The Professional Fighters League (PFL) has secured yet another boost to its European reach via a deal with DAZN.
Following a transformative 2023, the London-based OTT sports media platform will distribute the MMA promotion’s bouts to French audiences as the official ‘home of PFL in France’, broadcasting the four PFL Europe events planned this year.
For DAZN, this marks an extension of its already strong foothold in the French sports broadcasting space. The company launched in France with a bang last year via an agreement with Canal+, one of the country’s biggest outlets, to secure streaming rights to the Ligue 1 top-flight football division.
Pete Oliver, CEO DAZN Growth Markets, said: “Since DAZN secured the top two Ligue 1 Uber Eats weekly picks through our partnership with Canal+ in August 2023, we have been looking at opportunities to build a strong portfolio of live sports for the French market.
“MMA is hugely popular in France, and the upcoming PFL schedule of events is unparalleled. And so, we are delighted to extend our relationship with PFL and deliver an action-packed program for French fans, and those around the world.”
DAZN has built its reputation in Europe, particularly in the UK and Ireland, as a combat sports destination, widely known for its boxing streaming but also expanding into MMA.
However, in other territories – and in these initial markets themselves – the platform has been branching out into other sports, particular Formula One and football. At the close of 2023, it was reported that the company was eyeing up further investment to support future growth.
Meanwhile, the PFL is also embarking on a strategic expansion plan, most notably defined by the takeover of Bellator last year, a well-established MMA promotion and for a long time the second largest after the UFC.
For its European season, the campaign will begin in Paris on 7 March before moving to Newcastle on 8 June and Glasgow on 28 September, with the host city for the final yet to be decided.
Dan Hardy, Head of Fighter Operations for PFL Europe, commented: “We’re incredibly excited to bring the biggest French MMA Superstar, to the biggest Arena in Paris, in front of the crowd that was voted the best MMA crowd in the world in 2023.
“Cedric Doumbe’s presence at the top of the card will cap off what is set to be a huge night of showcase fights featuring local French and European talent, as well as the kick off of another exciting season of the PFL Europe League format.”