Bellator CEO Rebney featured on WSJ.com
March 2, 2011
Last week Bellator CEO, Bjorn Rebney was featured in an interview on WSJ.com about building the Bellator brand. He talked about the substantial growth of MMA and the past and future of Bellator.
Bellator will make its debut on MTV2 this Saturday night, March 5th at 9PM ET.
Via Bellator press release:
Bellator Fighting Championships’ highly anticipated fourth season will premiere this Saturday, March 5, live on MTV2 beginning at 9pm ET/PT from the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, Calif. Bellator 35 will feature the quarterfinal pairings in the Season 4 Welterweight Tournament, including: Rick Hawn vs. Jim Wallhead, Jay Hieron vs. Anthony Lapsley, Chris Lozano vs. Lyman Good and Brent Weedman vs. Dan Hornbuckle. A Spanish-language telecast will air on MTV Tr3s on Sunday, March 6, at 8pm ET/PT. MTV2’s live event telecasts will feature returning duo Sean Wheelock as the play-by-play announcer and Jimmy Smith as the analyst and the Tr3s: MTV, Música y Más telecast will include George X and Manny Rodriguez as the on-air announce team.
“We’re thrilled to have both our English and Spanish language broadcast teams back in place for the coming years,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “With their wealth of experience, knowledge of the game and excitement for MMA – I truly believe that we have the best broadcast team in the sport”
Sean Wheelock has called Bellator fights since Season 2 and is familiar to MMA fans around the globe thanks to his experience as the play-by-play announcer for PRIDE, Affliction and M-1 Global events. Wheelock has also been a columnist for the websites of Fox Sports, the BBC and Major League Soccer, along with being the co-founder and a principal of Eudora Productions, LLC, which focuses on soccer and MMA remote productions and live broadcasts.
Also returning for his third Bellator season is Jimmy Smith, the color commentator. Smith is a professional MMA fighter with a record of 5-1 (4 Submissions) and notable victories over UFC veteran James Wilks and Jason Chambers. As a broadcaster, he has teamed with Wheelock to provide color commentary for M1-Global and was the host of the Discovery Channel’s very popular “Fight Quest.”
Good PR for Bellator in leading up to its debut on MTV2. Rebney does a good job in addressing the difference between Bellator and UFC by selling the fact that it is tournament-based and that the fighters take the decision-making out of the hands of matchmakers. Perhaps this makes a difference to fans that are sick of the matchmaking in the UFC. It was interesting to note that he states Bellator is at a break even point and he expects a profit within 9 months. Not sure if this was to be taken as a subtle jab, but he also says that he was glad to be aligned “with the group that owns and controls Spike (TV)”.