Bellator’s broadcast footprint in the U.K. just got bigger.
The promotion announced on Friday that they had struck an “exciting new partnership” with BBC Sport that will open up the brand to even more people in the U.K.
Under their previous deal, all Bellator events were streamed live on BBC’s live and on-demand streaming platform, BBC iPlayer.
But the promotion’s new deal will give their European shows even greater exposure on that side of the pond.
The new deal will see all Bellator events held outside of the United States broadcast live on the BBC’s new linear TV channel, BBC Three.
All U.S.-based shows will continue to be shown by the BBC on their iPlayer streaming platform.
The new deal kicks off with a triple-header of European events, with the promotion heading to Dublin and Paris, before rounding out their European run with a marquee event in London. All three fight cards will feature world title fights in their respective main events.
The middleweight title will be on the line in Dublin on Friday, February 25 as defending champion Gegard Mousasi takes on undefeated contender Austin Vanderford, while France’s Cheick Kongo will challenge Ryan Bader for the heavyweight title in Paris on Friday, May 6.
All eyes will then turn to the SSE Arena in Wembley, London as England’s Michael “Venom” Page challenges undefeated welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov for the Bellator 170-pound title on Friday, May 13 as he looks to become the second British fighter (after Liam McGeary) to win Bellator championship gold.
“We’re thrilled to be renewing our relationship with the BBC and to be on BBC Three,” said head of Bellator Europe David Green.
“We’ve enjoyed an incredibly successful first year partnered with the broadcaster and we’re looking forward to reaching millions more UK homes as part of an exciting new channel.
“We’ve worked incredibly hard to bring live action from this amazing sport to as many people in the UK as possible, and this is yet another landmark step on that journey.”
Bellator president Scot Coker was equally excited by the new deal, saying, “I’m so excited by the continued growth of MMA in the UK and delighted that we’ll continue to enjoy the support of the BBC by bringing our events live to existing British fans and new audiences in 2022.”