Deal includes expanded coverage of 2022 season and exclusive content on ESPN linear networks
Seven PFL events to feature on ESPN and simulcast on ESPN+, with additional broadcasts
PFL Regular Season kicks off on April 20
ESPN+ available on ESPN.com and ESPN App for mobile and connected TV devices
To subscribe visit ESPNPlus.com/pfl
NEW YORK (January 25, 2022) - The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the fastest growing and most innovative sports league, and ESPN have announced a new, multi-year media rights agreement that will see expanded coverage on ESPN linear networks and ESPN+. Under the deal, the entire 2022 PFL Playoffs and majority of Regular Season events will be televised on ESPN, as well as simulcast on ESPN+, with additional event coverage broadcast on ESPN2.
In addition to live events, ESPN platforms will bring fight fans pre- and post-event coverage, as well as exclusive PFL content. The agreement begins with the telecast of the 2022 PFL Regular Season kickoff event on April 20, with specific details on scheduling and programming to be announced in the coming weeks.
“After two successful years of providing fans with premium MMA content alongside ESPN, PFL is proud to extend and expand our agreement,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. “As MMA continues to evolve as a sport and rights property, our differentiated product and unique approach will help shape its path forward and in 2022 fans can expect more events, matchups between the world’s best fighters and innovative content than ever before.”
Matt Kenny, ESPN Vice President of Programming and Acquisitions, said: “As the home of combat sports, ESPN looks forward to continuing to deliver exciting, live PFL events and powerful storytelling to fans, across all platforms.”
ESPN was the home of PFL in the United States during its breakthrough 2021 season, including all 10 events from the regular season through the playoffs and final in October. MMA’s biggest night, the PFL World championship saw six fighters earn world championships and $6 million in prize money, which also featured a live performance from global icon and PFL partner Wiz Khalifa inside the SmartCage at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
In addition to live events, ESPN+ exclusively aired Claressa Shields, a four-part, all-access series that chronicled the two-time Olympic gold medalist’s PFL debut in June and quest to become an MMA world champion.
Professional Fighters League is the No. 2 MMA company globally and features an elite talent roster with 25 percent of its fighters independently ranked in the top-25 of the world, including 2021 PFL champions Kayla Harrison, Ray Cooper III and Movlid Khaybulaev. With live event coverage in 160 countries on leading distribution platforms, a portfolio of blue-chip brand partners, and backing from major institutional and high-profile individual investors, PFL is accelerating its global expansion to deliver a unique, innovative product to the more than 600 million MMA fans globally.
About Professional Fighters League
Professional Fighters League (PFL) is the fastest growing and most innovative sports league. PFL is the #2 MMA company worldwide and the only with the sports-season format where individual fighters compete in Regular Season, Playoffs, and Championship.
PFL is primetime in the U.S on ESPN and ESPN+ and was broadcast and streamed live worldwide last year to 160 countries with partners including RMC Sport, FPT, Sky Sport, and more. The PFL roster is world-class, with 25% of PFL fighters independently ranked in the top 25 in the world. The PFL proprietary SmartCage data and analytics platform powers real-time betting and provides next-gen viewing experience.
PFL has over two-dozen blue-chip brand sponsors such as Anheuser-Busch, IBM, GEICO, DraftKings, Bose, Socios.com, Air Force Reserve, US Marine Corps, and more. PFL is backed by major investors including Ares Capital, Luxor Capital, Elysian Park Ventures, Swan Ventures, Knighthead, Legends, and several NBA, MLB, and NHL team owners.
MMA is the growth sport of this decade, with 600 million fans worldwide, the youngest audience demo of any sport, and true global revenue streams.
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ESPN, the world’s leading sports entertainment brand, features eight U.S. television networks, direct-to-consumer ESPN+, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, endeavors on every continent around the world, and more. ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc. (an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company) and 20 percent by Hearst.
ESPN+ is the industry-leading sports streaming service that offers fans in the U.S. thousands of live sports events, original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks and exclusive editorial content from dozens of ESPN writers and reporters. Launched in April 2018, ESPN+ has grown to more than 17.1 million subscribers.
Fans sign up to ESPN+ for just $6.99 a month (or $69.99 per year) at ESPN.com, ESPNplus.com or on the ESPN App (mobile and connected devices). It is also available as part of The Disney Bundle that gives subscribers access to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for $13.99/month (Hulu w/ads) or $19.99/month (Hulu w/o ads).