Randy Couture signs deal with Spike TV, will star in Bellator reality TV show

January 29, 2013

MMA Fighting reports that UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture has signed on with Spike TV to star in the Bellator reality show. Spike TV sent out a media alert this morning announcing a press conference set for next week to make the official announcement.

SI.com’s Loretta Hunt reported that Couture has signed a multi-year contract to appear in multiple projects.  The article states that there is a possibility that there is the possibility that Couture may appear in other ventures on Viacom’s family of networks.   The first project is a yet to be revealed reality show on Spike TV which MMA Fighting reports will differ from the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter.

Payout Perspective:

2013 is looking up for Bellator as its had a great first month. The launch of Bellator on Spike TV has gone well, it had Eddie Alvarez’s request for a preliminary injunction denied and now it has signed Randy Couture.  The signing of Couture provides the company with credibility as its a solid name that most MMA fans will recognize.  Undoubtedly, Bellator will tout him as an “MMA Hall of Famer.”  Having Couture as an anchor for its reality show and other projects provides those projects with an instant boost.  We will see if Bellator attempts to sign more UFC vets for its projects.  For Couture, the move to Bellator may be risky (as he’s burned a bridge with Dana White who was not pleased with the move), but it gives him more opportunity to venture into more projects while still being involved in MMA.

14 Responses to “Randy Couture signs deal with Spike TV, will star in Bellator reality TV show”

  1. Machiel Van on January 29th, 2013 3:08 PM

    He actually signed a multi-year deal with Spike TV, not Bellator directly. While they’re both Viacom properties, and the impetus behind the deal is to get him involved with projects relating to Bellator, it’s still an important distinction to make.

  2. Weezy02 on January 29th, 2013 4:41 PM

    Good for Randy. He’s a good commentator and offers a lot of valuable insights.

  3. Brain Smasher on January 29th, 2013 4:55 PM

    The UFC should have signed him and all their other legends to contracts like i said before and used them as all time coaches on TUF. Couture, Tito, Chuck, and other legends to keep them involved with the company and capitolize on their name the UFC built and to keep them from using that name to help their rivals. This is what happens when you create big names and leave them on the open market. Now Bellator is going to pick up names thats are linked to the UFC and use them to get their name out there.

  4. Chris on January 30th, 2013 7:14 AM

    I dont think that matters BS because its not like they are fighting for them, how many people are really gonna tune into a Bellator show because Randy or Tito or Shamrock are coaching?

    Yes its a way for Bellator to tie their brand into the UFC’s but if they arent fighting for the org I dont think its gonna help that much.

  5. Diego on January 30th, 2013 10:54 AM

    Any idea of the compensation Randy will be receiving? While I see BS’s point about signing their big names in perpetuity, it could get very expensive very quickly. I hope Randy is getting paid well. Rampage is probably keeping an eye on the proceedings.

  6. Diego on January 30th, 2013 10:55 AM

    Chris is also right that if the big names aren’t actually fighting, then it has limited appeal. I don’t think anyone watches HBO Boxing After Dark just because Roy Jones Jr. is commentating.

  7. Diego on January 30th, 2013 10:57 AM

    Bottom line, this reflect the investment that Viacom/Spike is making into MMA. It means more money in the sport, which hopefully trickles down to fighters past and present. As I’ve stated on this site in the past, I think that’s a good thing.

  8. BrainSmasher on January 30th, 2013 11:55 AM

    It gives BFC recognizable face they will get attention. And keep people when they come across the show. The UFC draws people with names of the coaches who are not fighting. Some end up fighting months down the road but not always. It is very effective to have a guy like Randy telling everyone how good one of their reality star fighters are.

    I think this is money better spent than trying to gets a big name fighter from the UFC like Rampage. UFC has a match clause. They also make a lot more money off a guy like Rampage. If Bellator ever beats the UFC for a guy then they just pissed the money away because no fighter has the same value to them as the UFC until Bellator gets their fan base up. The best value on money is to work on ways to grow the brand through other means like the reality show. Buying a fighter when no one is watching is a waste.

  9. BrainSmasher on January 30th, 2013 12:09 PM

    I never understand why people think more money for the fighters is better for the sport. How many times do we need to see major sports leagues be locked out or go on strike? Not have a product for extended periods of time. The strike almost killed baseball in the 90’s. In fact it was the steroid era that saved it ironically. Just in the last 5 years we have lost part of entire seasons in NHL, NBA, and the NFL because they money the players get. In fact fighter pay is what killed Affliction and Pride Fighting.

  10. BrainSmasher on January 30th, 2013 12:37 PM

    Diego

    It could get expensive. But look at it this way. They are already signing guys like Hughes a d Chuck to work in the front office. It would be that much to get all the lengends to sign on to be ambassadors of the sport, work in the office, and do other appearances for them at events and tv shows and coaching spots. Couture used to be a part of the UFC office before he held out. So I believe it would be overly expensive to bring on the few guys they don’t already have signed and use them for multiple tasks. Nothing hurts the UFC brand more IMO than seeing it’s legends fighting and working in rival or smaller promotions.

  11. Caidel on January 30th, 2013 11:52 PM

    BrainSmasher: Yeah, Affliction died by fighter pay. PRIDE not so much. Bigger factor was yakuza ties and fact, that they lost a TV deal and cannot get another because of it. EliteXC died mostly because of overhead costs.

    BTW: Two weeks ago, Rebney mentioned, that Bellator doesn’t really want Rampage. Star which will lost in the tournament (for sure) with lofty price tag isn’t a good investment. Maybe if they could forge some MMA/profi-wrestling deal with him, but even then…

  12. Diego on January 31st, 2013 6:57 AM

    Too much money didn’t force those lockouts. Too little money did. No one goes on strike because they are getting paid too much. When Randy sat out for a year with cotract disputes, that was because of too little, not too much money. More money brings more talent.

  13. BrainSmasher on January 31st, 2013 9:02 AM

    Ciadel

    Yes Pride lost their tv deal. But that alone wasn’t the problem. They ran more events after that. The problem was all the inflated contracts of their fighters. Even selling 40,000 seat arenas couldn’t cover the cost of the fighters to even by them time to get another tv deal or try to grow in the US. They were paying 5-10 times market value for fighters.

  14. BrainSmasher on January 31st, 2013 9:54 AM

    Diego

    Lockouts happen when the players get paid to much and the owners lock them out. That was what the recent NFL lockout was about. Owners felt the percent of revenue that went to the players was to high making it hard to run some teams profitably. So they locked them out. 2 months of last NBA season was lost when the owners locked the players out. They wanted player share o revenue to drop from 57% to 47%. they settled at 49-51%. NHL just finished a lockout. You can argue strikes are due to not enough money by players but not lockouts. Even strikes is just the players trying to get too much money. Either way athletes pay tears the sport apart. The sport and the fans suffer each time so they get a little more on top an already enormous sum of money. It is silly when fans encourage it at the detriment of their own benefit.

    Couture held out not because of to little money. But because no money is never enough. So what did the fans get from it? One less name fighter in the mix, no title fight, and interim belt. If the UFC didn’t wear him out in the legal process. It would have been higher costs to us fans or watered down cards to accommodate the large percent of an events budget going to one fighter.

    Check out UFC 68. I was there live and it was had Couture, Sylvia, Hughes, Franklin all headlining. Because salaries that card would never happen today certainly not outside Vegas in Ohio like that card. All four of those guys would get a PPV cut and the event would be a massive financial failure. The card also had Babalu, Kampman, Fitch, and Lytle. Now cards are filled with new cheap guys from the minor leagues to fit the budget.

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