PFL Announces New Multi Year US Media Rights Deal

Last Thursday, the Professional Fighters League announced via press release that they’ve inked a brand new, multi year media rights deal for their US distribution.

The deal is with mega sports conglomerate ESPN.

Agreement includes live event distribution of PFL MMA Global Regular Season, Playoffs and World Championship on ESPN Platforms 

ESPN+ PPV will also distribute the new PFL PPV Super Fight Division

NEW YORK (November 30, 2023) – The Professional Fighters League (PFL) and ESPN have announced a new multi-year media rights agreement which includes live event distribution of the PFL Regular Season, Playoffs and World Championship on ESPN linear networks and ESPN+. ESPN+ PPV will also distribute the new PFL PPV Super Fight Division in the U.S. when it launches in 2024. 
The PFL features some of the sport’s top fighters who will also be highlighted across ESPN platforms in pre- and post-fight coverage, as well as shoulder programming on linear and digital channels. 
“We’ve had five successful seasons on ESPN and we’re excited for the next phase of growth for MMA and the Professional Fighters League with this agreement,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. “Our innovative sport-season format, elite roster of athletes, and the launch of the PFL PPV Super Fight Division, which will feature some of the world’s greatest combat sports stars such as Francis Ngannou and Jake Paul, are ushering in the new era of MMA as a mainstream global sports entertainment platform.” 
The PFL PPV Super Fight Division will be a global platform for some of the best MMA fighters and combat sports stars. Francis Ngannou, arguably one of the greatest heavyweight fighters in the world today, is under an exclusive MMA contract to fight in the division and is joined by one of the most influential figures in combat sports, Jake Paul, and women’s star fighters Claressa Shields, Amanda Serrano and Savannah Marshall. The first PFL PPV Super Fight will be in early 2024 with headlining fighters and location to be announced at a later date. 
PFL is the only organization in MMA with the sports-season format, where individual fighters compete in a regular season, playoffs, and championship each year. The combined roster of PFL and Bellator boasts 30% of its fighters independently world-ranked in the top 25 of their respective weight-class. PFL has an expansive global vision for the sport and is building the “Champions League of MMA” with PFL Europe, PFL MENA, and more international leagues in development. PFL leads in technology and innovation, with its proprietary PFL SmartCage, powering fight analytics, real-time betting, AI scoring, and a next-generation viewing experience. PFL is on ESPN/ESPN+ in the U.S. and is broadcast and streamed in 150 countries with 20 premium media distribution partners.

Professional Fighters League (PFL) is a global powerhouse in MMA and the fastest-growing sports league world-wide. PFL has five live fight franchises, offering year-round content: PFL League Season, PFL PPV Super Fights, PFL Challenger Series, PFL International Leagues, and Bellator. Founded in 2018, PFL is backed by major blue-chip investors including SRJ, Ares, Knighthead, Luxor Capital, Waverley Capital, Elysian Park Ventures, and numerous NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS team owners. MMA is the growth sport business of this decade, with 650 million fans worldwide, the youngest audience demographic, and true global revenue streams.

Last week, it was announced that PFL had acquired Bellator MMA, making them a powerhouse mixed martial arts company behind only the UFC.

The interesting thing about this announcement is that PFL currently airs on ESPN platforms in the US, as does the UFC.

It will be interesting to see PFL continue to make moves with in the combat sports space.

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