Bellator moves to Friday night
Instead of going head-to-head with the National Football League, Bellator MMA will move from Thursday nights to Friday nights this fall on Spike. Bellator’s ninth season is slated to air on Sept. 13 from 9-11 p.m. Eastern Time.
Spike president Kevin Kay told SI.com that because of the NFL’s return this fall with premium games on Thursday nights, it was obligatory for Bellator’s move to Friday nights. The promotion showed growth this past season, which concluded in April. They averaged over 800,000 viewers over 11 events.
TNA Impact Wrestling has been moved back into Thursday’s 9 p.m. slot. Kay believes that the dedicated pro-wrestling fans will hold up better against the NFL. WWE’s Monday Night Raw and Spike’s Tuesday night original programming left Wednesdays or Fridays open for Bellator.
Since Fox Sports 1 announced last month that it would feature Ultimate Fighting Championship programming on Wednesdays, Spike chose to air Bellator on Fridays.
“I don’t want to see Bellator going head-to head-with the UFC,” Kay told SI.com. “I don’t think that makes any sense for fans. No matter who would win in that scenario, you don’t want to not give the fans the choice to watch both.”