vs. Mitrione fight averaged 620,000 viewers including DVR viewership, peaking at 798,000.

The viewership numbers only include television viewership on Paramount, as DAZN does not report streaming numbers.

Bellator officials noted that 3.9 million people watched at least one minute of company television programming between the two shows on Paramount.

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