Bellator Fighting Championships will broadcast its second and third seasons on FOX Sports Net, NBC and Telemundo through a unique and landscape-altering alliance. Bellatorâ€™s first-of-its-kind, tournament-based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion will be available nationwide for 24 weeks in 2010 to 112 million homes through NBC, 82 million homes through FOX Sports Net (FSN) and its regional sports network affiliates, as well as to 62 million homes through Telemundo.
The historic agreement, which was announced today by Bellator CEO/Founder Bjorn Rebney and executives from FOX Sports Net and NBC, is among the largest in MMA history and promises to introduce Bellator, and the fastest-growing sport in the U.S., to millions of new fans.
â€œSince our launch earlier this year, there has been an overwhelming demand from MMA fans nationwide for us to broadcast our events live and through a widely available platform,â€ Rebney said. â€œWe are thrilled to have signed this groundbreaking agreement with FOX Sports Net, NBC and Telemundo, which will bring our unique and exciting brand of tournament-based MMA events to a dramatically expanded audience of both English- and Spanish-speaking fans.â€
Under this new multi-tiered alliance, Bellator events will be distributed live in primetime on Thursday nights beginning April 8, 2010 on FSN and its regional sports network affiliates. The top moments from each weekâ€™s live events will then be condensed into an action-packed 30-minute highlight show, broadcast every successive Saturday night in the all night daypart on NBC, and a one-hour highlight show will air in Spanish on Telemundo every Saturday night from midnight to 1 a.m. Each of the three broadcasts will be aired in high definition.
â€œWeâ€™re thrilled to bring Bellatorâ€™s brand of MMA to our viewers. We believe the quality of the events and the passion of these fighters will resonate with our audience,â€ said David Sussin, Vice President of Programming, FOX Sports Net.
â€œMixed martial arts has established its position by becoming one of the fastest-growing sports. Bellator and its real sport tournament format has proven it can deliver some of the finest and most intense action on broadcast television,â€ said Jerry Petry, Executive Vice President, NBC Universal Television.
Bellator Season 2 premieres Thursday, April 8, 2010, and runs for 12 successive weeks. Season 3 kicks off Thursday, August 12, 2010, and also runs for 12 successive weeks. Each season follows Bellatorâ€™s electrifying tournament format, where fighters in each of Bellatorâ€™s weight divisions determine their own destiny to become Champion or No. 1 Challenger. Event venues, sponsors, featured fighters and other details on Seasons 2 and 3 will be announced over the coming months.
Bellator first burst onto the MMA scene in April 2009 and with its groundbreaking single-elimination tournament format quickly established itself as one of the sportâ€™s most exciting promotions, crowning champions in four weight divisions.
From day one, Bellator developed a tremendous following among Spanish-speaking MMA fansâ€”a following that stands to grow dramatically through Bellatorâ€™s new alliance with Telemundo, the second-largest Spanish-language network in the U.S.
Bellator (Latin for â€œwarriorâ€) is the only nationally televised professional MMA promotion in the United States that gives fighters the ability to control their own destiny. At Bellator, in each weight class, top fighters from around the world compete to determine who is crowned Champion and who becomes No. 1 Challenger. Bellator, where fighters become warriors and warriors become legends. Network negotiations were coordinated by Carr-Hughes Productions, KC Productions of Saratoga Springs, NY and Alpaytac Marketing Communications/Public Relations of Chicago, IL .