Stephen Espinoza Believes Bellator Programming Will Expand To All ViacomCBS Platforms


Bellator will make their debut on CBS Sports Network on October 1 and if Showtime Sports President Stephen Espinoza is to be believed, it is possible that Bellator could expand to all of the ViacomCBS platforms.

Espinoza does see a day when Bellator will expand to CBS, Showtime and other platforms run by ViacomCBS.

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“I think the expansion of Bellator programming across all ViacomCBS is very likely in the long run,” Espinoza said to MMA Fighting. “I think it applies to boxing as well. I think one of the most exciting aspects of the merger is having now a range of different outlets from CBS network to CBS Sports Network, across all the different Viacom outlets and then with streaming, with Paramount Plus, with Showtime on the premium and streaming side, there’s now an opportunity to really spread combat sports across a whole range of platforms both in range of the content itself and also in terms of the promotion. We’ve begun to see that a little bit with the Charlo pay-per-view, where we’ve gotten a lot of support across the board from Viacom networks. We’ve gotten some really high profile great support from CBS from the NFL games this past weekend, most notably during the Houston Texans game on CBS, which is great with the Charlo’s as their home market. I think we’re going to see more and more of that.”

Elite XC had previously aired on CBS and Showtime, while Strikeforce also aired on Showtime and CBS.

The Showtime Sports President also sees a time when Bellator and Showtime Boxing will run co-promoted events.

“I think it is very possible in the long run that we do totally promoted events, back-to-back events, even combined events as soon as it’s realistically possible,” Espinoza said. “Obviously, we’re going to respect all of Bellator’s current contractual obligations, including the DAZN deal. But it would be silly not to explore those possibilities that Scott and I have talked about both publicly and privately once we’re able to do so. Scott has already done that very effectively with the combined MMA and kickboxing shows. The structure would be pretty similar. The logistics of the cage would be pretty similar. As soon as we have the opportunity, I think you’ll see some of that either after the DAZN deal or in conjunction with the DAZN deal or wherever we can fit it into the business model. The company as a whole is committed to the growth of Bellator long term and if boxing can help contribute to that, then it’s all the better for everyone.”

Up next for Bellator is Bellator Europe 8, which takes place tomorrow night and streams live on Youtube.

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