Bellator Fighting Championships officials are expected to announce a multi-year broadcast deal with FOX Entertainment Group, sources today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
As part of the deal, future Bellator events are expected to air live on the FX cable station with tape-delayed broadcasts on sister stations FOX Sports Net and Fuel TV.
While many fans complained that the previous deal with FSN was bad, the truth is that it was a very impressive deal for a promotion most people had never heard of and that had no major mainstream stars. There were obviously problems for the hardcore MMA fans that wanted to see events live but were facing delays due to regional programming. But it was unrealistic to think that there was some magic deal that got the promotion in the same number of households with the added bonus of multiple replays throughout the week.
Now they've gone to FX to ensure that they'll be on live every week but still retain the "replay factor" on FSN and Fuel.
Each TV deal for Bellator has gotten better and better as they started tape delayed on ESPN Deportes, went to a better deal to be shown live in markets that didn't have competing regional programming in the timeslot to now fully live on a cable network.
Despite some of the potential legal problems facing some BFC executives, it doesn't seem like the promotion is going anywhere in the short term.