PFL finalizing deal to purchase Bellator

Bellator, one of the leading MMA promotions in the world, may soon have new ownership. Currently owned by Paramount Global, which was formed after the merger between Viacom and CBS in December 2019, the promotion is aired on the Showtime cable channel.

According to MMA journalist Jed I. Goodman, Paramount Global is looking for potential buyers for the promotion, and discussions regarding the sale may have become more serious.

Since moving from SpikeTV/Paramount to CBS Sports and then to Showtime, Bellator has experienced a significant decline in viewership. This may be attributed to the fact that Showtime is an exclusive and premium cable channel compared to Paramount, which is part of basic cable packages across the United States.

The rise of competing MMA organizations like the PFL, ONE Championship, and Bare Knuckle FC has only made things more complicated for Scott Coker’s organization. With Bellator struggling for viewership, the Showtime paywall has certainly not helped matters.

Now there are first reports that PFL is actually one of the interested parties. Todd Atkins reports:

“All right. So I’m going to do a little breaking news here. I’m going to go out on a limb. So if this doesn’t happen, you can arrest me. But I’m here, and I’m pretty good authority that PFL is on the verge of buying ballots. Or right now, they’re just finishing up the line item, so to speak, and then it will be announced.”

“Not sure exactly what the timeline is, but Scott Coker is going to stay on through the transition and the actual timeline of when PFL would absorb the name has not been determined either, because my understanding is that Bellator is going to expand into Europe in 2024 and then at some point after that then PFL kind of absorbed Bellator.”

“… I’m hearing that this is basically close to a done deal and that PFL is going to be the one to buy Bellator. So some breaking news for it. And let’s see if I’m right.”