Business Speculation

Anthem Should Buy Bellator

Anthem would be wise to buy Bellator to boost content for AXS TV. With Bellator being phased out of Paramount TV and the risk of losing their lucrative DAZN deal.. Now wouked be the perfect time for Anthem to buy.

Paring Bellator with Impact would help both brands. It would make AXS TV stronger and increase the portfolio of Anthem as a whole. The move would give Anthem more content for Impact Plus and possibly standalone PPVs. It is also possible Anthem could save the DAZN deal or work with a third party. AXS TV could sell ads for Bellator and Impact Wrestling as a group.

There are rumors that DAZN will not renew their deal with Bellator when their current contract expires. Paramount TV( formly Spike) has begun phasing out MMA and sports in recenf years. The current plan is to move Ballator programming to CBS Sports Network. Which has lower exposure ( source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter).

Bellator began as a small MMA promotion that aired programming on MTV2. After UFC left Spike, Viacom bought Bellator and brought it pver the Spike TV Cable Network. Often times Impact was used to push the product. Later a deal with DAZN to air events on it’s streaming service helped make the MMA company profitable.

Impact Wrestling once had a long term run on Spike TV. Airing in Primetime for several years before Spike opted not to continue airing the series. The series has jumped around from Destination America, PopTV, and Pursuit TV. Before ending up on AXS TV. The companyhas been on a creative upswing for the past few years.

Anthem bought a majority interest in AXS TV. Which was bought by Anthem in a deal that included Steve Harvey, AEG, and Mark Cuban remaining a minority holder . They cut AXS traditional MMA programming from Llegacy Fighting and ultimately ended their deal to air New Japan Pro Wrestling. Impact was immediately brought over to AXS and has become their number 1 show since . Bellator would get AXS TV back into the MMA business and likely be another strong first run program for them.

AXS TV was originally founded by Mark Cuban to be the home of HD programming and had a large focus on MMA in the beginning. ROH even had a short run on the station. Later he brought in Ryan Seacreast and other partners…leading to the station becoming AXS TV. MMA remained a huge part of the station until the Anthem purchase. For a time AXS had success with New Japan Wrestling, which also ended after the sale to Anthem.

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