The Professional Fighters League (PFL) has signed a new multi-platform distribution agreement for 2018 with NBC Sports Group and Facebook. The new deal will bring the action from the PFL to nearly 300-million fans worldwide on platforms such as cable television, tablets, smart phones and other connected devices.
The world’s only major MMA league, which was previously recognized as the World Series of Fighting, also announced that they have named Peter Murray as their Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Murray has previously held executive-level positions at Under Armour and the National Football League (NFL).
#WhatDoYouFightFor: The Professional Fighters League kicks off June 7, LIVE on @NBCSN and @facebook. Over $10 million is up for grabs in the postseason prize pool! Get more details about the premiere season here: https://t.co/q3IRnyDM4O pic.twitter.com/BgmUBCEML0
— #PFL2018 (@ProFightLeague) January 29, 2018
A press release was issued on Monday afternoon detailing the direction of the league for 2018.
The Professional Fighters League is the first organization ever to present MMA as a true sport that features a regular season, playoffs, and championship. Individual fighters will control their own destiny, competing in a win-and-advance postseason format. The 2018 PFL season consists of seven regular-season events, a bracket-style playoff, and a $10 million postseason prize pool. The premiere season begins with 72 athletes, 12 in each of the six different weight-classes, with one fighter in each division earning the title of true champion.
The PFL postseason will be held in October on consecutive Saturday nights, with an exciting win-or-go-home elimination format. The season-ending PFL Championship promises to be one of the most talked about nights in sports, with championship fights for each of the six weight classes in one night on New Year’s Eve in prime time. Before the ball drops, six MMA athletes will have each earned $1,000,000 in prize money and be crowned true champions.
“Today is an enormous step forward for the PFL and our mission of re-imagining and growing the sport of MMA,” said Russ Ramsey, Executive Chairman of the Professional Fighters League. “We’re thrilled to offer broad distribution for our first season, with great media partners in NBC Sports Network and Facebook. Pete Murray is an accomplished marketer and builder in sports and media, making him the ideal leader to deliver the innovative experience to MMA fans and build the PFL brand.”
Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC Sports Group added, “We are excited to create a Thursday night destination that will be appointment viewing for MMA fans. NBCSN, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app will be home to the PFL’s innovative format, which will keep viewers on the edge of their seats from the first fight June 7 through the championship finale December 31. We look forward to working with Pete and the PFL team on what promises to be a thrilling season.”
For international fans outside of the United States, Facebook will be streaming up to six hours of free, live coverage for each event promoted by the PFL. They will also provide a live, 30-minute pre-fight show and close with a live, 30-minute post-show for each PFL event.
“We’re excited for Facebook Watch to be a home for the Professional Fighters League’s inaugural season,” said Dan Reed, Facebook Head of Global Sports Partnerships. “The PFL’s comprehensive coverage on Watch, combined with its plans to deliver an innovative viewing experience, will give MMA fans ample opportunity to come together, talk about, and interact with this exciting new league in ways that are unique to our social video platform.”
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