Bellator MMA Teams Up With CBS Sports Netwwork On TV Deal
Scott Coker and Bellator MMA executives announced a deal that will see the promotion shift to CBS Sports Network.
Bellator MMA, a leading mixed martial arts promotion owned by ViacomCBS, and CBS Sports Network have announced an exciting new partnership that will see the organization’s live events featured on the 24-hour home of CBS Sports beginning this fall.
CBS Sports Network will televise Bellator events, both domestic and international, LIVE in all U.S. markets, while preliminary matchups will stream on CBSSports.com and Bellator MMA’s YouTube channel. Additional details will be announced at a later date.
To kick off the new partnership, CBS Sports Network will air Bellator events live from Europe, including Bellator 247 on Thursday, Oct. 1 (4 p.m. ET) in Milan, Italy, as well as the monumental Bellator Paris event on Saturday, Oct. 10 (11:30 a.m. ET) in France.
Bellator 247 is headlined by a welterweight battle between veteran Paul Daley (42-17-2) and Derek Anderson (16-3, 1 NC), while Bellator Paris sees “MVP” Michael Page (17-1) take on Ross Houston (8-0, 1 NC) at welterweight and Cheick Kongo (30-10-2, 1 NC) face Tim Johnson (14-6) in a heavyweight bout.
The first primetime event live from the U.S. takes place Thursday, Oct. 15 (9 p.m. ET) with a massive card anchored by the first world title defense of current champion Cris “Cyborg” (22-2, 1 NC), who takes on Australia’s Arlene Blencowe (13-7), at Bellator 249 from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
“We’re excited to have CBS Sports Network serve as the new home of live Bellator MMA events. It’s a great opportunity to showcase some of the best events and biggest names in the sport,” said CBS Sports Executive Vice President of Programming Dan Weinberg. “Adding Bellator MMA to the CBS Sports portfolio will allow for greater promotion, engagement and exposure across all our platforms and assets including CBS Sports Network, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports HQ as well as our various social accounts.”
“I am thrilled that Bellator live events will be coming to CBS Sports Network beginning on Oct. 1, as well as the unique opportunities the partnership creates across all CBS Sports platforms,” said Bellator President Scott Coker. “CBS Sports is synonymous with iconic sports broadcasting and it is incredible to now have Bellator MMA included in that family. I would like to thank Paramount Network, formerly Spike TV, for the years of support that helped build Bellator into the organization that it is today, and this news marks yet another exciting relationship between two ViacomCBS properties. I look forward to bringing the biggest fights, featuring the top athletes in the world, live to CBS Sports Network and introducing Bellator to an entirely new audience this fall.”
CBS Sports Network, the 24-hour home of CBS Sports, is available through all major cable, satellite and telco distributors as well as via OTT streaming service providers YouTube TV, fuboTV, DirecTV and Hulu.
Bellator will continue to produce all of its own live events, led by Executive Producer Scott Fishman.
The second Bellator woman’s featherweight champion in the company’s history, Cris “Cyborg” is coming off of a dominant performance over Julia Budd in January to win the 145-pound world title. Already an MMA legend at 35-years-old, “Cyborg” will be looking to further her legacy as the greatest woman’s mixed martial artist of all-time when she meets Arlene Blencowe on Oct. 15. After winning the Bellator belt in her 12th career title fight, “Cyborg” made history by becoming a world champion in her fourth major promotion, previously holding belts in both the UFC and Strikeforce. With a professional record of 22-2, 1 NC, including 18 wins by way of finish, the Brazilian-born fighter holds victories over tough competition such as Budd, Holly Holm, Felicia Spencer and Gina Carano.
With wins in six of her last seven fights, including five knockouts, “Angerfist” has put herself in position to challenge for the women’s featherweight title. Coming off a unanimous decision victory over Leslie Smith, the former two-time boxing world champion will look to keep her momentum rolling and claim her first MMA title. Tied for the most knockouts in Bellator woman’s featherweight history, the fighter out of New South Wales, Australia aims to claim sole possession of that record, as she takes on her toughest challenge to date in Cris “Cyborg.”
A longtime MMA veteran, Paul Daley has competed professionally since 2003, amassing over 60 career fights. Throughout his tenure, “Semtex” has been one half of some of the most memorable bouts in MMA history, including a knockout of the year over Brennan Ward in 2017. Most recently, the Nottingham, England native notched consecutive wins over Erick Silva and Saad Awad, running his record in Bellator MMA to 8-4. Fighting out of San Diego, Calif., the 30-year-old Derek Anderson will be making his 11th appearance for Bellator MMA in search of his third consecutive victory. With 11 of his 16 career wins coming by way of finish, “The Barbaric” hopes to earn his eighth promotional victory and first of his 2020 campaign.
Currently riding a three-fight win streak, Michael “Venom” Page, better known to fans as “MVP,” returns with the intention of spoiling the debut of European welterweight prospect, Ross Houston. Holding a career record of 17-1, with 14 wins coming by way of stoppage, the pride of London Shootfighters looks to remind people why he is one of the most exciting strikers in all of MMA. After signing with Bellator in February, Scotland’s Houston will make his promotional debut against one of Bellator’s biggest stars in Page. “The Hitman” plans on keeping his 8-0, 1 NC undefeated record intact and improve on the three submission victories already to his name by using his known Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills.
Holding an impressive MMA record of 30-10-2, 1 NC, France’s Cheick Kongo returns to action following a title fight against heavyweight champion Ryan Bader last September. The former kickboxer remains unbeaten since 2015 and will enter the Bellator cage on home soil for a rematch against a familiar opponent in heavyweight contender in Tim Johnson. Coming off a dominant TKO victory over veteran Matt Mitrione at Bellator 243 in August, Johnson is set to compete for the third time in 2020 seeking revenge in a rematch from 2018 against Kongo. Now training out of Las Vegas, Johnson has quickly earned his place near the top of the Bellator heavyweight division with his recent wins, including a viral knockout over top prospect Tyrell Fortune in February.