After a tumultuous year of pre-emption and delayed broadcasts, Bellator Fighting Championships has found a new TV home for 2011. Starting next year the upstart fight promotion will showcase their fights on the FX network.
The deal was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the negotiations. MMAJunkie.com first reported the new deal.
Bellator was shown in the U.S. during 2010 on Fox Sports, which are locally subsidized stations, that would routinely pre-empt or postpone broadcasts in favor of sports teams or events from their local area. Several times Bellator shows were delayed until days after the live broadcast, which many fans expressed disappointment in when it came time to watch the fights.
This new deal will bring Bellator to the FX Network, with live broadcasts still set to take place on Thursday nights and live without any pre-emption taking place.
FX is available in approximately 95 million homes in the U.S. market and is home to several top cable shows including “Sons of Anarchy” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” The network is owned and operated by Fox Entertainment Group and runs many original programs as well as repeats of many Fox shows as well as movies.
More details about the Bellator deal will become available over the coming weeks, but their next season is expected to start in February 2011.