The initial ratings are in for Bellator 180's pay-per-view lead-in and they are solid.
Monday, Bellator and television partner Spike announced that announced that the televised portion of Bellator 180 from Madison Square Garden in New York on June 24 averaged 901,000 viewers in overnight ratings, with the featured bout, Ryan Bader's light heavyweight title win over Phil Davis, drawing 1.1 million viewers.
The ratings announcement is slightly unusual in that the numbers combine the viewership of both Spike, as well as another Viacom-owned property, Country Music Television, which also aired the program.
The early ratings reflect only live and overnight viewership; recent Bellator MMA events on Spike have experienced significant ratings growth when factoring in DVR +3 numbers, which will be available later this week. Bellator 179, the promotion's last event, aired on tape delay from London, England, initially drawing an average of 607,000 viewers; after DVR +3 numbers were factored in, the event drew 659,999 with an 877,000 average for the main event between Rory MacDonald and Paul Daley.
The Bellator 180 is the promotion's strongest broadcast on Spike since Bellator 175 in April, which drew an average of 1 million viewers in DVR +3 numbers and a 1.4 million average for the main event rematch between “King Mo” Muhammed Lawal and “Rampage” Quinton Jackson.
Spike's broadcast of Bellator 180 served as the lead-in to the PPV main card, the second ever in the company's history, which was headlined by Chael Sonnen's unanimous decision victory.