Kirk Jenness breaks down the numbers of Bellator’s Dynamite event from this past Saturday night:
Bellator MMA under the direction of Scott Coker has quarterly ‘Big Tent’ events, that will peak with Dynamite shows. The debut Dynamite event on Saturday drew 11,000 fans to the arena, a record for the promotion, but did not earn record TV ratings. In fact, Bellator: Dynamite 1 averaged 800,000 viewers from 9 p.m. to 12:42 a.m. Bellator events under Coker’s direction have averaged 892,000, so Dynamite was actually below average.
One problem was an Alabama vs. Mississippi game on ESPN that drew 7,600,000 viewers on ESPN. But there were internal issues as well, that Dave Meltzer breaks down.
At the simplest level, Dynamite was headed by Tito Ortiz vs. Liam McGeary, while the last ‘big tent’ event on June 19 was headlined by Ken Shamrock vs. Kimbo Slice and averaged 1,580,000 viewers with a peak of 2,100,000. In short, Shamrock + Kimbo are bigger names to the public than Tito + McGeary.
But there is more.
The promotion was built around several things. The keys were a first big annual show, called Dynamite, a one-night light heavyweight tournament, Ortiz’s name value and his going for a championship at the age of 40, putting kickboxing and MMA on the same stage, and debuting former UFC stars Phil Davis and Josh Thomson.
But none of them, even the Ortiz main event, swelled the audience to any great degree after the show opened at about levels one would expect for such an event.
When looking at the ratings pattern for the show, the key was the lack of growth throughout the show. The starting point was solid for a Bellator major show, which would then usually grow as bigger names appear later in the show. But that didn’t happen here.
The show peaked early with the King Mo Lawal vs. Linton Vassell first round light heavyweight tournament fight doing 930,000 viewers. The Phil Davis vs. Emanuel Newton fight that followed did 860,000 viewers.
The question as to whether mixing MMA with kickboxing was going to work or not went largely unanswered. The Keri Taylor-Melendez vs. Hadley Griffith fight did 848,000 viewers, or about the same as the Davis vs. Newton fight. The Paul Daley vs. Fernando Gonzalez fight did quarter hours of 835,000 and 870,000. So neither fight was a home run. Those are far larger numbers than Glory kickboxing usually does and people were not either tuning in or out in any great numbers. If anything, even the fact Melendez and Griffith had never fought on television, it doing almost the same numbers as part of the much promoted light heavyweight tournament would be considered a success.
The payouts are as follows:
Liam McGeary: $50,000 (no win bonus)
def. Tito Ortiz: $300,000
Phil Davis: $130,000 (includes $65,000 win bonus)
def. Francis Carmont: $17,000
Josh Thomson: $10,000 (no win bonus)
def. Mike Bronzoulis: $10,000
Phil Davis: See above
def. Emanuel Newton: $70,000
Muhammed Lawal: $15,000 (no win bonus)
def. Linton Vassell: $30,000
Gabriel Carrasco: $4,000 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
def. Joe Neal: $2,000
Adam Piccolotti: $4,000 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
def. Salvador Becerra: $1,750
Thomas Diagne: $3,000 (no win bonus since fight ended in draw)
vs. Mike Malott: $2,000 (no win bonus since fight ended in draw)
Francis Carmont: See above
def. Anthony Ruiz: $5,000