Bellator MMA took another huge hit today, as just 24 hrs after cancelling their next three events, it looks like they will be losing out on fights fees payments from on of their distributors. According to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal , one of the top sports streaming platfors, DAZN, will be withholding rights fees to its partners during this period of inactivity. “DAZN has told leagues that payments for future seasons have to be deferred until leagues can get specific about when seasons will start.”
DAZN will also be laying off an unspecified number of employees. DAZN is famously in debt after dishing out tons of money to the likes of Bellator, Canelo Alvarez, and Major League Baseball. If anyone is wondering why Dana White is fighting so hard to get UFC 249 on the air, this is probably the main reason. ESPN would likely withhold rights fees to any of their partners as well.
This is pure speculation, but this could be a major blow to Bellator, who is largely being kept a float by this deal. The Viacom owned company has seen their ratings on Paramount plummet in recent years. They are so bad in fact that little Combate Americas routinely beats them. While I doubt this would be the deathnail, one has to wonder just what CBS/Viacom CEOs think about Bellators place in the construct of the company.