Viacom buys Bellator, plans 2013 start on Spike

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grappler0000
10/26/11 10:52:26AM
MTV Networks' Spike TV channel is getting out of the Ultimate Fighting Championship's business, but the broadcaster has increased its ties to mixed martial arts.

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.

"It puts all of those cornerstones of ownership in place for us," he said. "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."

Bellator is the No. 2 promotion in mixed martial arts behind market leader Zuffa, owner of UFC and Strikeforce...

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grappler0000
10/26/11 10:54:03AM
Sh*t just got real!
prophecy033
10/26/11 12:07:27PM

Posted by grappler0000

Sh*t just got real!

Yes it did
KungFuMaster
10/26/11 12:16:34PM
I think Bellator just eliminated the potential of a buy out from the ufc. This co-ownership gives Bellator sanctuary and stability. With Viacom being a share owner, you can rest assure the ufc will not be able to touch the company.

It is about time somebody step up and compete against the ufc. Strike Force was well on its way to contest the ufc but it lacked stability. Bellator's new partner, Viacom, has experience and power.

I say 5 years from now, Bellator is going to be huge.
FastKnockout
10/26/11 12:17:54PM
2013? Damn. I was hoping to see them on Spike sometime in 2012.
grappler0000
10/26/11 12:22:18PM

Posted by FastKnockout

2013? Damn. I was hoping to see them on Spike sometime in 2012.



Can't with their contract with the UFC. Spike can play past UFC content all year, but can't air a competitor until the year runs its course.
Chael_Sonnen
10/26/11 12:32:05PM
Makes sense with the Spike advertising inside the cage + the cool wrestling promos

Hulkmanina is gonna run wild on you brother!!!
gartface
10/26/11 2:56:06PM
This is awesome. Huge step for Bellator
Budgellism
10/26/11 3:34:31PM
Great news. This will give Bellator a big step forward.
Sir_Karl
10/26/11 5:45:29PM
I think in the very end Viacom will wish they hadn't done this. The UFC will always have the majority of the best fighters on the planet. Any competitors are ultimately doomed from the start. I think it is a long shot that there will ever be serious competition to the UFC. In fact I don't want there to be serious competition nor do I understand why anyone else would. Only in this sport do many of the fans want more than one "big league". Nobody wants 2 football, basketball, baseball or hockey leagues.
Bubbles
10/26/11 6:03:01PM

Posted by Sir_Karl

I think in the very end Viacom will wish they hadn't done this. The UFC will always have the majority of the best fighters on the planet. Any competitors are ultimately doomed from the start. I think it is a long shot that there will ever be serious competition to the UFC. In fact I don't want there to be serious competition nor do I understand why anyone else would. Only in this sport do many of the fans want more than one "big league". Nobody wants 2 football, basketball, baseball or hockey leagues.



baseball has a pretty good league over in Japan. hockey has good pro leagues in Sweden and Russia. football has a successful league in Canada.

aside that, all of those sports has developmental leagues where they can grow talent and send athletes back to work on things if its not working out (A/AA/AAA in MLB, AHL). Americans have NCAA football to watch (minor leagues in comparison to the NFL). the NBA recently started the D-league.

so in reality, we all have various "organizations" to get our fix. we all recognize and accept the one dominant league, but also can watch and follow the athletes in other leagues. why does MMA have to be different?
Poor_Franklin
10/26/11 6:55:58PM
consider this....Viacom will be able to make pretty substantial offers to free agents & then the ufc, to keep these fighters, will be forced to increase fighter pay. this & the fox deal could mean huge pay increases
bjj1605
10/26/11 8:14:41PM

Posted by Bubbles


Posted by Sir_Karl

I think in the very end Viacom will wish they hadn't done this. The UFC will always have the majority of the best fighters on the planet. Any competitors are ultimately doomed from the start. I think it is a long shot that there will ever be serious competition to the UFC. In fact I don't want there to be serious competition nor do I understand why anyone else would. Only in this sport do many of the fans want more than one "big league". Nobody wants 2 football, basketball, baseball or hockey leagues.



baseball has a pretty good league over in Japan. hockey has good pro leagues in Sweden and Russia. football has a successful league in Canada.

aside that, all of those sports has developmental leagues where they can grow talent and send athletes back to work on things if its not working out (A/AA/AAA in MLB, AHL). Americans have NCAA football to watch (minor leagues in comparison to the NFL). the NBA recently started the D-league.

so in reality, we all have various "organizations" to get our fix. we all recognize and accept the one dominant league, but also can watch and follow the athletes in other leagues. why does MMA have to be different?



Ya but those other leagues are either foreign, amateur, or not important.

The UFC isn't trying to run small shows out of business (KOTC) just its competitors.

In the end that is good for the sport and good for the fans. We should want all the best fighters in one place.
FlashyG
10/26/11 9:54:21PM

Posted by Bubbles

football has a successful league in Canada.



lol 2 of the 8 teams are owned by the same guy.

The team in the biggest city in the country draws about 8,000 people a game to a 50,000 seat stadium.

The best player's in the league routinely take practice rosters spots on any NFL roster if available because the pay is better.

The salary cap for entire teams is 4.5 million dollars, the average signing bonus for an NFL player is 1.3 million.

Don't get me wrong I love the CFL, but its a minor league that feeds its talent to the NFL.

As for Bellator, they can have all the money in the world to spend on fighters and it won't make a bit of difference as long as they keep their current format.

The only fighters it will attract are guys who are blacklisted by the UFC, or who have no interest in fighting for them. If you sign with Bellator you either come out of the org with less hype than you went in with (By losing in the tourney), or you win a tournament and you're stuck there until you lose.

I'm with SIr Karl, and bjj1605 there is no need for another major MMA org. Put all the best fighters under one banner with one set of titles and let the fighters unionize.

Lets not make the mistakes boxing did.

40ouncetpkid
10/26/11 10:01:28PM
Yeah we know with the ufc they have the best competition right now but mtv is watched by mad young people. Nobody said in 2013 they'd compete with the ufc level of competition but they certainly can grow their own talent and gives young up and coming fighters a different choice. Dream is sinking fast who's to say they won't bring in hellboy takayama or even aoki.
Poor_Franklin
10/27/11 6:02:58AM

Posted by FlashyG


lol 2 of the 8 teams are owned by the same guy.

The team in the biggest city in the country draws about 8,000 people a game to a 50,000 seat stadium.

The best player's in the league routinely take practice rosters spots on any NFL roster if available because the pay is better.

The salary cap for entire teams is 4.5 million dollars, the average signing bonus for an NFL player is 1.3 million.







i had no clue. makes sense. guess i just always assumed they got paid more in Canadian dollars so it all worked out
emfleek
10/27/11 9:29:24AM
The parent company of MTV? Ha. Does this mean that, in 5 years, Bellator events will televise nothing but interviews, promos and rankings...no fights?
BuffaloDave
10/27/11 11:36:10AM

Posted by emfleek

The parent company of MTV? Ha. Does this mean that, in 5 years, Bellator events will televise nothing but interviews, promos and rankings...no fights?



Don't forget reality shows too. Bellator Shore will be coming soon.
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