Bellator Fighting Championships is coming to Spike TV in 2013, as Viacom has bought a majority stake in the company. Currently, Bellator is seen on MTV2, which is also owned by Viacom.
Spike TV recently lost the broadcasting rights to the UFC, which signed a new seven-year deal with FOX Networks. Spike TV still owns the rights to the UFC library through next year, meaning they can show any past event or show, but cannot broadcast another MMA promotion until the contract runs out in 2012.
“It puts all of those cornerstones of ownership in place for us,” said Bjorn Rebney, Bellator’s CEO, in a recent interview with USA Today. “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.”
Bellator will continue being shown on MTV2 for the time being, but preliminary fights have already started appearing on Spike TV’s website.
“It’s a very, very good day for mixed martial arts as a whole,” said Rebney, who will remain in charge of Bellator. “Because now you have two groups in the space that have a very substantial presence that obviously isn’t going to go anywhere for a very, very long time.”