Bellator Fighting Championship has played coy in regards to switching from MTV2 to Spike TV.
But, according to an industry executive, Bellator will eventually end up on Spike TV to replace the departing UFC, which signed a television deal with FOX.
“It’s going to happen. It’s not ‘if’ but ‘when.’ Throw ‘if’ out the window,” the source told MMAjunkie.com. “The only question is if it’s next year or the year after.”
MTV2 and Spike TV are owned by the same company, Viacom, so a switch probably wouldn’t be much of a hassle.
Spike TV reaches 100 million homes, 20 million more than MTV2.
“Everyone wants Bellator to come to Spike TV,” a Bellator source said. “We’re all in this together. But it all comes down to the UFC library. That’s it.”
That could be the holding point, as Spike owns the rights to show past UFC events through 2012 as long as they do not show other programming – including live events – from any other organization. That clause runs out in 2013.
The UFC could always buy back the library rights, or even FOX could decide to do that to keep Spike from airing any counter-programming.