Responding to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney’s criticism of the UFC, Dana White stated that his video blogs have more viewers than his rival’s television show. Despite White’s tendency towards hyperbole, it actually seems like he might be right.
“They have no fucking clue what they’re doing,” White stated. “I saw Bjork was talking some smack, I’m like, dude, just shut up and run your business. That’s what you should have done when you started and you had some legs to stand on. They’re hurting. I’m sure you guys saw… when they did their press conference, all they talked about was me. What are they going to talk about? That fight? ‘Well, you guys have lost your last 10 fights, uh, how do you think this fight is going to go? Well, I can tell you this, one of us is going to win. Somebody’s ‘O’ has got to go.’ But it’s the opposite of what you normally talk about. Obviously they need money, good for them. Let them do their thing.”
“How’s your competitive spirit feeling? My video blog does more fucking viewers than their television show does. I’m not feeling very competitive.”
According to MMA.tv, White’s estimate isn’t too far off the mark.
The average viewers for Bellator’s Fight Master reality show peak at around 675,000, with some episodes dropping below 400,000:
Episode 1: 432,000
Episode 2: 545,000
Episode 3: 676,000
Episode 4: 505,000
Episode 5: 441,000
Episode 6: 629,000
Episode 7: 398,000
Meanwhile, the numbers for Bellator’s live fight events tend to aim for the 700,000s, with the most popular breaking 900,000 viewers:
Bellator 92: 741,000
Bellator 93: 748,000
Bellator 94: 713,000
Bellator 95: 901,000
Bellator 96: 480,000
Bellator 97: 697,000
Dana White’s video blogs on the other hand average around 200,000 hits, with the most popular one peaking at 878,390. While those numbers by themselves aren’t better than Bellator’s programming, it is important to note that White does three or four vlogs for each UFC card, meaning that overall, you wouldn’t be wrong to say that they’re more popular.
However, the difference between live TV and YouTube programming is pretty wide, and it’s a fairly dumb comparison overall. Still, it’s interesting to note how surprisingly low Bellator’s numbers are, especially considering their upcoming foray into the PPV market.
Whether or not Rebney’s organization has the muscle to go up against the UFC remains to be seen.