Initial ratings are positive for Bellator 166, with preliminary Neilsen estimates pegging the Dec. 2 event at 613,000 average viewers.
Bellator 166 was the first night of Bellator MMA’s two-night doubleheader at WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla., and featured the promotion’s bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas earning a majority decision over rival Joe Warren in the main event. The card aired from 9 to 11:35 p.m. ET Friday night on Spike and drew 289,000 viewers in the 18-49 demographic.
Though Bellator 166 did not make Nielsen’s top 100 cable shows for Dec. 2, the rating still represents an improvement over the promotion’s recent events. Bellator 165, headlined by the lightweight title bout between Michael Chandler and Benson Henderson, drew 597,000 viewers going head-to-head with the UFC Fight Night “Bader vs. Nogueira 2” card on Fox Sports 1. Two weeks prior, Bellator 163, which saw Phil Davis win the light heavyweight title from Liam McGeary, drew only 507,000 viewers, the lowest rating of the year for the promotion.
Bellator 166 is the first broadcast since Bellator 161 in September to average more than 600,000 watchers. For its 2016 broadcasts on Spike, Bellator MMA has drawn an average of 689,000 viewers, a number still buoyed by February’s Bellator 149 card, which featured Royce Gracie-Ken Shamrock 3, as well as “Kimbo Slice” Kevin Ferguson-“Dada 5000” Dhafir Harris, which averaged over 1.96 million viewers.