Despite Spike TV senior vice president of sports and special Brian Diamond attending Bellator 48 Saturday night, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney says there is no truth to the rumor of his company moving to Spike TV in the future.
“They’ve been at all of our shows,” Rebney said. “They’re party of the MTV networks family. Our deal is with MTV Networks, it’s not a deal that we did with MTV2, or a deal that we did with MTV Tres. So we’ve been able to leverage that expertise.”
Diamond declined comment, saying only that he was “working.”
Rebney continued, saying representatives have assisted in tightening the production elements of Bellator’s television show. Viacom owns both Spike TV and MTV2, allowing for sharing of company talent.
Rebney said, “That’s a good question,” when asked if Bellator would have to work out a new deal to move from MTV2 to Spike TV.
“I mean, I don’t know,” Rebney said. “I know what the specifics are of our agreement with MTV2, but from a transitional perspective, our deal is with the bigger corporate entity and they make all of the programming decisions. (I’m a) big fan of Spike and an enormous fan right now of MTV2 as well.”
Rebney said the decision to sign with MTV2 over FX was done in part because of MTV’s connections with Viacom.
“When you look at any kind of potential alliance with a large corporate entity and you’re making that move, you’re always thinking in the back of your mind, ‘Where could this end up, or where could it push? What could they decide from a programming perspective to do?’ We were all kind of aware of the fact that the UFC had a home with Spike and potentially might move to Comcast, might buy G4, might end up with ESPN, might end up with FOX,” Rebney said. “So there’s a lot of things in the back of your mind.”
Bellator 49 is set to take place on September 10 from Atlantic City and feature the opening round of the welterweight tournament.