Bellator MMA is headed to broadcast tv.
The world blended martial arts group is teaming with CBS for a reside broadcast of its upcoming title battle between heavyweight world champion Ryan Bader and MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko in a rematch of their 2019 bout. The occasion will air on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 6 p.m. PT on CBS and stream reside on Paramount+ for premium subscribers. (Bellator, CBS and Paramount+ are all owned by Paramount Global.)
Bellator 290 will even characteristic a second title match between mild heavyweight Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero going up towards the winner of Friday’s Bellator 288 important occasion between world champion Vadim Nemkov and Corey Anderson. The matches might be filmed reside from the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California. Additional bouts for each the principle and preliminary battle playing cards might be introduced.
“We have been working tirelessly on growing this brand into the global powerhouse it is today and a primetime slot on CBS has always been one of our key objectives,” mentioned Bellator president Scott Coker. “With a healthy roster full of many of the world’s very best fighters, along with elite up-and-coming prospects and legends of the game, I’m very excited to showcase this event on the most-watched network in America.”
The final reside broadcast of any MMA match on CBS got here in 2010 with Strikeforce, a world promotion based by Coker. CBS aired 5 MMA occasions between 2008-2010 as departing leisure president Kelly Kahl was a fan and helped deliver the protection to primetime audiences.
The news comes as sports activities rights stay in excessive demand amongst conventional broadcasters, cable networks and, extra lately, streaming platforms. Live programming, like sports activities and awards exhibits, is taken into account programming that viewers should watch reside. In an period of fragmented viewing, reside programming has solely elevated worth over time. Case in level: Netflix lately entered the house with news that it might reside stream Chris Rock’s upcoming stand-up particular.