Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) recently announced that they have acquired the rights from Electus International to air the popular mixed martial arts franchise, Bellator MMA, in a multi-market pan-Asia deal starting January 2018. Owned and operated by Viacom, Bellator MMA is available to nearly 1 billion people in over 160 countries featuring many of the world’s best and most recognizable combat sports stars.
With MMA’s growing popularity in the region, Paramount Channel will be the exclusive new home to Bellator starting January 2018. Subscribers spanning Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan to the Pacific Islands can soon enjoy exclusive linear broadcast transmission of Bellator’s world championship events from venues around the world. There is also the potential of further collaboration with Bellator to stage fight events in Asia in future.
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“The introduction of Bellator MMA on Paramount Channel is significant as we are amplifying Paramount’s focus on distinctive high-quality programming, offering viewers exclusive fight sports entertainment in addition to movies of various genres. More importantly, with the flourishing MMA scene and appetite for fight content in Southeast Asia, this addition can’t be more timely as we bring the pure adrenaline of Bellator to many MMA fans in the region,” said Paras Sharma, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Southeast Asia.
The first fight card of 2018 season, Bellator 192: Lima vs MacDonald from The Forum in Los Angeles, features an action-packed lineup showcasing the biggest names in the sport. The highly anticipated event includes a world welterweight title bout between Rory MacDonald and Douglas Lima and the first round of the Heavyweight Grand Prix between two MMA icons, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Chael Sonnen. Along with major LIVE events, Bellator fans can also look forward to “best-of” specials highlighting the most exciting scenes and iconic moments from the Bellator franchise to date. To cater to MMA fans around the region, MTV Asia will also carry selected Bellator content during Paramount-branded blocks while Paramount Channel rolls out further in Southeast Asia.
In 2018, Bellator MMA will present 24 live, exclusive, prime time combat sports events from venues in the US and across the globe. Sixteen of the fights will be in the US, and eight will be international, with more events to be scheduled.
The inclusion of Bellator makes Paramount Channel a premium entertainment destination not only offering great movies from Paramount studios, but fight sports entertainment in its programming lineup. From iconic box-office hits to heart-pumping tournaments, Paramount Channel integrates creative curation and thematic programming to provide a unique and entertaining viewing experience for audiences of all ages.