Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has partnered with ESPN in a significant deal involving the Professional Fighters League. The partnership highlights Saudi Arabia’s growing influence in global sports.
The deal involves broadcasting and Pay Per View on ESPN+ and aims to boost Saudi Arabia’s presence in the international sports arena.
The agreement comprises the live event distribution of the PFL Regular Season, Playoffs, and World Championship on ESPN’s linear networks and ESPN+. In addition, ESPN+ PPV will also distribute the new PFL PPV (Pay Per View) Super Fight Division in the U.S. when it launches in 2024.
“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.
PFL PPV Super Fight Division
The PFL PPV Super Fight Division is set to be a global platform for some of the best MMA fighters and combat sports stars. The division has already signed on some of the world’s greatest combat sports stars such as Francis Ngannou and Jake Paul.
The first PFL PPV Super Fight is expected to take place in early 2024.
One key aspect that sets the PFL apart from other MMA organizations is its unique sports-season format. This format sees individual fighters compete in a regular season, playoffs, and championship each year.
PFL’s Global Vision
The PFL has an expansive global vision for the sport of MMA 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 on ESPN/ESPN+
PFL is on ESPN/ESPN+ in the U.S. and is broadcast and streamed in 150 countries with 20 premium media distribution partners.
Acquisition of Bellator MMA
The PFL recently acquired Bellator MMA in a landmark deal for combat sports. Bellator athletes are now available to cross over onto PFL platforms. The PFL is planning a champions vs. champions event in 2024.
In addition to its season format and Bellator events, the PFL has launched an International League series, which is expected to eventually involve leagues in Europe, Australia, and Africa. The PFL has also launched the PFL Challenger Series, which is aimed at recruiting and developing new talent.
About Professional Fighters League
Professional Fighters League (PFL) is a global powerhouse in MMA and the fastest-growing sports league worldwide. 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.
A Strategic Move to Reshape Global MMA Dynamics
Following the PFL’s acquisition of Bellator, the PFL’s rapidly growing platform and established brand is now enhancing the global MMA landscape rivaling the UFC’s dominance of the sport.
The combined rosters now feature 30% of the top 25 world-ranked fighters, with plans for the Bellator International Championship Series in major cities worldwide. This strategic move significantly impacts the MMA industry and Saudi Arabia’s sports scene, promoting MMA in the region and globally.