Bellator execs address Channel 5 ‘hiccup’ that saw Peppa Pig overtake Bellator 206

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Bellator fans in the U.K. were thrilled by the news that Saturday’s Bellator 206 event would air live on Channel 5 for the first time. Unfortunately, those same fans were then unable to view the main event.

The Bellator 206 broadcast was taken off-air on Channel 5 just before the main event bout between Gegard Mousasi (45-6-2 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) and Rory MacDonald (20-5 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) took place. It was replaced by the children’s show “Peppa Pig,” which unsurprisingly frustrated fans attempting to watch the historic champion-vs.-champion fight, which Mousasi won by second-round TKO to defend his middleweight strap.

Bellator officials were aware of the issue and said it was caused by a mix of an overrun on the broadcast and a time restriction on when MMA content can run.

“Government regulations said at 6 a.m., that content was not suitable,” Bellator Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications David Schwartz told reporters, including MMAjunkie, at the Bellator 206 post-fight news conference. “They had to switch to children’s programming. Peppa the pig.”

Bellator President Scott Coker said he didn’t expect such an issue to arise but promised it would not happen again in the future.

“That’s a hiccup, and we will definitely fix that moving forward,” Coker said. “Honestly, we thought that we would be way off the air by the three-hour mark, and that just didn’t happen. We ran over and Peppa the pig took over, and that’s what happened.”

Coker said Bellator is still working with Channel 5 to attempt to find a way to make things up to the U.K. fanbase. He claims there are ongoing discussions about airing a replay of the broadcast in the near future.

“When I think about the replay, I think we can work it out,” Coker said. “When it’s 6 o’clock on a Sunday there, and we probably won’t be able to work this out until Sunday our time, Monday their time. But we’re working on it. Believe me, when it switched over, there was a lot of texts going back and forth, and they were not friendly. We were trying to fix it. We thought it was technical glitch, but it wasn’t. It was a government issue.

“I can promise next time it’s not going to happen. We’ll keep it down to five fights instead of six like we normally do. We tried to over-deliver for the fans, and it’s just an unfortunate situation.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 206, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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