Bellator has landed a deal with Sky Sports that will finally see the promotion’s U.S. events, as well as a Dublin and London event, broadcast live across Ireland and the U.K.
Sky Sports announced the event via press release on its website Friday morning.
The news came on the back of Bellator president Scott Coker insisting that the highly anticipated meeting of U.K. welterweights Paul Daley and Michael Page would be available in the region at Wednesday’s London press conference. The Bellator 216 meeting between the Brits will be the first event broadcast on Sky.
At the same press conference, the promotion announced a deal with U.K. broadcaster Channel 5 for their European series that kicks off tomorrow with Bellator Newcastle.
In the Sky Sports release, Coker referred to the deal as “groundbreaking”.
“This is a groundbreaking partnership for MMA in the UK and we are thrilled to finally bring LIVE Bellator events to our passionate fan-base there. We have worked diligently to find the right network in the UK and Sky Sports will undoubtedly deliver for our viewers. I’m excited that our fans overseas will now be able to be part of our events that take place around the globe and witness some of the best athletes in the sport today.”
A press release that followed the initial report states that over 20 live events will be featured on the new platform. So far, Sky Sports has confirmed that the following events will be broadcast on the platform:
- Bellator 216: MVP vs. Daley – Saturday Feb. 16, 2019 – Mohegan Sun Casino – Uncasville, CT, USA
- Bellator 217: Gallagher vs. Graham – Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 – 3Arena – Dublin
- Bellator 218: Sanchez vs. Grimshaw – Friday, March 22 – WinStar World Casino & Resort – Thackerville, OK, USA
- Bellator 219: Koreshkov vs. Larkin – Friday, March 29 – Pechanga Resort Casino – Temecula, CA, USA
- Bellator 220: MacDonald vs. Fitch – Saturday, April 27 – SAP Center – San Jose, CA, USA
Until now, media and fans have been highly critical of Bellator’s events being unavailable to consume in the U.K. and Ireland. The promotion famously had it’s Bellator 206 main event between Gegard Mousasi and Rory MacDonald cut short at 6 a.m. in the U.K. and Ireland only to be switched over to an episode of children’s program Peppa Pig.