Home > It's all about Mixed Martial Arts > Viacom Buys Bellator, Plans 2013 Move To Spike TV

Viacom Buys Bellator, Plans 2013 Move To Spike TV

Move makes Bellator the worlds 2nd-ranked MMA promotion

Viacom has purchased Bellator Fighting Championships and will begin airing the promotion on its various networks in 2013.

That’s according to USA Today, who learned of the news from Viacom and Spike executives over the last week.

Viacom owns Spike TV, the former home of the UFC. According to the report from USA Today, Viacom began seriously considering the purchase of an MMA promotion when they realized the UFC would be leaving, which would allow them to become “owners instead of renters.

As we realized that our relationship with UFC was likely to come to an end, our Viacom mergers and acquisitions folks, and us, started to have conversations with MTV2 about getting invested in a mixed martial arts promotion and become owners as opposed to renters, Kay said. Youre building value in something that you own, and you own it for the long term. Youre not in a constant state of negotiation.

Former owner Bjorn Rebney will stay on as the titular head of the MMA organization. He told USA Today that selling to the entertainment conglomerate guarantees a more stable future for Bellator that allows them to avoid the fate of Strikeforce, Affliction and other now-dead MMA promotions.

It puts all of those cornerstones of ownership in place for us, he said. Which is something thats been so seriously lacking in the MMA space with so many different companies, including Strikeforce and the IFL and Affliction and all the different failures that have occurred. … It alleviates those issues.

Bellator cannot debut on Spike TV until 2013 due to a contract still in place between Spike and the UFC. In exchange for airing no other MMA promotions on its channel, Spike has access to the entire UFC fight library through the end of next year.

The sale is a big moment for lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, who started with the promotion during its initial days on ESPN Deportes. Alvarez is believed to have two or three fights remaining on his current Bellator contract.

Theyll have a ton of more money to negotiate with, said Alvarez. As long as I keep doing well and do what Im supposed to do, the future looks bright.

 

Article From: http://www.heavy.com/mma/bellator/2011/10/viacom-buys-bellator-plans-2013-move-to-spike-tv/

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