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Professional Fighters League announces multi-year media rights renewal with ESPN

LockerRoom Team
26 January 2022

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) 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 the 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 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.

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