ESPN Signs Exclusive Deal With MMA Organization PFL

Hot on the heels of it’s UFC deal, ESPN has signed up another MMA organization PFL (Professional Fighters League) to be exclusively broadcast on it’s network.

PFL used to be known as WSOF (World Series Of Fighting), before being rebranded with a new structure based around a league system, with the first season seeing the eventual champions in six different weight categories being awarded $1 million each.

The promotion’s previous deal was with NBC Sports, but they have now stepped up to ESPN, who will host all 10 PFL events from the upcoming 2019 season that will air across ESPN 2, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes.

If you’re wondering how that will fit in with the UFC already having a busy schedule across the network, the schedule laid out yesterday reveals that six PFL events from May through to August will air on Thursday night’s, with prelims airing on ESPN+ and them main card’s on ESPN 2. The play-off’s will then take place in October over three more shows, leading into the final.

Coverage for the PFL events will include pre and post-fight shows and additional programming, such as, “Road To The Playoffs,” “Road To The Championship” and a “Best Of Season” round-up in addition to “2010 PFL Season Review” and “2019 Roster Selection” shows.

The deal further demonstrates ESPN’s commitment to the sport of MMA, and potentially it could be that PFL may become something of a ‘Feeder League’ for the UFC, building up new talent that could then be brought into the higher-profile UFC events at a later date.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.