Bellator MMA Joins Lineup of Combat Competitions on SHOWTIME Sports
Bellator MMA and SHOWTIME Sports have teamed up to bring live mixed martial arts events back to the premium television service for years to come. Bellator MMA and SHOWTIME Sports, both owned by entertainment giant ViacomCBS, will air live events exclusively on SHOWTIME on Friday nights and will launch with three consecutive weeks of action-packed fights beginning Friday, April 2, live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, and continuing on Friday, April 9 and Friday, April 16. The upcoming live events will emanate from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., where Bellator MMA and SHOWTIME Sports have held more than 20 live combat sports events since July 2020.
The three-week launch is comprised of highly anticipated matchups including the launch of the Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix tournament, featuring eight of the top stars from the deepest 205-pound division in the sport. Following the initial run of three live events, SHOWTIME will televise up to two live Bellator MMA events per month for the remainder of the year. All Bellator MMA events, domestically and internationally, will be available on SHOWTIME in the United States. Preliminary undercard matchups will stream live on Bellator MMA’s YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Sports’ YouTube channel.
“Everyone in this industry knows the history that I have with SHOWTIME. We have done things together that have shaped the sport of mixed martial arts that you see today,” says Bellator MMA President Scott Coker. “But what’s really exciting about this news is that everything we have already accomplished is just the beginning. Today marks a new era for Bellator MMA. With our new teammates at SHOWTIME, we are going to take this brand to a new level, and you are going to see us build upon the foundation set throughout my time with Bellator.”
Bellator MMA has positioned itself as a leader in the industry with the strongest roster of fighters in its history, which has been built through top free-agent signings and the development of elite young prospects. The union with SHOWTIME Sports will take both established brands to the next level, as the premium network doubles its live combat sports offering for subscribers, while giving Bellator’s premier athletes an opportunity to showcase their top-notch talent to a new audience on a new platform.
“SHOWTIME is the preeminent home of premier combat sports in America,” says Stephen Espinoza, President, SHOWTIME Sports and Event Programming. “Today’s announcement not only unites two industry-leading brands, but it unites two teams of experienced event promoters and television producers with a common goal, to deliver the very best live combat sports experience in-arena and on television. We are excited to build on what Bellator MMA has created and to amplify the momentum they’ve gained over the last several years.”