Bellator MMA confirms move to CBS Sports Network next month

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/09/11/bellator-mma-confirms-move-to-cbs-sports-network-next-month/

Bellator MMA is moving from the Paramount Network with Friday’s announcement that their new home will be on the CBS Sports Network beginning next month.

The news of Bellator’s pending change was first reported by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani with Bellator wrapping up on the Paramount Network this weekend with cards on Friday and Saturday night.

There will be several changes including the live broadcasts of all domestic and international cards including the upcoming shows in Milan, Italy, and Paris, France in October.

The promotion also appears to be utilizing more Thursday night events with their first prime-time event occurring on Thursday, October 15th, and another one set for October 29th.

The main cards will air on the CBS Sports Network with the undercards streaming on CBSSports.com and Bellator’s YouTube channel.

Bellator will continue to produce its own events in-house led by Executive Producer Scott Fishman.

Bellator President Scott Coker:

I am thrilled that Bellator live events will be coming to CBS Sports Network beginning on Oct. 1, as well as the unique opportunities the partnership creates across all CBS Sports platforms. CBS Sports is synonymous with iconic sports broadcasting and it is incredible to now have Bellator MMA included in that family. I would like to thank Paramount Network, formerly Spike TV, for the years of support that helped build Bellator into the organization that it is today, and this news marks yet another exciting relationship between two ViacomCBS properties. I look forward to bringing the biggest fights, featuring the top athletes in the world, live to CBS Sports Network and introducing Bellator to an entirely new audience this fall.

The first event on the CBS Sports Network will be Bellator 247 airing live on Thursday, October 1st at 4 pm Eastern from Milan, Italy headlined by Paul Daley vs. Derek Anderson.

Bellator 248 from Paris, France airs on Saturday, October 10th at 11:30 am with Cheick Kongo vs. Tim Johnson and Michael “Venom” Page vs. Ross Houston.

The first live prime-time event will be Bellator 249 on Thursday, October 15th headlined by featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” defending her title against Arlene Blencowe.

On a conference call with the media, they added that Gegard Mousasi will defend the Bellator middleweight title against Douglas Lima on Thursday, October 29th with Lima moving up from welterweight.

Viacom purchased majority ownership in Bellator back in 2011 and began broadcasting their events live on Spike TV in 2013, once their contractual agreement with the UFC expired. Spike TV was re-branded The Paramount Network in 2018.

Guess the DAZN deal is off.

I wonder if John or Wai is going to grill Court Bauer about his DAZN deal. Its looking more likely that DAZN is a sinking ship. With Canelo Alvarez suing the company, Bellator and other sports leaving. Things are not looking good for the self proclaimed “Netflix of Sports”.

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Yeah this does not sound good for Bellator and I don’t know anyone is who has the cbs sports network. Reminds me of when TNA Impact was on random channel with ghost shows haha

Well CBS owns Bellator so thats why they are on there. Its no different then when they were on Spike.

It’s in a lot less homes and way less international reach (right now). Seems like a step back to me

It’s maybe a 2 steps forward, 1 step back situation…or the other way around… I’m not sure. :confused:

Yes CBS Sports is a little known property in fewer homes but there are some benefits. Having more flexibility in the schedule is a good thing, the UFC is currently running events every weekend until September, if Bellator had to compete head to head every time that would be difficult.

Additionally, having international events air live is a definite upgrade. Clearly Bellator is focusing on international events so not only is important that fans can watch those as they happen, it’s also going to be an important part of packaging CBS Sports for foreign markets.

The DAZN news is not good but not entirely unsurprising, if Bellator can use this CBS launch to refresh itself and fix some of their problems, they might be able to repackage themselves for a deal on another streaming platform or even on DAZN again in 8-14 months.

Thats a bit optimistic. DAZN might not be around in 8-14 months. If they manage to be around by then. I highly doubt they will be spending any amount of money considering their situation at the moment.

Combat sports is a very small part of what DAZN offers. They have massive investors and some of the most impressive rights deals. They will be around. Will they be in the combat sports business? That’s a better question. My gut tells me yes.

In North America Combat Sports is all DAZN is offering unless your a huge fan of Chilean Soccer. Your talking about DAZN Internationally. I’m talking about there presence here in North America. Which is not looking good. Investors or not can’t keep funding something that continues to lose money. They vastly overpaid for fighters like Canelo and had very little return on their investment. Their business strategy was flawed from the beginning.