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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
"From the very start I've been clear that Bellator's partnership on the TV distribution front is with MTV Networks, the larger corporate entity that controls MTV, MTV2, VH1, Comedy Central and Spike amongst a collection of others. We've been very fortunate to have a great alliance with MTV2 that's been growing in terms of numbers, growing in terms of ratings, growing in terms of audience share, and expanding the demographic that watches mixed martial arts. That's been a great relationship. That's who our partnership has been with. That's our broadcast partner and we're going to kick off season number five on September 10th and go every week for three months. You'll be able to see Bellator on MTV2 as part of that alliance we have with MTV Networks.
A lot of people are asking [what it means that Spike executives have been seen at Bellator shows]. They've seen different individuals from Spike at our events. That's the magic of having a relationship with MTV Networks. You're able to leverage the expertise and the vision and the experience of the team at Spike that's really responsible for bringing mixed martial arts to the general market. We have this incredible, incredible group of people that we're able to talk to and get their thoughts on everything from inside the truck production elements, to the feature pieces we do on fighters, to our graphics packages, to everything you could possibly conceive of going on in a televised mixed martial arts event. There could not be a better group of people to give suggestions and thoughts. They're as good as it gets."
Penick's Analysis: Rebney is very good at giving these types of answers in a completely open and non-committal fashion. There's no denial of the possibility that Bellator moves to Spike with the UFC moving to Fox and FX, and in fact he makes it clear that MTV2 isn't necessarily a permanent home for them as an organization. When there's nothing he can definitively say, he knows just how to present his answers so that there are plenty of interpretations and no official statement on it at all. That's part of what makes Rebney a charismatic and entertaining interview, and the entire interview with Snowden is worth a read. As for the Spike TV situation, I think there's a very real possibility that Bellator will be moved over to Spike next year, and that move would do a lot to preserve Bellator for even longer and give them a bigger, more successful platform to present their fighters. They won't pull UFC numbers on Spike, but they can certainly bring a much larger audience than they have on MTV2.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
STAFF COLUMNISTS: Shawn Ennis - Jason Amadi
Frank Hyden - Rich Hansen
Chris Park - Matt Pelkey
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