Fighting Spirit to Secure Premier Distribution Partners on Country-By-Country Basis, Bringing PFL’s Innovative MMA Format Around the Globe
Professional Fighters League (PFL), the first organization ever to present MMA through a regular season, playoffs and championship format, today announced a partnership with Fighting Spirit, the leading distributor of live combat sports around the globe, to increase its international distribution. The PFL will work closely with Fighting Spirit to secure premier distribution partners around the world, on a country-by-country basis.
Last week, PFL announced a multi-year deal making ESPN and ESPN+ the exclusive home of the PFL in the United States, and TSN the exclusive home of PFL in Canada. All ten PFL events will air live across ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+, the direct-to-consumer subscription sports streaming service in the United States, with up to three hours of exclusive action live on ESPN+ and up to two exclusive hours live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. TSN holds similar rights and will exclusively air all PFL events in Canada. The rights include the regular season, playoffs and championship event.
“The MMA market is massive, global and demanding of more top-flight content. In 2018, we debuted our innovative sports-league format and built a strong fan base. This year, we’re bringing the PFL to ESPN, the undisputed leader in sports, further accelerating our growth and allowing us to reach an even larger audience,” said Peter Murray, CEO, Professional Fighters League. “We look forward to increasing our global reach in partnership with Fighting Spirit, providing fans around the world with the action they crave from a world-class roster of fighters coming from over 15 different countries.”
“There is a huge appetite for combat sports, and we are always looking to meet the global demand with high-quality action and premium production,” said Laurent Pourrut, CEO, Fighting Spirit. “We are thrilled to partner with the PFL, an innovator in the space who shares in our commitment to growing the sport and elevating the fan viewing experience.”
Six, five-hour PFL Regular Season events will take place on Thursday nights from May to August. Three PFL Playoff events will take place in October and will feature the top eight fighters in each of the competition’s six weight classes attempting to fight—and win—twice in the same night to advance to the PFL Championship.
The season culminates with the PFL 2019 Championship on New Year’s Eve with world title fights in every weight class. Winners of each title bout will be crowned PFL World Champion in their weight class and earn $1 million.
In addition to the live events, the PFL will bring fans pre- and post-event coverage and additional exclusive content, including an inside look at the league through a ‘Road to the Playoffs,’ ‘Road to the Championship’ and the PFL ‘Best of Season.’ The agreement starts with the telecast of the 2018 PFL Season Review and 2019 Roster Selection Show this spring.
Specific details about scheduling and surround programming will be announced in the coming weeks.
Fans can look forward to some firsts this PFL season, including the debut of MMA’s first-ever 155-pound women’s division which will feature two-time American Olympic Gold Medalist Kayla Harrison, as well as SmartCage and Cagenomics, proprietary PFL features that deliver real-time data and analytics to bring fans “inside the cage.”
About Professional Fighters League
The Professional Fighters League (PFL) presents MMA for the first time in the sport-season format where individual fighters control their own destiny, competing in a regular season, playoffs, and championship. PFL’s differentiated format and exciting fights sparked breakout growth in 2018 for the league. PFL 2019 and 2020 Seasons will be presented live on primarily Thursday nights, primetime on either ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes or ESPN+.
The PFL Season features elite MMA athletes across multiple weight classes, including the first-ever 155-pound women’s division, with each fighting twice during the PFL Regular Season in May, June, July, and August. The top eight fighters in each weight class advance to the single-elimination PFL Playoffs in October, where fighters must fight twice and win twice in the same night to advance to the finals. The PFL Championship is New Year’s Eve exclusively on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. Winners of each title bout will be crowned PFL World Champion of their respective weight class and earn $1 million. Additionally, fans will be delivered next-gen stats never before seen in MMA through the PFL’s proprietary SmartCage™ platform and Cagenomics™ technology.
PFL is backed by an investor group of sports, media, entertainment, and business titans. For more info visit www.PFLmma.com and follow PFL on Instagram (@PFLmma), Twitter (@ProFightLeague) and Facebook (/ProFightLeague).
About Fighting Spirit
Established in 2004, FIGHTING SPIRIT is the leading combat sports rights distributor, providing more than 100 live events per year with 1000+ hours of delayed content.
FIGHTING SPIRIT’s catalogue includes a wide range of programs from MMA (like M-1 Global from Russia), the World Championships of Kickboxing by Enfusion, Wrestling (AAA Worldwide: the leading Lucah Libre promotion in the world), Boxing (including WBC and IBF championships), traditional Martial Arts and Reality TV shows.
LinkedIn: Fighting Spirit