Bellator MMA announced an exclusive partnership with premium cable network Showtime.
From Friday, April 2 with Bellator 255, the both pairs will collaborate in long term deal, the promoter announced. The show is headlined by a featherweight title fight between Patricio Freire and Emmanuel Sanchez in Grand Prix semifinal.
“We’ve been interested in MMA for quite a while,” said Stephen Espinoza, Showtime Sports president.
“We have a long history with MMA that goes back for 15 years to the dates of Elite XC and Strikeforce. We built some big names and stars: (Daniel) Cormier, (Luke) Rockhold, (Roda) Rousey, (Gilbert) Melendez and on and on. And of course, we’re the first to bring MMA to a national televised network and of course that was CBS way back in 2008. The time just felt right to combine forces Bellator has matured and elevated itself at a point where it now belongs in premium television network.”
The standard Showtime subscription cost is $10.99 a month.
The company is offering a free 30-day trial followed by a six-month period at $4.99 a month, for the new fans.
Bellator president Scott Coker had business with Showtime in the past. Prior to working with Bellator, Coker-led Strikeforce, which aired on the network from 2009 until 2013.
“This is really a full circle opportunity,” Coker said.
“When I look at the past, like Stephen said, with Strikeforce we created so many great champions, we created so many great fighters that really have led the way for the history books and the legends of mixed martial arts fighters moving into the future.”
“But what I’m really excited about now is over the last five years we have really put together the pieces and this is the best roster in the history of Bellator. So I’m really excited, I’m really excited to put it on Showtime, we have some exciting things to announce. It’s going to be amazing.”