Bellator MMA continues to give UFC a run for its money, especially when it comes to ease of access. If you’re hoping to watch Bellator MMA without PPV or cable, you’ll have a much easier time than with UFC. This is because Bellator has a brand new contract with one major streaming service — DAZN — as well as a contract with Paramount Network. You can get access to both of these options for less than $20 per month.
Below, we’ll explore how you can easily access both DAZN and Paramount Network. Our top option for getting Bellator without cable is DAZN due to the larger number of fights that service will carry. However, Paramount Network is still an option to consider for MMA fans.
How to Cut Out Pay-Per-View and Cable for Bellator MMA
Let’s face it: both pay-per-view and cable are too expensive. And in many cases, you can only access PPV as an added expense to your cable TV subscription.
If you’re hoping to catch a large number of fighting sports throughout the year, the cost can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars over the course of the year, just for individual sporting events. Streaming services are much more affordable.
So, for fans of Bellator and many other fight sports, streaming services are the way to go. Services such as DAZN, Philo, Sling TV, and DirecTV Now offer Bellator MMA and more for a low monthly cost, especially compared to cable.
The best option, in fact, is DAZN. The sports-centered streaming service launched in the US in September 2018 with hours of content already on its platform and several contracts with fighting sports organizations, including Bellator and Matchroom Boxing.
Let’s look more closely at your best options for Bellator without cable, starting with our top pick, DAZN.
DAZN is a sports-only streaming service available in the US, Canada, Japan, and several other European countries. While the service offers a range of sports outside of the US, it is primarily a fighting sports streaming service Stateside. For US fans of Bellator, that’s great news, as DAZN has finally unlocked a massive amount of fighting sports that were traditionally locked behind expensive paywalls.
Price and channels
Although DAZN is a live TV streaming service, it’s best to think of it more like a Netflix for sports. You won’t find a host of different channels through DAZN as you might if you were using a service like Philo or Sling TV.
Instead, DAZN offers live and on-demand sporting events for a $9.99 monthly subscription fee. With that purchase price, you’ll get over 100 fight nights each year (a number that has been increasing since DAZN’s US launch day), and other on-demand and live fighting events.
There are enough fight nights and other live and on-demand events to keep you busy and entertained throughout the year.
Much of that content is coming through exclusive deals DAZN was able to secure before and after it launched in the US. At present, DAZN US has deals to offer every Bellator MMA fight for the next few years. The service also has exclusive content from the following organizations:
- Matchroom Boxing
- Golden Boy Productions (including exclusivity with Canelo Alvarez fights)
- Combate Américas
- World Boxing Super Series
DAZN also carries AFC Champions League, Canadian Championship, and J.League matches (soccer). Additionally, from what we could tell when testing the service for our DAZN US review, there are also live and on-demand cycling events as well as a number of other sporting events, including cricket and darts.
You’ll be able to sign up for DAZN with a 30-day free trial. That means you can easily create an account and cancel your subscription after enjoying Bellator MMA without having to pay a dime. That said, at under $10 per month you may end up deciding to keep the service in order to get access to other content down the road.
Features, extra, and devices
Most of the “skinny bundle” internet TV services offer a range of features. DAZN is a bit different, however, because it operates more like Netflix or Amazon Prime. As such, you won’t get a range of features like cloud DVR.
Nevertheless, there are a few features that are worth noting.
First is the fact that the DAZN app lets you reduce the burden on your data plan if you’re streaming with a mobile device. You can set your app to prefer Wi-Fi when it’s available, and to avoid streaming over cellular networks. You can also have DAZN reduce the streaming quality while streaming over cellular data to limit how much data you use.
You can also set schedules for the events you most want to see and receive reminders by sending push notifications to your device. DAZN includes a calendar within the app and on the web that lets you see upcoming events. When we tested it, not every event could be added to your reminders, but there’s a chance DAZN may have changed that since we tested.
If you’re hoping to share your account, DAZN expressly forbids this. However, it does allow you to stream on two devices at the same time, so you can at least allow one other person in your family to watch on a different device.
As far as device support goes, you can stream over the web on Windows and Mac computers. But you can also download fully-functional apps for:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV
- Xbox One (S, X)
- Some smart TVs, such as LG TV
From our analysis, DAZN takes the top spot for Bellator fans. The service’s exclusive deal with Bellator means it will offer every upcoming Bellator match for the next few years. The added benefit of Matchroom Boxing, World Boxing Super Series and other fight and sporting events makes it your single best option, especially given its cheap, $9.99 per month price.
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Philo is an odd option for Bellator MMA. This extremely low-cost streaming service is an increasingly popular option for those who just want entertainment channels. And indeed, Philo offers no sports channels. But it does carry Paramount Network. And since Paramount Network has a contract with Bellator MMA to offer fights every Friday at 9 PM EST, you’ll actually be able to watch a handful of Bellator MMA fights without cable through Philo.
Channels & packages
Philo has a fairly simple channel package to offer subscribers. For $16 per month, you’ll get 43 channels. If you want a few additional channel options, you can pay $20 per month to get about a dozen more in your channel package.
7-day free trial
7-day free trial
Given the channel you’ll need is Paramount Network, all you need is the lower-cost, $16 channel option. Once signed up, you can watch Bellator matches live on Fridays through your Philo account.
Keep in mind that this is an imperfect option. Paramount Network carries Bellator, but it does not carry every Bellator match – only those that occur on Fridays. For example, the popular Bellator 206 event that featured Gegard Mousasi and Rory MacDonald was only available through DAZN.
Philo is a good option if you’re okay with getting a selection of Bellator MMA events, and you’re equally interested in access to popular entertainment networks, like AMC, Discovery Channel, Science Channel, History Channel, and more. Philo carries all of those in its $16 per month package.
Features and extras
Philo has a great set of features for the low cost. Not only will you get access to a cloud DVR, but you can also watch past shows and events on-demand.
Bellator MMA fans can watch past events from Paramount Network going back at least one month. You can also record live TV using Philo’s 30-day cloud DVR.
If you have more than one user in your home, Philo offers two simultaneous streams per account. The service also now offers the option to create two unique profiles per account, making it easier to not just share your account, but to avoid mixing up settings and recordings.
Philo can be streamed on a growing number of devices, although there are some notable limits. You can stream directly over the web on Mac and Windows computers, as well as on Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Roku, and iOS devices.
Unfortunately, there’s no native Android app support. You can stream on Android devices over the included Chrome browser app, but this will use up battery extremely fast if you’re not plugged in.
Philo offers a 7-day free trial, and you can try it for the first two days of that trial without entering any payment information.
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Sling TV is an interesting option for Bellator MMA. Like Philo, it carries Paramount Network, which means you can watch Friday night Bellator events. But its package of channels is also far more complicated than any other option on our list.
Channels & packages
With Sling TV, you have the option to purchase one of three channel packages: Sling Orange ($25/month), Sling Blue ($25 month) or Sling Orange + Blue ($40 month).
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Free Roku Deal$25.00/ month
Sling Orange + Blue
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Under normal circumstances, we’d say you can easily access “X channel” using one of those three options. However, Paramount Network is not a featured option for any of Sling TV’s packages.
Instead, if you want Paramount Network, and therefore Bellator MMA, you’ll need to choose either Sling Orange or Sling Blue, and then tack on the Comedy Extra add-on package.
It appears that Comedy Extra is a slightly better add-on if you go through Sling Orange, as it comes with 9 channels instead of just 8 channels. However, Sling Blue carries ESPN and Disney channels and has an overall larger number of channels compared to Sling Orange, which has Fox Sports Network as its premiere sports channel.
In all, you won’t be able to get Bellator MMA fights on Sling TV without paying at least $30 per month.
Features and extras
Sling TV has confounded us with some its features. There’s good and bad to be had here.
With Sling TV, you’ll get 3 simultaneous streams if you opt for Sling Blue, but only 1 simultaneous stream with Sling Orange. If you purchase Sling Orange + Blue, the combo pack, you’ll get 4 simultaneous streams, but only for channels shared between the Sling Orange and Blue packages.
Sling still keeps the channel packages separate in the combo pack, so Sling Blue channels will get 3 streams, while Sling Orange channels will still only get a single stream. Yes—it’s confusing.
Sling TV also doesn’t come with a cloud DVR included in its service package. Unfortunately, if you want DVR, you’ll need to pay an extra $5 per month on top of what you’re already paying to get it. On the bright side, Sling TV provides a 50-hour DVR, which is a lot more than some of its competitors offer in their subscription packages.
If you get both the Comedy Extra package and DVR to watch Bellator, you’ll be up to $35 per month.
One a more positive note, Sling TV has wide device support, so almost any device you might use likely has a native app for the service.
You can try Sling TV with a 7-day free trial to determine if it’s the right option for your Bellator MMA needs.
For those looking for something that’s a bit easier to understand than Sling TV, and has more to offer than Philo, DirecTV Now is a viable option. Now that the service offers a (somewhat limited) cloud DVR, it’s a more attractive option for cord-cutters.
Channels & packages
DirecTV Now offers four key channel packages for subscribers:
- Live A Little: $40/month, 65+ channels
- Just Right: $55/month, 85+ channels
- Go Big: $65/month, 105+ channels
- Gotta Have It: $75/month, 125+ channels
There’s also a subscription package specifically for Spanish-speaking viewers: Todo Y Mas, which is $45/month for 90+ channels.
To watch Bellator MMA, the $40 per month Live A Little package will suffice. It comes with Paramount Network and a load of other popular channels.
Features and extras
DirecTV Now has so-so features, but impressive device support.
You can stream on up to 2 devices per account. You’ll also get a cloud DVR, but it’s a paltry 20 hours of storage space. Combine that with a 30-day expiration date on the videos, and you’re looking at a somewhat limited viewing experience for recorded content.
Nevertheless, DirecTV Now works on a large number of devices, including iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV devices, and even a large number of smart TVs, so you’ll be able to watch it on pretty much any device you own.