Bellator MMA Sets Broadcast Debut on CBS
Bellator MMA will soon be broadcast on television.
The global mixed martial art organization has teamed up with CBS to broadcast its upcoming title fight between Ryan Bader, heavyweight world champion, and Fedor Emelianenko, MMA legend, in a rematch from their 2019 match. The event will air Saturday, February 4, at 6 p.m. PST on CBS. Premium subscribers can stream it live on Paramount . Paramount Global owns Paramount , CBS, and Bellator.
Bellator 290 will also feature a title match between Yoel “Soldier of God”, a light heavyweight, and the winner of Friday’s Bellator 288 main-event between Vadim Nemkov (world champion) and Corey Anderson. The matches will be filmed live at the Kia Forum, Inglewood, California. Additional fights will be announced for the main and preliminary cards.
“We have been tirelessly working to grow this brand into a global powerhouse and a primetime slot at CBS has always been one our key objectives,” stated Scott Coker, Bellator president. “With a strong roster of some of the best fighters in the world, as well as elite up-and coming prospects, I’m excited to show this event on America’s most-watched TV network .”
The last live broadcast of any MMA event on CBS was in 2010, with Strikeforce (a global promotion founded and run by Coker). CBS aired five MMA events between 2008-2010 as departing entertainment president Kelly Kahl was a fan and helped bring the coverage to primetime audiences.
The news comes as sports rights remain in high demand among traditional broadcasters, cable networks and, more recently, streaming platforms. The live broadcast of sports and awards shows is something viewers should watch live. Live programming has gained in value over time, even in an age of fragmented viewing. Netflix recently announced that it would live stream Chris Rock’s stand-up special.