Viacom just bought Bellator

Oh snap. A mere two months after Viacom started getting all jiggy with Bellator prelims on Spike.com, we now have news that they’ve bought the promotion and will be moving it to SpikeTV as soon as legally possible. Unfortunately, because of wonky expiration dates on certain UFC deals, that won’t be for another year:

Viacom, parent of MTV Networks, bought a majority stake in Bellator Fighting Championships and will start airing the promotion’s bouts on Spike in 2013, the companies told USA TODAY this week. They’ve had ongoing talks for about a year as they finished up various deals, and over the past month finally reached the point where they could announce the news, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said.

Selling to Viacom’s entertainment conglomerate guarantees a stable future for Bellator, said Rebney, who will remain in charge of the MMA organization.

Not to shit on the deal or anything, but entrusting your continued existence to a cable tv network conglomerate doesn’t sound all that stabilizing to me. They’re always pulling the plug on one under-performing property or another, but I guess going big with Spike beats going unseen and slowly broke on MTV2.

This move solidifies Bellator as the number 2 promotion in town, albeit only in 2013. Until then, the UFC gets to perform on FOX without any serious combat sports competition from any other channel. Not that I’d consider Bellator serious competition at this point. But Viacom now has 14 months to whip their new promotion into contender shape.

  • CAP

    I knew this was coming. Spike has been advertising Bellator on MTV2 for a while now which seemed odd. So it was only a matter of time. Bellator is pretty good considering how small it is so a little more backing could really elevate the brand.

  • thingvolds

    well well well

  • Blackula Jonez

    Say what, Ryan writing a Bellator post!?

     

    Holy shit, maybe he might get frisky and even record a podcast.

  • agentsmith

    They’ve also been shilling Spike stuff on the Bellator broadcasts lately.

  • SHORT_BUS

    This will not end well.

    The only way the fans win is if all the best talent is under one roof. That’s why the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL… are all so successful, the best play the best.

    People seem to think they can jump into the MMA business, throw a little money around and they will have themselves a top tier promotion capable of competing with the UFC and be raking in tons of cash. I think they fail to realize the tireless amounts of promotion, marketing and brand building involved.

    We’ve seen this song and dance before and we all know how it will end. The only thing they need to do now is sign Fedor and agree to co-promote with M-1 and they’ll be all set. When the dust settles they’ll just end up as another name on the tombstone in Dana White’s office and they’ll have nobody to blame but themselves.

  • Blackula Jonez

    Or they can survive long enough to get bought out by the UFC, isn’t that the sign of a successful mma promotion to remain profitable long enough to get purchased by Zuffa like Pride, WEC, Strikeforce etc.  Was youtube a failure because they ended up getting bought out by google?

     

    I keep seeing the same angry sentiment that short bus is going on about where people are upset that other promotions are successful and are competing with the UFC for talent. As if people shouldn’t try to compete with the UFC at all.

  • frickshun

    Uhhhhh Bellator’s female champ can’t even pay her medical bills. I’m sure they are not making any damn money but hopefully Viacom gave them some big, fat money bags.

  • SHORT_BUS

    @ Blackula Jonez

    I don’t understand your Pride, WEC, Strikeforce… vs. Google – YouTube comparison. Pride and the WEC are now defunct and SF will be gone as soon as the Showtime contract expires. That looks like a brand failure to me. Sure, they had some level of value (fighter contracts, video libraries…) otherwise Zuffa wouldn’t have purchased them but they weren’t strong / profitable enough to remain a stand alone company and were instead collapsed and merged into the UFC brand. YouTube is still alive and well, just under different management/ownership.

    As far as my “angry sentiment”, I’m just stating the cold, hard facts. I don’t care if any of these organizations (UFC included) make a dime. Their bottom line does not affect mine in any way, shape or form. What concerns me as a FAN is the potential for the talent pool to be dispersed far and wide thus robbing us of the fights we want to see. Fedor – Couture? Fedor – Lesnar? Chuck – Wanderlei in their prime? Any of those fights ring a bell?

  • Blackula Jonez

    Lets hope for Mrs. Gurgels sake that is true Frick.

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    Word, I like Zoila and would hate for her to have to sell her new luxury sedan for something as frivolous as medical bills.

  • Blackula Jonez

    DJ TE ftw.

     

    Or one of her crotch rockets. I would complain about fighters having dangerous hobbies but they do engage in unarmed combat for a living.

Follow Fightlinker

Login

Archives