Bellator’s current television deal with the Paramount Network is coming to an end next month and they are now set to move on to the CBS Sports Network.
“Bellator’s final show on Paramount Network will be on Sept. 12, sources say,” ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported. “That’s the card headlined by Archuleta x Mix.
“They will then move over to CBS Sports Network. Debut date for CBSN is TBD. Prelims + main card there. Bellator first aired on Spike/Paramount in Jan. ’13.
“Future could lead to big CBS/Showtime events but that’s not planned yet.
“All sources I’ve talked to expressed excitement over the move. Feeling was Paramount was not a great fit. They’d prefer to be on a sports channel and will get promoted more there.
My 2 cents: I agree.”
Despite a number of high-profile signings in recent years, Bellator’s ratings have been on the decline on Paramount for a long time, with their most watched event of the year so far being Bellator 243: Chandler vs Henderson II, which only drew 403,000 viewers.
By way of contrast, the original meeting between Chandler and Henderson back in late 2016 drew 597,000 viewers despite going head-to-head with the UFC that night, while in early 2017 there was a period where the promotion was averaging close to one million viewers per show under the Spike TV banner.
The Paramount switch didn’t work out for Bellator though and so they’ll be hoping that a move to CBS Sports Network can breathe new life into their ratings.