Everyone has been cautiously optimistic about Bellator’s move to MTV2 – after all, it can’t get much worse than being pre-empted nearly every week by whatever baseball / hockey / soccer match happens to be going down somewhere in America. But when the league announced a move from Thursday to Saturday nights, people started to get a bit nervous. Saturday night is to MMA as Sunday afternoon is to football, and it meant Bellator would regularly be competing head to head against Strikeforce and UFC shows.
This includes a killer’s row of events like UFC 128, the UFC Fight Night with Tito vs Lil Nog, the UFC 129 supershow, the next Strikeforce heavyweight quarterfinals, and on and on. I likes me some Bellator, but it’s not difficult to imagine who’s going to win those battles for fanboy eyeballs. Fortunately, Bjorn Rebney says MTV2 didn’t overlook that little issue when scheduling them – they did it on purpose so they could catch some lead-in viewers:
“That’s part of the magic we have here,” Rebney said. “When I was sitting down with the MTV folks, they said, ‘Look, if there’s a big UFC event, if there’s a pay-per-view event, we’ll kick our show an hour or two earlier so that it can be an MMA night for fans.’ They can go from MTV2 to Spike TV or go from MTV2 to pay-per-view.
“You can make a night of it. Get some beers, grab a pizza, hang out with your buddies, and watch MMA for five hours instead of two and a half or three. It’s continuity and ultimately trying to serve the fan base I’m a member of and you’re a member of.”
Shows are gonna have to start hella early because even UFC Prelims are > Bellator. I might decide that on a case by case basis if I was just a fan watching sports, but as a blogger you’re just not allowed to ignore the UFC, even if it’s a choice between a shitty Stefan Struve vs Travis Browne prelim on Spike and an awesome judo showdown between Jim Wallhead vs Rick ‘the Olympian’ Hawn on Bellator. Still, this is a much better situation than going head to head with the actual events, and it’s not like MTV2 has much going on Saturday Nights anyways. I like Silent Library and all, but 5 hours of it?