Bellator MMA keeps making broadcast moves, securing its televised future for audiences in the U.K. and Ireland by signing a deal with Sky Sports to air its events in 2019.
According to their official press release on Friday, Bellator announced that they have made a major TV deal where their events will air live in the U.K. and Ireland in 2019. The arrangement includes at least 20 Bellator events held both in the United States and worldwide, and beginning with Bellator 216 headlined by the welterweight grand prix grudge match between Michael "Venom" Page and Paul Daley on Feb. 16 in Connecticut. The card will air live at 3 a.m. GMT for audiences who wish to stay up and watch the event in its entirety. In addition to Bellator 216, the promotion also announced that Sky Sports will be carrying Bellator 217 on Feb. 23 as well, with many more events to come.
Earlier this week, Bellator announced that their European Series would be airing in the U.K. through Channel 5, securing the remaining events for fans in the area. That deal will begin this Saturday with Bellator “Newcastle,” which will be headlined by Patricky Freire and Ryan Scope in a lightweight battle.
Bellator President Scott Coker was elated with the development, stating, "This is a groundbreaking partnership for MMA in the U.K. and Ireland, and we are thrilled to finally bring LIVE Bellator events to our passionate fanbase there." Prior to this agreement, fans in the U.K. and Ireland were forced to watch Bellator events on tape delay, and this will alleviate that issue.
Coker continued, "We have worked diligently to find the right network in the U.K. and Sky Sports will undoubtedly deliver for our viewers. I'm excited that our fans overseas will now be able to be part of our events that take place around the globe and witness some of the best athletes in the sport today."