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12-03-2010, 12:20 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
| | Bellator to air LIVE on FX in 2011
Bellator to air LIVE on FX in 2011 - MMA News
Bellator Fighting Championships officials are expected to announce a multi-year broadcast deal with FOX Entertainment Group, sources today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com). |
As part of the deal, future Bellator events are expected to air live on the FX cable station with tape-delayed broadcasts on sister stations FOX Sports Net and Fuel TV.
Bellator aired its first first season on the Spanish-language ESPN Deportes and its two most recent seasons on FSN.
Sources said the deal is in the process of being finalized and soon could be announced.
MMAjunkie.com today spoke to Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. The former boxing executive said he can't comment on the organization's television efforts but promised fans will be pleased.
"We're super excited about our next evolution on TV," Rebney said. "We're always trying to produce the most exciting and captivating MMA for our fans. Our next step is a significant move in that direction. But at this time, I can't elaborate on what those alliances would be."
Sources, though, said Bellator likely will keep its Thursday-night live timeslots with the move to FX. The FSN and Fuel TV broadcasts likely will include "highlights" packages from those events.
Although more prominent than many MMA promotions' broadcast deals, Bellator's have been criticized since the company launched in 2008. Few fans had ESPN Deportes on their basic cable lineup, and FSN often pre-empted live Bellator shows for other programming in many markets. Replays/highlights packages that aired via delay in weekend slots on NBC, Telemundo and mun2 did little to curb complaints about fans' inability to watch the shows live.
However, in recent months, Rebney continually has promised that a better broadcast deal is in the works. The promoter, who recently earned a 2010 World MMA Award "Leading Man" nomination, has had to debunk rumors of a potential demise and sponsorship troubles.
This latest deal, though, could take Bellator and its 12-week fight seasons to a new level. FX, which launched in 1994, is available on most basic-cable packages and can be scene in approximately 100 million households (which is about the same as ESPN in the U.S.).
Prominently featuring eight-man (and eight-woman) tournaments that span each three-month/12-show season, Bellator now ranks among the top three to four MMA promotions in the world. Notable Bellator fighters include middleweight champion Hector Lombard, lightweight title-holder Eddie Alvarez, welterweight champ Ben Askren and others. In addition to the tourney bouts, Bellator events also feature many notables in traditional fight bookings, and as the organization travels each week to venues across the U.S., regional fighters are featured in untelevised preliminary-card fights.
Bellator's upcoming fourth season is expected to launch in the spring of 2011 with another slate of tournaments in various weight classes.
Awesome I'm going to be watching a lot more Bellator.
12-03-2010, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
FX is better than Sports Net....good overall move by them.
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