Bellator’s first pay-per-view event will happen sooner rather than later if Eddie Alvarez returns to the promotion’s fold.
“If we can figure that out, I think we’d be on a fast track to being able to put [a pay-per-view card] in motion,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney on Tuesday told MMAjunkie.com.
Now, Alvarez will ultimately decide whether to return to Bellator or fight further to free himself. Rebney remains optimistic he’ll do the former. The promoter wants to see Chandler vs. Alvarez II.
“It’s the best fight I’ve ever seen live, pay-per-view or free,” Rebney said. “I think the rematch of that fight would be epic.”
Rebney's words only further the debate regarding the PPV issue in the ongoing dispute between Eddie Alvarez and Bellator in my opinion. It's becoming more and more clear that the promise of matching the UFC's offer of dollars per PPV buys is based off of the idea that Bellator could put on a PPV if need be and not like the UFC, which offers multiple PPV's monthly without fail.
Wiith that said, I think that Bellator will eventually move to PPV and do quite well. The deeper the relationship with Spike goes, the better the result will be. I just don't think it's feasible within the next few months if the Alvarez mess gets squared away.
According to Alvarez in a Monday interview on The MMA Hour, Bellator didn’t match the deal. Speaking metaphorically to avoid exact contract language, he likened the UFC’s deal to “fine dining” and Bellator’s to “McDonald’s,” saying all dinners are not created equal.
Rebney vehemently disagrees. In fact, he told MMA Fighting in a Monday interview, Bellator’s matching offer was literally a mirror image of the contract the UFC offered Alvarez.
“I will tell you point blank, no questions asked, we matched it dollar for dollar, term for term and section for section,” he said. “To avoid any kind of ambiguity, let me make clear, we took the UFC contract, we took it out of the PDF format, we changed the name ‘UFC’ to ‘Bellator’ and we signed it. We didn’t alter a word, we didn’t alter a phrase, we didn’t alter a section, we didn’t alter a dollar figure.”
The article goes on to say that the dispute lies in the UFC's offer of a share of pay-per-view revenue, which Bellator obviously could not match since they only air shows on cable television. Rebney claims that the UFC's PPV offer point is only a "projection", since there is no guarantee that Alvarez would co-headline a PPV event, and that Bellator could conceivably make a move to PPV with "the right fight".
So basically if this makes it to court, it's going to be a judge's take on what would constitute a direct match in this case. In reality, a judge unfamiliar with the sport and its inner workings could easily make an uneducated judgement. It'll be interesting to see what happens.