On Tuesday morning, the Professional Fighters League announced that they had signed a multiyear extension with their broadcast partner ESPN.
The PFL is staying with ESPN. The promotion announced on Tuesday morning that it has signed a multiyear extension to stay with the worldwide leader in sports. Their deal with the company had expired following the 2021 season and it had been reported that the promotion would consider their options going into 2022.
— PFL (@PFLMMA) January 25, 2022
Per a press release, the deal will include expanded coverage of the PFL that includes not only simulcasting the regular season and playoffs on ESPN and ESPN+ but as well as airing exclusive PFL content. The release cited the all-access series on boxing champion Claressa Shields as an example of coverage that goes beyond airing events. The deal is set to begin with the telecast of the first event of the 2022 season on April 20.
PFL CEO Peter Murray said of the deal:
“After two successful years of providing fans with premium MMA content alongside ESPN, PFL is proud to extend and expand our agreement. As MMA continues to evolve as a sport and rights property, our differentiated product and unique approach will help shape its path forward and in 2022 fans can expect more events, matchups between the world’s best fighters and innovative content than ever before.”
Not mentioned are the PFL’s plans to possibly expand into the pay-per-view market in 2022. Last year, it was reported that the promotion was looking to put on pay-per-view events in season four. Exactly how the event(s) could fit into the tournament format is still uncertain.
While the official PFL season is set to air on ESPN, the promotion also announced a multiyear deal to air their Challenger Series events on the streaming service fuboTV. The service is already home to regional promotions such as Lights Out Xtreme Fighting out of California. Outside of giving fighters a platform, winners of the Challenger Series events also have an opportunity to make it into the official PFL season. The first Challenger Series event is set to take place on February 18.