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PFL signs multi-year broadcast deal with ESPN

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) announced a deal yesterday with ESPN and Canadian broadcaster TSN that includes airing live events and exclusive content across North America starting May 9.

The deal includes the airing of all 10 PFL events across ESPN’s channels, including ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+, with “up to three hours of exclusive action live on ESPN+ and up to two exclusive hours live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.”

Canadian broadcaster TSN will follow a similar plan with PFL content staggered across their various platforms.

“We are pleased to add the PFL to our combat sports roster,” ESPN executive vice president, programming and scheduling  Burges Magnus said in a press release. “This unique and innovative competition structure provides MMA fans with a great option to see some of the best fights and content in the sport. ESPN is the home of combat sports, and we look forward to delivering thrilling live PFL events and powerful storytelling to fans, across all platforms.”

“The PFL was created to offer the 300 million global MMA fans the sport-season format that other major sports like the NFL and NBA have, which is the transparency and meritocracy of a regular season, playoffs and championship,” added PFL co-founder and chairman Donn Davis. “Fans can now follow the stories, and business partners can engage in the journeys, of the PFL fighters throughout the season. This agreement to bring PFL to ESPN and ESPN+ further validates our unique and innovative product and will accelerate the PFL’s growth.”

The PFL regular season has six events which take place starting May 9 through August. The PFL playoffs begin in October with three events, with the PFL Championship scheduled for New Year’s Eve. Each winner in their weight class will earn $1 million and the PFL championship.

There will also be pre-amble and post-amble coverage like ‘Road to the Playoffs,’ ‘Road to the Championship,’ and ‘Best of Season.’

The women’s 155-pound division will also be launched in 2019 featuring 2-time Amercian Olympic gold medallist Kayla Harrison.

All of this is in addition to the ‘SmartCage’ and ‘Cagenomics’ real-time analytics to give fans more information and cage insight.

Specific programming scheduling are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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