The Professional Fighters League (PFL) has announced that it has inked an exclusive media partnership deal with UK broadcaster Channel 4.
As part of the deal, which was announced at a press conference on Tuesday, Channel 4 will become the exclusive home of live PFL event coverage in the UK, with the broadcaster having live broadcast and streaming rights to PFL events through the 2022 season.
A press release confirming the deal stated:
Channel 4’s platforms will carry the PFL’s inaugural Challenger Series, beginning February 18, along with the 2022 PFL Regular Season, Playoffs, and PFL World Championship.
Additionally, Channel 4 will bring MMA fans exclusive PFL live events plus original content produced by both PFL Studios and 4Studios.
The deal means that, for the first time ever, MMA fans in the UK can watch each of the three major US promotions via mainstream television channels, joining the UFC (BT Sport) and Bellator MMA (BBC Three/iPlayer).
It also means that one of the UK’s most talented fighters, featherweight contender Brendan Loughnane will receive mainstream TV exposure in his home country as he bids to capture the 2022 featherweight title and the $1 million prize. Joining Loughnane on the PFL’s roster are Scottish lightweight Stevie Ray, Irish lightweight Myles Price and Englishmen Stuart Austin (heavyweight) and Simeon Powell (light heavyweight).
“The Professional Fighters League is thrilled to announce our media partnership with Channel 4 in the United Kingdom and Ireland,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray, via press release.
“MMA fans in the UK and Ireland will now have unprecedented access to year-round live MMA events featuring star PFL fighters competing in a unique sport season format.
“Our partnership with Channel 4 illustrates MMA has further evolved into a mainstream sport and PFL is the fastest growing and most innovative league in the world.”
PFL’s SVP of International James Frewin added, “The Professional Fighters League partnership with Channel 4 is a pivotal moment for the PFL as UK & Ireland are priority markets with an underserved fanbase.
“PFL is committed to continuing to reimagine and grow the sport of MMA around the world.”
The press release also announced a partnership between the PFL and Great Britain Top Team to create a talent-finding initiative called the PFA Scholarship.
As part of the PFL’s increasing commitment to the UK market, the league has created the inaugural PFL Scholarship initiative with a mission to create more opportunity for talented but underprivileged male and female mixed martial artists.
The fund will cover the training costs and gym subscriptions for five UK-based athletes over the course of a one-year period. For 2022, the league has partnered with Great Britain Top Team in South London to identify five individuals with high potential who will have the opportunity to train under the tutelage of UK MMA legends Ashleigh Grimshaw and Brad Pickett on a daily basis.