In case you didn't know, the UFC recently signed a deal with FOX to broadcast its programming across its network of channels, from the main station to FX and on down to Fuel.
That means a gaping hole is left at Spike TV.
Rumors quickly emerged that it was only a matter of time before Bellator, widely regarded as the number three mixed martial arts promotion in the land with a ton of upside and potential for growth, would emerge to fill that void.
Those rumors have so far been refuted and denied at each turn but recent signs and comments made by company CEO Bjorn Rebney suggest otherwise.
Among those in attendance last night (Aug. 20) at Bellator 48 in Uncasville, Connecticut, were executives from Spike TV, who were reportedly assisting with production duties.
This led to an even bigger surge of speculation across social media networks that a deal to move Bellator from MTV2 over to Spike TV is imminent. Rebney only stoked the fires when he admitted the following (via Sherdog):
"They've been at all of our shows. They're part of the MTV networks family. Our deal is with MTV Networks, it's not a deal that we did with MTV 2, or a deal that we did with MTV Tres. So we've been able to leverage that expertise. I mean, I don't know. I know what the specifics are of our agreement with MTV2, but from a transitional perspective, our deal is with the bigger corporate entity and they make all of the programming decisions. [I'm a] big fan of Spike and an enormous fan right now of MTV2 as well."
If one plus one still equals two, it most certainly sounds like Bellator on Spike TV is nearly a reality.
When looking at the current climate in MMA, it makes the most sense for both parties involved. After all, Spike TV reaches almost 20 million more homes than MTV2 and if Bellator wants to be considered a serious player in the game, a deal with Spike, which has shown a willingness to offer unprecedented support, is paramount.
Of course, until a deal is done and the decision has ultimately been made, it's in Rebney's best interests to continue to push the status quo. Can't blame him for making prudent business decisions.
What do you think of the potential of this deal, Maniacs? Are you more or less likely to watch Bellator if it makes the move to Spike TV?