DAZN and Bellator have been in business since the summer of 2018. However, with things changing over at ViacomCBS it would seem they might part ways with the streaming service. While the arrangement was made for a five-year deal, if it does not continue, DAZN still says it has an interest in combat sports.
According to Heavy, DAZN says they would like to expand on combat sports coverage even if the relationship with Bellator ends. Bareknuckle Fighting Championships (BKFC) is one of the promotions said to be of interest due to their decent viewership from both fans of boxing and MMA. DAZN has been associated mostly with boxing, namely events promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.
Hearn has a similar interest in expansion to the sport of MMA with the likes of Logan Paul. Fans might remember Paul’s YouTube boxing rivalry with KSI drew some hefty viewership numbers. If Hearn is serious and DAZN is looking for more than just boxing, the platform is certainly primed to do so.
Currently, Bellator has its own successful YouTube channel and has added CBS Sports to one of the many places to watch past events with Bellator MMA recharged. Many live events air on the Paramount network or simulcast with DAZN. However, Stephen Espinoza told Boxingscene that in the future, when the deals expire he would like to promote crossover boxing and MMA events with Bellator.
Bellator’s World Grand Prix events were also featured on DAZN which featured a return to the tournament format and were well received by fight fans.
If DAZN and Bellator do part ways they should both have plenty of ways to keep fight fans happy. But for now, fans will likely take sports anywhere they can get them.
Do you think this is the end of DAZN and Bellator?