Bellator MMA is usually considered because the second-biggest MMA promotion in North America, and has a present broadcast cope with Paramount Community and streaming service DAZN. With these shops, they’ve grown the corporate to the purpose of with the ability to run 27 occasions in 2019. However it seems that their future, no less than by way of the place their exhibits will air, is sort of unclear in the meanwhile.
Earlier immediately, it was reported by media outlet Heavy that DAZN’s authentic five-year cope with Bellator was truly just for two years, and that time period can be up in June 2020. Moreover, based on their nameless sources, DAZN isn’t interested by airing Bellator any longer and the 2 are set to half methods.
That appears slightly bleak, nevertheless it additionally could also be considerably inaccurate. The overall consensus, together with from Bloody Elbow’s personal John Nash, is that the deal is definitely for 3 years, with an extra two-year choice.
This has additionally been strongly hinted at by somebody who may be very interested by having Bellator come (again) to his community—Showtime’s president of sports activities and occasion programming, Stephen Espinoza.
In an interview final week with BoxingScene.com, Espinoza made it clear that he want to work with Bellator CEO Scott Coker once more. They usually may even begin airing some boxing/MMA crossover occasions sooner or later. However he additionally highlighted that Bellator transferring absolutely again to Showtime wouldn’t occur till the promotion honored its contracts with DAZN and Paramount—which he claimed didn’t finish for some time.
“We’re going to honor that deal,” mentioned Espinoza. “There isn’t any plan in any other case. In the long term, we’re going to try to develop the enterprise in a means that’s natural and rewarding to the followers … That’s the objective, typically, to have Bellator again and use the mixed energy of the whole company. In the long run, all of these property are going for use to assist Bellator develop.
“The timing of that continues to be to be seen, as there’s a good period of time nonetheless left on the DAZN deal.”
If anybody goes to know the standing of Bellator’s cope with DAZN, it’s doubtless going to be Espinoza. In spite of everything, he’s Scott Coker’s boss. Again in January, ViacomCBS did a bit of shuffling and a part of their reorganization meant that Coker straight reported to Espinoza.
Clearly the coronavirus pandemic has difficult every thing, however based on most of the canines within the struggle, it appears like Bellator could possibly be on DAZN for some time longer. Even when it does appear to be they’ll be making the bounce to a different community ultimately.