If you thought Bellator 180 event was going to be the final pay-per-view appearance for Bellator MMA, guess again.
At a Tuesday press conference in New York City promoting the June 24 event, both Bellator CEO Scott Coker and Spike TV president for sports and specials Jon Slusser indicated pay-per-view events will be an intrinsic part of the Viacom-owned company’s future plans.
“This is a new line of business for us, this is the first of many that we will be doing,” Slusser said. “Scott did not put together a single card and hopes that it works or see if it works. This is a new revenue stream for us and it will allow us in time to continue to build up Bellator.”
Under Coker’s watch, Bellator moved away from the previous regime’s schedule of weekly fight events and built more toward semi-annual major basic cable events. The June 24 MSG card will be the first PPV event under Coker and the second in the company’s history.
And while the company has no plans as of now to mimic the UFC’s approach of monthly pay-per-view card, Coker said to expect more PPV events when big fights present themselves.
“We’re not going to do monthly pay-per-view just to do pay-per-views,” Coker said. “We’re going to build up to big fights more like the boxing model, and when the time is right, we’ll do the big, big fights. So when we put the big events together, like we have on June 24, then we’ll do it on a PPV event.”
Four fights have been announced for the Bellator 180, which is headlined by Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva. Coker indicated a fifth and final bout for the PPV portion of the event should be announced within the next week.