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PFL Europe: Joint Venture With DAZN Takes MMA Promotion Global

DAZN will stream PFL events across 53 international markets as part of the deal as part of the organizations’ plans to build “the Champions League of MMA.”

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) and live streaming platform DAZN have agreed to a partnership that will expand the mixed martial arts promotion to Europe. The new venture — PFL Europe — will launch in 2023.

The pact between DAZN and the PFL will also see the two sides agree to a multi-year media rights deal to have all PFL bouts streamed exclusively on DAZN across dozens of international markets, and especially in Europe. The terms of the deal were not disclosed as of this writing.

“PFL Europe is the beginning of the Champions League of MMA from PFL” said Peter Murray, CEO of PFL in a release. “We are excited to have DAZN as our strategic media rights distribution partner in Europe for all of fight franchises — PFL Global League, PFL Challenger Series, PFL Europe, and PFL PPV Super Fight Division.”

With DAZN helping launch PFL Europe, the media company will be a founding partner of the European division. DAZN will have exclusive in 53 international markets, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Spain.

DAZN has been a major boxing partner for many years. The company signed a two-fight deal with boxing superstar Canelo Alvarez to kick off its pay-per-view business earlier this year worth a reported $160 million. As it relates to pay-per-view, the PFL is growing its deal in the US with ESPN and ESPN+ this year to introduce a pay-per-view tier of its own. Fighters reportedly receive a 50% split of the revenue produced from these events.

The PFL is known for its unique competition format featuring a regular season, playoffs, and championship; fighters earn points to qualify for the postseason, and those who make it to the end of the bracket and win their weight division’s championship earn a guaranteed $1 million. The league has also made waves by leveraging technology within their “SmartCage” — PFL CEO Peter Murray told Boardroom that one of the company’s next goal is to showcase biometric data so fans can see a fighter’s heart rate, calories burned, and other vital stats in real time.

As, Shay Segev, DAZN Group CEO, said on the occasion:

“DAZN is fast becoming the preferred partner for rights holders for the simple reason that we can provide a truly global solution, access to fanbases across the world. We have a strong track record investing in and accelerating the growth of sports. We are also more agile and innovative than traditional broadcasters and, like the PFL, we want to stay relevant to today’s consumer. With DAZN, fans can either watch in the traditional linear way or enjoy a more immersive and interactive entertainment experience with greater gamification and bolt-on products and services.”

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About The Author
Randall Williams
Randall Williams
Randall Williams is a former Staff Writer at Boardroom specializing in sports business and music. He previously worked for Sportico, Andscape and Bloomberg. His byline has also been syndicated in the Boston Globe and Time Magazine. Williams' notable profile features include NFL Executive VP Troy Vincent, Dreamville co-founder Ibrahim Hamad, BMX biker Nigel Sylvester, and both Shedeur and Shilo Sanders. Randall, a graduate of "The Real HU" -- Hampton University — is most proud of scooping Howard University joining Jordan Brand nearly three months before the official announcement.