A battle of big punching heavyweights on a Saturday night with no UFC competition sounded good on paper for Bellator, but the numbers were not strong.
Bellator’s all-finish night from Bridgeport, Conn., headlined by Sergei Kharitonov’s second-round technical knockout of Matt Mitrione averaged 285,000 viewers, the company’s second lowest for a prime time show so far this year.
The show, among the most explosive of the year, had key sports competition from Miami vs. Florida college football on ESPN,that did 5,966,000 viewers, and a Dallas Cowboys vs. Houston Texans NFL preseason game on the NFL Network that did 1,034,000 viewers. Top Rank boxing on FS 1 did 345,000 viewers.
The year’s low mark, of 255,000, came on March 22, a show headlined by Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Georgi Karakhanyan, which on paper has nowhere near the marquee power.
Mitrione vs. Kharitonov’s first match, which went 15 seconds to a no-contest due to an accidental low blow by Mitrione that left Kharitonov unable to continue, headlined a show that did 365,000 viewers on Feb. 15. Bellator’s average for the year is 371,000 viewers.
Its previous event on Paramount, on July 12, headlined by a women’s featherweight title defense by Julia Budd over Olga Rubin, did 325,000 viewers.