DAZN follows Matchroom deal with Bellator partnership

DAZN, the live and on-demand streaming service owned by digital sports media specialist Perform, has bolstered its combat sports content by agreeing a multi-year rights deal with US mixed martial arts promotion Bellator.

The two parties said the global deal is worth a nine-figure sum and will see 22 Bellator fights streamed live and on demand every year on DAZN. 

All the fights will be available in every country where DAZN operates, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Canada and, from this summer, the US and Italy.

“The exciting new partnership with DAZN is a game-changer for Bellator,” said Bellator president Scott Coker. “The investment will enable us to continue expanding our roster with free agents that make sense, so we can put on PPV-worthy fight cards that fans want to see. Plus, on DAZN’s worldwide platform, our fights will be seen live for the first time to new audiences around the globe.”

The global agreement with Bellator follows Perform and Matchroom Boxing’s $1bn (€840m) joint venture to create Matchroom Boxing USA. Under the deal announced last month, DAZN will be the exclusive broadcast partner for the JV, screening over 30 fight nights a year.

DAZN chief executive James Rushton said: “Our multi-year streaming partnership with Bellator is a significant step in the development of DAZN and our fight sports offering.”

The deal begins with an event on September 29 at SAP Center in San Jose. This will include the opening fight of Bellator’s first-ever Welterweight World Grand Prix, which will feature eight of the best welterweight fighters on the planet. The Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix will be a major component of the first year of the agreement between Bellator and DAZN.