Bellator MMA fans in the UK and Ireland will now get the opportunity to watch all the promotion’s cards live because Bellator has inked a deal with Sky Sports. Everything will kick off with Bellator 216, which is going to be headlined by Paul Daley and Michael “Venom” Page.
The following press release was issued by Bellator MMA on the landmark broadcasting arrangement:
BELLATOR MMA ANNOUNCES MAJOR BROADCAST DEAL WITH SKY SPORTS TO SHOW US AND INTERNATIONAL EVENTS LIVE IN THE UK AND IRELAND
London, UK - Bellator MMA and Sky Sports have today announced a major TV deal that will see the broadcast giant become the home of US and international Bellator MMA events in the UK and Ireland in 2019.
Under the partnership, Sky Sports will broadcast a minimum of 20 US and international Bellator events live to a UK and Ireland audience, starting with the highly anticipated Bellator 216: MVP vs. Daley, which takes place on Saturday, February 16, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Sky Sports will be the only place in the UK and Ireland to watch the event, with the live broadcast airing in the early hours of Sunday morning at 3 a.m. GMT.
In the main event, two giants of British MMA, Michael "Venom" Page, also known to fans as "MVP," and Paul Daley, collide in what is being billed as the biggest bout in UK MMA history.
The partnership will also see Sky Sports broadcast Bellator 217: Gallagher vs. Graham live from the 3Arena on Saturday, February 23 at 9 p.m. GMT. UK and Irish fans will witness Ireland's own James Gallagher take on Steven Graham in Gallagher's hometown of Dublin, with a host of international and homegrown talent joining them on the card.
The deal will see the US and international events, plus the Dublin card, air exclusively live on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Main Event, bringing Bellator's world class roster of athletes and action-packed fight cards to British and Irish households.
The news follows the announcement earlier this week that free-to-air Channel 5 will televise a minimum of six UK and European Bellator events, in what has been a ground-breaking few days for British and Irish MMA fans.
Georgie Faulkner, Head of Multi-Sports at Sky Sports, said: "We are delighted to be able to partner with Bellator to give our customers the chance to see some of the best, high octane fighters in the world via their MMA 2019 tour. "
Scott Coker, Bellator President, said: "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. 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."
David Green, Head of Bellator Europe, said: "This is a landmark moment and we are extremely excited to be working with Sky Sports to continue introducing the sport, and it's incredibly skilled athletes, to new audiences."
For further information visit Bellator.com
Bellator is a leading global mixed martial arts and kickboxing organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator events take place in major cities worldwide and can be seen on television in over 160 countries to an available audience of over one billion people. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on both Paramount Network and DAZN, the world's first truly dedicated LIVE sports streaming service. Bellator is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Hollywood, Calif. and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world's premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.