It was already going to be difficult enough for MMA fans living in the U.K. to catch the main card of Bellator 206. The event was taking place in a time zone with an eight-hour time difference, which forced them to choose between a good night’s rest, or a late night of fight sports. But it was ultimately government television standards that made things go comically sour.
When the main event between middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi and welterweight champion Rory MacDonald began, it was 10 p.m. in San Jose (the event’s host site) and 6 a.m. in the U.K. Instead of catching Mousasi’s eventual win via TKO, they were treated to early-morning children’s programming—specifically Peppa Pig.
Officials later explained that the switch was because Bellator 206 was not suitable for television viewing at that early hour, so children’s programming had to be put on instead. In the U.K., the cut off point for the morning watershed—the broadcast period when mature, explicit or violent programming can be put on television—starts at exactly 6 a.m. meaning there wasn’t much Bellator could have legally done about this. This supposedly would not have been a problem had the six-fight card proceeded in a timely fashion, but the analysis, interviews and video promotions spaced out between the fights forced the event to go over its allotted three-hour time slot.