Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney is riding a new high with the record-breaking ratings his company secured with last weekend's Bellator 106 event in Long Beach, Calif.
Rebney recently told MMAWeekly.com that he has strong hopes of repeat efforts for future Bellator fight cards. The strength of a 1.1 million-viewer average, with a 1.4-million peak on Spike TV is a wave the company chairman plans on riding into this Friday's event through the rest of the season.
“We keep climbing and I think the rest of the season is going to be ridiculously strong,” Rebney said. “I think we’re going to do real good numbers the rest of the season. The week after (this week's Bellator 107) we got Rampage vs. Joey (Beltran) and a heavyweight world title fight as the second fight on that card, not even the main. It’ll be a strong run for us.”
The awesomeness of Bellator 106, which was headlined by a lightweight title fight between Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez, was something Rebney repeatedly explained, giving the indication that Bellator's rise is something he's extremely happy with. It gives him ammunition to respond with “bring me another plate” when UFC president Dana White sends snarky posts on Twitter referring to being served karma.
Despite the memorable night of ratings, however, Rebney admitted that he didn't feel they were high enough for his taste. Describing himself as never truly satisfied, Rebney said his reaction to the numbers was one where there was more to be desired.
“It was great to get those numbers, but I’m never really, truly satisfied,” he said. “If I had heard a 1.7, I would have wanted a 2.4. If I heard a 2.4, I would’ve wanted a 3.3 – that’s just my nature. But it was good to hear. It was the best never we’ve ever done. We’re into the millions and we just gotta keep building on it.”
Rebney and Co. make their next effort to burst into the million-viewer club with Bellator 107, which takes place Friday, Nov. 8, on Spike. The main event features former UFC heavyweight contender Cheick Kongo looking to go 2-0 in Bellator when he fights Peter Graham. Additionally, Joe Warren, a fighter who coached on Bellator's attempt at a reality show, Fight Master, will face Travis Marx.
Rampage Jackson vs. Joey Beltran will take place the following Friday at Bellator 108, a fight that Rebney said fans will be excited to see, mostly because of Jackson's drawing power.
Rebney was noncommittal to predicting another 1.4 million-viewer peak when asked what his ratings prediction is for his upcoming fight cards. The CEO said only that the final events of the Bellator season will be “strong” ratings-wise because of the attention he feels fighters like Warren, Kongo, and Rampage can command.
“It was a great show for us, peaking at 1.4 (million viewers),” Rebney said. “It’s an incredible way to kick off the last month of our season because we got three more ridiculous shows coming up over the next three weeks.
“I’m not much for predicting exactly where numbers will hit or what we’ll do, but I’m anticipating we’ll do real strong numbers this Friday night.”
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