The mystery network that Bellator’s Bjorn Rebney has been teasing a new deal with is a mystery no more.
MMA Junkie is reporting that FX, former home of the great television show of all time, The Shield, will air live Bellator events in 2011. Additionally, Bellator will remain on FSN with what will likely be tape-delayed “highlight” shows. Fuel TV will run the highlight shows as well.
Bellator Fighting Championships officials are expected to announce a multi-year broadcast deal with FOX Entertainment Group, sources today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
As part of the deal, future Bellator events are expected to air live on the FX cable station with tape-delayed broadcasts on sister stations FOX Sports Net and Fuel TV.
Sources said the deal is in the process of being finalized and soon could be announced.
“We’re super excited about our next evolution on TV,” Rebney said. “We’re always trying to produce the most exciting and captivating MMA for our fans. Our next step is a significant move in that direction. But at this time, I can’t elaborate on what those alliances would be.”
Word is Bellator will keep their Thursday night timeslots on FX. The report didn’t specify when the deal would begin, but considering Rebney was talking about a new deal for season four, I can only presume it will kick off sometime early next year.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway here is that Bellator isn’t on the verge of collapsing as previously rumored. I don’t know what their overall health is, but I’d say this is a pretty good indication that they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.