Do you think the current lineup for Bellator NYC headlined by Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva, Matt Mitrione vs. Fedor Emelianenko) is worth the roughly $50 asking price?
ROBERT VALLEJOS, MMATorch contributor
No! This is the most that Bellator could possibly offer, and it’s still not enough. I take little issue with the card, but the price feels steep. On one hand, I get it; Bellator does not want to present their product as something inferior AND thus cheaper than UFC. It comes down to MMA fandom being expensive. Unless a fan makes a choice to buy this pay-per-view over UFC 212 or 213, they will be set back $150 in the span of a month.
If this is going to be the price, Bellator should keep all the fights that have already been booked. They probably need to think outside of the box. The announced fighters could theoretically be seen for free on cable in a few months. They need to have an attraction that can only be seen on that night for that price. This might sound crazy, but what if Bellator beats the UFC in presenting an MMA card with a boxing bout?
FRANK HYDEN, MMATorch columnist
Hell no, it’s not worth $50. Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva is a horrible main event between two fighters who are both well past their primes. I’m a big Fedor fan, but he’s also clearly a shell of his former self. No one is going to want to pay $50 for this. Sonnen-Silva would be an okay TV main event, where you can attract some eyes with the trainwreck factor and the “Hey, I remember that guy” appeal, but no one’s paying $50 for it because of them. And Fedor fans are going to be hesitant because it feels like there’s a 50/50 chance that ol’ Meathead will starch their guy in the first round. The main events are not worthy.
Instead of asking what could be added to the card, the real question should be why is Bellator doing things backwards? The goal should be to get on cable TV, then on network TV. That’s where the money is, that’s where the eyeballs are. There’s a reason the NFL doesn’t put the Super Bowl (or any of their games) on PPV. You can insert the NBA, MLB, NHL, etc. into that example and it still applies. Yeah, there are a few guys out there who can draw big money on PPV, but none of those guys are on this card. And none of those guys make a fraction of the money these big-name sports leagues pull in annually.
This card should be no more than $25 at the most. At that price, you can get some impulse buys. As it stands, I don’t think this card will do much more than 100,000 buys, and part of me thinks that’s being too optimistic.
MIKE HISCOE, MMATorch contributor
Bellator has very little history on pay-per-view. They’ve only run one time and it did okay, but it was far from a home run. This card is stronger than the first Bellator pay-per-view headlined by Rampage and King Mo. I do have hesitations about a Sonnen-Silva main event, though. Silva hasn’t fought in four years and doesn’t seem to be the most reliable employee (or independent contractor) in the world. There’s a good chance that fight falls through and they will have to go to Matt Mitrione vs. Fedor Emelianenko as the main event. That fight being on the pay-per-view doesn’t sit well with me as it was originally slated for free TV and fell through at the last minute. I feel that Bellator owes their fanbase that fight, or at least any Fedor fight, on free TV. It’s hard to justify the price tag for the event since Bellator has defined itself over recent years as a TV promotion, not a big-event pay-per-view promotion. With much of the lustre of Chael Sonnen rubbed off in the Tito Ortiz fight, I think this show struggles to do significant business, especially coming two weeks before UFC’s traditional biggest show of the year.
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