With Plainfield Asset Management a hedge fund which until yesterday owned a controlling interest in Bellator Sport Worldwide dissolving in June, the long term prospects for Bellator were far from secure until yesterday. As in a move which could have far reaching implications for the sport Viacom Inc has purchased a controlling interest in Bellator Fighting Championship.
The move which could affect everything from fighter negotiations to the rumoured anti-trust investigation into Zuffa gives Zuffa it's first long-term competitor since Pride. Viacom, the world's fourth largest media conglomerate has more than $9 billion in equity, making it the second richest company involved in MMA behind the Abu-Dhabi soverign wealth fund.
Bjorn Rebney will remain CEO of Bellator and had this to say on the deal:
"It puts all of those cornerstones of ownership in place for us," he said. "Which is something that's been so seriously lacking in the MMA space with so many different companies, including Strikeforce and the IFL and Affliction and all the different failures that have occurred. … It alleviates those issues."
Bellator will move from MTV 2 to Spike in 2013.