Bellator MMA Promises ‘Consistent and Regular’ Pay-Per-View Schedule Moving Forward

By Tristen Critchfield Mar 28, 2017
Bellator MMA will venture into the pay-per-view realm for the second time ever on June 24, but expect the California-based promotion to further establish itself on the platform once owned by the UFC in the coming months.

While Bellator NYC “Sonnen vs. Silva” isn’t the beginning of a monthly pay-per-view itinerary for the company, there are already plans in place to hold similar events down the road.

“This is a new line of business for us. This is the first of many that we’re going to be doing,” said Spike Senior Vice President of Sports & Specials Jon Slusser at a press conference in New York on Tuesday. [Bellator President Scott Coker] did not put together a single card and hope that it works or see if it works. This is a new revenue stream for us and will allow us in time to continue to build up Bellator and put on these amazing fights.

“I don’t know if we’re talking about the schedule yet, but there will be consistent and regular pay-per views moving forward as we enter this new line of business.”

Bellator NYC “Silva vs. Sonnen” will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York and is headlined by a light heavyweight showdown between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva. The blockbuster card also includes a heavyweight tilt pitting Fedor Emelianenko against Matt Mitrione as well as a welterweight title clash between Douglas Lima and Lorenz Larkin and a lightweight championship bout between Michael Chandler and Brent Primus. Coker also confirmed that a fifth contest will eventually be added to the pay-per-view main card.

According to Coker, only cards of similar magnitude will warrant the pay-per-view label in the future. That is a different model than the one used by the UFC, which hold pay-per-view events every month -- with very few exceptions.

“We’re not going to do monthly pay-per-views just to do pay per views,” he said. “We’re gonna build up fights more like the boxing model. When the time is right, we’ll do the big, big fight. So when we can put the big, big event together, like the one we have on June 24, then we’ll do it as a pay-per-view.”

Before Coker took the helm as promotion boss, Bellator held its first pay-per-view event in May 2014 under the guidance of then CEO Bjorn Rebney. Bellator 120, which saw Quinton Jackson take a controversial unanimous verdict over Muhammed Lawal in the evening’s headliner, reportedly drew more than 100,000 pay-per-view buys. Those figures came despite the card losing its original lightweight championship main event between Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez.

Prior to that, Bellator was planning its initial pay-per-view foray in November 2013 with a card headlined by a matchup between Quinton Jackson and Tito Ortiz. However, Ortiz suffered a neck injury in training and the bout was scrapped. As a result, the Bellator 106 event was moved to Spike TV.


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