Bellator Fighting Championships' move from MTV2 to the higher-profile Spike TV is a foregone conclusion. The only question is if it's next year or the year after.
Viacom, which owns both MTV2 and Spike TV, certainly could facilitate a move.
"Everyone wants Bellator to come to Spike TV," one source in the company said. "We're all in this together ... But it all comes down to the UFC library."
While Spike TV no longer will air live UFC events after this year, its existing contract allows it to air the UFC library in 2012. However, as long as Spike TV has the rights to the content, it can't air programming from other organizations until 2013.
However, the UFC could purchase and reclaim the library if it can reach a deal with Spike TV.
"I don't think FOX truly understands what having the library means," one Viacom source said. "That means we could put (old seasons of) 'TUF' against (new seasons of) 'TUF.' We could be airing fights, replays of fights, all kinds of stuff when they're airing live fights."
So is eliminating the threat of counter-programming worth a scenario in which Bellator could move to the higher-profile Spike TV in 2012?
"That's the billion-dollar question," the source said. "And it's answered by people richer than you and I."
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As you can see from the video, Spike and Bellator continue to grow their partnership as Spike continues to slowly integrate the Bellator brand on to the network. This is a great promotional video, and was done in a manner where it is Spike TV ready, as you can see with the placement of the Spike brand on the bottom left.
These videos by Bellator are great promotional tools that do a great job of introducing their fighters to new audiences by telling individual stories from their fighters. In this case, the goal is to convert as many viewers of Spike/Spike.com as possible to tune in and watch Bellator when they slide in and take over the UFC slot, as most assume is a foregone conclusion at this point.
If that wasn’t enough of an indicator, Spike and Bellator announced the streaming of Bellator prelims on Spike.com yesterday. There was also been cross-promotional efforts between MTV 2 and Spike in recent months and that will continue this week as Bellator’s LW champion Eddie Alvarez is booked to appear on Spike’s TNA’s Impact this week, pushing the opening of the new Bellator season. It is said that Spike TV executives were with Alvarez the entire time according to F4WOnline.com. “It should be noted Joe Warren was on TNA in the past, the Bellator was plugging TNA even on MTV 2, virtually every week last season”.
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