British MMA fans were left hanging on Sunday morning when instead of showing Bellator 206, Channel 5 aired the popular children’s show, ‘Peppa Pig’.
Bellator is one of the largest fighting events in the world and features many of the most revered athletes in combat sports. It’s a huge deal for hard core fans all over the globe, including thousands of fight lovers in the UK who were eagerly awaiting Bellator 206.
The fight took place last Saturday in San Jose, California, with the undercard scheduled to begin at 10 pm local time. The programme included six fights, with the main event between Gegard Mousasi and Rory MacDonald expected to start around midnight.
Over in the UK, fight fans woke up early — 6am to be exact — to catch the MMA bought. But when they turned on their tvs to watch the exciting and bloody ballet of jabs, kicks and armbars, they were instead greeted with an episode of the distinctly non-violent children’s cartoon, ‘Peppa Pig’.
Channel 5 right now. This is like some sort of sick joke.
— Seán Sheehan (@SeanSheehanBA) September 30, 2018
Channel 5 has just cut away from the bellator main event for fucking peppa pig 😂😂
— Con Friel (@Friel19_) September 30, 2018
Pethetic UK TV Channel 5 stay up all night then goes off as the main even bellator 206 starts for Peppa pig wtf? Wankers
— Oberon (@RyanLeaSinclair) September 30, 2018
I woke up to watch #Bellator206 and Peppa Pig is on Channel 5 instead of the main event.
At least it’s a good episode (the one where George and Peppa go the playground) pic.twitter.com/mPEHwH1xvC
— David Mullins (@davidgmullins) September 30, 2018
Channel 5 held the rights to the Bellator broadcast in the UK. It turns out that their ability to show the fight was impeded by British tv regulations which won’t allow programs rated 15+ to be shown so early in the morning.
Bellator president Scott Coker apologised for the mix-up and promised that the organisation would work to avoid any similar occurrences in the future.
“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,” said Coker when asked about the problems with the transmission.
“We’ll keep it down to five fights instead of six — like we normally do — we tried to over-deliver for the fans and we just went over. It’s an unfortunate situation,”
— Jim Edwards (@MMA_Jim) September 30, 2018
— Mark Chisholm 🏴 (@JethartJinj) September 30, 2018
— The280Times (@The280Times) September 30, 2018
Peppa wins by TKO pic.twitter.com/LZ20ZQtnyK
— Mike Lee-Graham (@mikeleegraham) September 30, 2018