Bellator executive details the “beginning of the end” of the promotion

By Cole Shelton - November 27, 2023

Bellator executive Mike Kogan detailed what started the end of the promotion.


It was announced last week that the PFL had bought Bellator as the promotion had been looking for a buyer for quite some time. After months of negotiation, a deal got done and according to Kogan, he says a lot of blame for Bellator’s downfall will be on Showtime.

“I don’t want to point the finger at Showtime and say specifically, everybody else was in line to fall over to promote us and then Showtime was keeping us down. I don’t think that’s a fair assessment. I think Showtime was a dead network when we got there. And three months later, the CEO of Viacom comes out and goes, yeah, this is a dead network, we’re going to shut it down. So I think by virtue of where we ended up, it was kind of like the beginning of the end,” Kogan said on The MMA Hour about Bellator.

“We went from Spike being in 93 million households, down to CBS Sports, which was still in 54 or 55 million households, to a paywall with 25 million subscribers. That’s kind of going backwards, so that definitely didn’t help,” Kogan continued about Bellator. “I think Showtime might have tried to do whatever they can do, but there’s only so much they can do when they’re sitting behind a paywall and their subscriptions were dwindling down. So I don’t know that it’s Showtime per se. I just think in a corporate structure that is so multifaceted and has so many shows and so much product, we just kind of got lost, and we were just being ping-ponged around.”

There’s no question that Bellator bouncing around different TV stations and then behind a paywall made it difficult for fans to know how to watch.

It’s also uncertain if Bellator had remained on Spike or CBS Sports if the promotion would have had a different outcome.