If fans who watched Bellator 206 on DAZN had complaints about buffering issues or sub-standard picture quality, it could’ve been a lot worse.
Fans in the United Kingdom didn’t even see the main event between Gegard Mousasi and Rory MacDonald, as Channel 5 cut away from the broadcast and instead a scheduled episode of the children’s program “Peppa Pig” was on the television at 6 AM local time. Fight fans across the pond were not pleased.
So what caused such a horrendous thing to happen? Bellator officials have an explanation, and it boils down to government restrictions in the UK for free-to-air television like Channel 5.
“It’s government regulation that at 6 a.m. that content was not suitable so they had to switch to children’s programming,” Bellator senior vice president David Schwartz said in the post-fight press conference. “‘Peppa the pig’, yes.”
This was a preventable disaster for Bellator, as the pacing for this six-fight, three-hour main card went past 10 PM PT/6 AM UK time despite five of those bouts ending inside the distance. The inclusion of Gaston Bolanos vs. Ysidro Gutierrez was a last-minute decision, otherwise it would’ve been the standard five bouts.
Bellator president Scott Coker vows to fix the pacing problems and also find a way to make-up for the mishap to the British audience, who rarely get Bellator cards televised live in the first place.
“I think that when I think about the replay, I think that we can probably work it out,” Coker said. “But it’s six in the morning on a Sunday there and we won’t be able to work this out until Sunday our time, Monday their time. But we are working on it.
“Believe me, when it switched over there were a lot of texts going back and forth and they all were not friendly. We were trying to fix it, we thought it was a technical glitch. But it wasn’t, it was a governmental issue. I can promise you the next time it’s not going to happen. We’ll keep it down to five fights instead of six — like we normally do — and we tried to overdeliver for the fans and we just went over. It’s an unfortunate situation.”