Spike Elects Not to Renew PBC Contract, Network Plans to Devote Focus to Bellator MMA

By Tristen Critchfield Apr 12, 2017
Spike’s relationship with Premier Boxing Champions has reached an end after two years.

Sherdog.com confirmed with Spike executive David Schwarz that the network has elected not to renew its contract with the Al Haymon-led promotion. ESPN.com first reported the news. However, Schwarz did not close the door on televising PBC fights in the future.

“We have a great relationship and running dialogue with Al and the PBC,” Schwarz told Sherdog.com in statement. “Our focus is on Bellator right now, but if the right fight arises -- we are all ears.”

PBC debuted on the cable network in 2015 and initially planned on holding 33 Spike-televised cards over the course of three years. The promotion ultimately held 17 boxing cards, including the last PBC on Spike offering in January. According to the ESPN report, the decision to devote more attention to Bellator was only part of the reason Spike decided not to re-up with PBC: The network was also not satisfied with the quality of fight cards provided by PBC.

However, Spike Sports later released a statement denying that the network was unhappy with the quality bouts provided by PBC.

“Spike and the PBC have enjoyed a very successful relationship with great fights featuring high production values. The network was very satisfied with the quality of fights that produced strong ratings and many memorable moments- any inference to the contrary is inaccurate," the statement read. "Now that our 2 year-deal is complete -- we are having ongoing discussions to potentially air future events that makes sense for both parties.”

Perhaps the biggest fight held by PBC on Spike saw Amir Khan defeat Chris Algieri via unanimous decision in a welterweight bout on May 30, 2015. The final PBC on Spike event pitted Erislandy Lara against Yuri Foreman, with Lara winning via fourth-round stoppage on Jan. 13.

Meanwhile, the Bellator MMA brand continues to grow. The California-based promotion scheduled three events in April and one in May, while its second ever pay-per-view card from Madison Square Garden in New York is set for June 24 . Additionally, Bellator has signed a number of high-profile free agents in recent months, such as Ryan Bader, Lorenz Larkin, Michael McDonald, Rory MacDonald, Benson Henderson and Fedor Emelianenko, to name a few.

Editor's Note: This item was updated at 9:30 p.m. ET to included a new statement from Spike Sports.

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