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Warner Bros. Discovery’s Streaming Service Max Acquires U.S. Rights to Bellator MMA

NOTE: This article is 4 months old and may not include the most recent information.

In a move that further expands its live sports offerings, Warner Bros. Discovery’s streaming service Max has acquired the U.S. rights to Bellator, a prominent mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. The deal comes after Paramount sold Bellator to the Saudi-backed Professional Fighters League (PFL) last year for an estimated $500 million.

Bellator’s first event under the new partnership is set to take place on March 22 in Belfast, with a total of eight events planned for 2024 in various cities, including Paris, Dublin, London, Chicago, and San Diego. In addition to streaming on Max, Bellator content will also be featured on TNT Sports’ new TruTV sports programming block.

Josh Walker, Chief Financial & Strategy Officer of Warner Bros. Discovery Streaming, expressed enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, “The addition of Bellator Champions Series offers our viewers an opportunity to experience highly anticipated mixed martial arts, nicely complementing our robust slate of can’t miss programming.”

PFL CEO Peter Murray also highlighted the significance of the deal, saying, “We’re excited for audiences to tune into Bellator’s new home on Max for eight Bellator Champions Series events in 2024 taking place in iconic cities around the globe, featuring world title fights and the biggest stars in combat sports.”

It is worth noting that while PFL has a separate multi-year rights deal with ESPN, the Bellator brand remains distinct from the PFL brand. The partnership between Max and Bellator reflects the growing demand for premium, year-round MMA content from major media platforms, as well as PFL’s ambition to bring the sport’s best to audiences worldwide.

Trevor Decker
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