Despite a series of denials, it appears Bellator and Spike TV were working on a partnership all along. Announced Tuesday morning, the UFC's original broadcast network has struck a deal with the rising promotion to stream live preliminary fights on Spike.com throughout Bellator's upcoming 12-week fifth season. That begins Saturday, September 10th. The move marks the first time Spike has streamed live mixed martial arts content on their website.
"Fight fans have been coming to our site for years for great mixed martial arts clips and information," said Erik Flannigan, Executive Vice President of MTV Networks Digital Entertainment. "Now we are thrilled to provide them with action-packed live fighting each week."
"We are thrilled to join forces with Spike.com," said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. "The Spike brand is synonymous with mixed martial arts worldwide and is another member of the MTV family, who does an incredible job in resonating with the hard-to-reach 18-to-34-year-old male audience."
The stream is slated for two hours each week from 7:00 p.m. ET/PT - 9:00 p.m. ET/PT, leading into MTV2's broadcasted main card starting at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. First the first time ever, all Bellator main cards will also be simulcast in high definition on EPIX.
Bellator's fifth season kicks off September 10th at Caesars Atlantic City in New Jersey. The debut event is headlined by a quartet of quarterfinal fights linked to the promotion's welterweight tournament.