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Report: NBC Sports looked to make deal to air Bellator prelim cards

It looks like the question of who the number 2 promotion in MMA is has been answered and unfortunately for WSOF the answer comes from their own broadcast partners.

If the WSOF was wondering who the no. 2 promotion in MMA was, it appears they got their answer. It's not them. Jason Floyd, of The MMA Report, reports that sources close to the situation are saying that NBC Sports approached Bellator with an offer to air Bellator prelim cards on their network. The two sides were apparently unable to come to an agreement, as Bleacher Report's Jeremy Botter has confirmed, but it's somewhat shocking news considering that the network has been leaving WSOF prelims to stream over the internet. That they would pay Bellator for the rights to content which, by almost any measure, is not terribly higher in quality means that they were pretty much looking for brand recognition. If I'm Ali Abdel-Aziz, that news has to sting.

From the MMA Report story:

Sources have told that NBC Sports Network recently reached out to Bellator MMA about broadcasting their preliminary cards for the upcoming tenth season and beyond. In previous Bellator MMA seasons, the preliminary cards have been streamed online at

The NBCSN ended up offering a multi-year deal to Bellator MMA that would pay the California based mixed martial arts organization a rights fee in the millions for the ability to broadcast the Bellator MMA preliminary cards.

However, the two sides were unable to come to an agreement. With the two sides being unable to make a deal, the Bellator MMA preliminary cards will continue to be streamed live on for the upcoming tenth season, which will begin on February 28th.

Floyd also offered a lot of insight into the World Series of Fighting's current contract with NBC Sports and how that contract has changed a bit over the past year. Check out the full article here.

It will be interesting to see if the relationship between the WSOF and their broadcast partner becomes a bit strained if they continue to pursue other MMA organizations for exposure on their network. In the meantime it's back to business as usual. But, with WSOF ratings in a sharp decline, perhaps business as usual won't be good enough for long.

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