One of the unanswered questions following the Bellator-Viacom announcement earlier this week was what Bellator plans to do with their tournament format when they land on Spike TV in 2013. Will they stick with it? Or take on a more traditional matchmaking philosophy like the UFC and Strikeforce has?
Well, that question has been answered. In an interview with Mauro Ranallo, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said they’re not only sticking with the tournament format they’ve used since inception, they’re hoping to up the ante and put even more tournaments on. Furthermore, they plan to have a full schedule of shoulder programming and a reality show of some sort to complement their live events. Transcription via Fight Opinion:
“(We’ll have) two full seasons plus a Summer series and then it will be complement with the Best Of’s and the highlight shows and the behind-the-scenes and the features and conceivably even some form of reality programming that comes behind the brand. Doing a live event literally every week for 12 weeks is a very tough road to hoe and we’ll do it and we’re going to continue to do it and follow the format that we’ve followed. But there will be alterations and changes to that. We’re going to look to try to add more tournaments to each season so that we can get more title defenses in for our champions more frequently. We’re going to continue to adjust and tweak. And you just got keep tweaking it, you got to keep turning the dial a little bit here and a little bit there and making those adjustments to be able to create the best programming and the best events you possibly can.”
With the exception of the tournament format, it sounds like Viacom and Spike TV are going to follow the same formula they used to help build the UFC. Whether that formula will work with a different organization remains to be seen, but come 2013, there’s going to be so much MMA programming on television, it’s going to be a full time job just for fans to keep up with it all.
Image via Dave Mandel for Sherdog