Viacom Buys Majority Stake In Bellator
Viacom, the parent company behind MTV networks, has purchased a majority stake in the Bellator Promotion with plans to start airing shows on Spike TV in 2013. USA Today was the first to report the news of the story, as Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney explained that talks were ongoing for the past year, and that now was the right time to announce the deal.
Since 2005, Spike TV has been the home for the UFC and mixed martial arts, but with the promotion now heading over to network television, it left an opening for another promotion to broadcast their content on Spike.
“It puts all of those cornerstones of ownership in place for us,” Rebney stated. “Which is something that’s 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.”
One of the biggest questions, now that this deal has come together, is how will UFC president Dana White view this move by his former broadcast partners, and the Bellator promotion. White has been known to go to war with any promotion that tires to compete with him, some of which were named by Rebney in his above quote. With Spike TV having broadcast rights to the UFC’s library content through 2012, things will stay the same for the immediate future, but with the UFC’s move to Fox, and now Bellator owned by Viacom, a new battle could be on the horizon.