Bellator to adopt pay-per-view model for Canadian viewers starting with Bellator 296

By Zain Bando - May 11, 2023

Bellator will begin a new era of its broadcasting history Friday, as the promotion announced a new change for Canadian MMA viewers.

Scott Coker, Bellator

According to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, Bellator events will move from exclusive broadcasts on YouTube to a semi-traditional pay-per-view model, beginning with Bellator 296 in Paris, France.

The main event features a critical middleweight bout between the division’s top two competitors, as Gegard Mousasi will look to remain in title contention against Fabian Edwards, the brother of UFC welterweight title holder Leon Edwards.

The card begins at a special afternoon time stateside to accommodate the international primetime audience, as the first prelim goes off at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT with the main card following shortly thereafter.

As for viewers in the U.S., its broadcast deal remains unchanged with Showtime as the distributor, but for Canadians who were used to watching every event on the promotion’s YouTube channel for free, that is no longer the case.

The new changes will require fans to pay for a so-called “pass,” which will allow subscribers to watch Bellator content (live events and replays) for seven days for $19.50 CAD.

Danny Sabatello, Bellator

Image Credit: Bellator

This isn’t the first time Bellator has gone in different directions with its broadcast partners. Over the course of the last decade, the promotion has found itself appearing on MTV, Paramount Network (formally Spike TV), CBS Sports Network, DAZN and Showtime. It has also been featured exclusively on pay-per-view in the past, though those events were few and far between what is seen today.

Like the PFL and UFC, Bellator now joins the ranks as another pay model-based promotion, as Canadian consumers will now have decisions to make as to whether or not it is worth investing in a monthly subscription to watch live events.

Nonetheless, this adjustment will be one to pay attention to as months and weeks progress.

What are your thoughts on Bellator’s new broadcast arrangements? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, Penn Nation!


Bellator Scott Coker