Bellator 256 was a heck of a card, and if you were in Canada, you were able to watch the entire event online. For free.
No Showtime subscription, no DAZN membership. That’s because Bellator has yet to secure, or at least announce, any sort of Canadian broadcast deal in the territory.
Previously, Bellator MMA events aired on Paramount Network in Canada. When the promotion briefly switched to CBS Sports Network last year, Canadian fans were stuck: across the entire nation, all of three providers carried the cable channel.
Then Bellator announced that starting with Bellator 255, which kicked off its 2021 year, their new home would be Showtime. That left Canadian fans in limbo: Showtime doesn’t exist in Canada. Its content is split between online service Crave, and TSN, which airs Showtime boxing. In Canada, TSN also carries the UFC and PFL.
To remedy this, both Bellator 255 and Bellator 256 aired free, in their entirety, on Youtube for Canadian viewers. And according to Scott Coker, they can expect more of the same to come.
“Right now, the distribution is on Showtime’s Youtube channel, and same with the Bellator Youtube channel for Canada,” Coker stated during Friday’s post-fight press conference, addressing the Canada question. “We are making some moves up there. And it’s probably going to be another two or three months, but we’ll have a broadcast partner soon. In the meantime, we’ve opened the market and the territory, we haven’t geo-blocked Canada, so all the Canadian fans can watch Bellator for free up there.”
That’s good news for fight fans in the Great White North.
In other news coming out of Bellator 256, it appears Scott Coker agrees with Cat Zingano’s suggestion that she fight the winner of Cyborg vs. Smith.
“Yeah absolutely. You know her history and her record. I think that she’s ready and she’s got to do it now,” Coker stated. Zingano earned a first-round submission over Olivia Parker on Friday night’s main card. “Why not do it? With this victory, I think she’s got two in a row. Let’s see what happens with the Cyborg fight, and then she could fight Cyborg at the end of the year.”
Watch the full Bellator 256 post-fight press scrum with Scott Coker above.