In news that shocked the world of Mixed Martial Arts today, SpikeTV parent company Viacom announced they have purchased a controlling interest in MMA promotion Bellator which will begin airing on SpikeTV in 2013.
An interesting comment was made by Spike TV President Kevin Kay during the announcement. He was basically asked if he feared a dramatic loss in ratings by Bellator in comparison to UFC, he then brought up that the same fears were presented in the loss of WWE programming and the introduction of TNA Wrestling to their network, “I had the same fear: ‘Are people going to watch another wrestling organization on Spike?’ That first year or so, we had probably averaged 600,000 viewers. Last week we had 2 million; it’s the highest-rated TNA in the history of Spike.”
This comment is in sharp contrast to the doom and gloom spread a week or so ago by the wrestling dirt sheets when a long time programming executive left Spike. The naysayers tried to paint it as a defeat for TNA as the programmer was a big supporter of the product. Of course most fans with a semblance of intellect know that TNA’s 1.5+ million average viewership speaks more highly of them to a network than any one cheerleader ever could, the rumor was still widely cut and pasted across the interweb.