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ITV wins rights to air PFL Europe highlights

Published: Updated: 07:37, 29 Mar 2023
The Professional Fighters League is a US-based MMA organisation which is gaining ground

UK free-to-air broadcaster ITV has snatched up the broadcast rights to show highlights from PFL Europe events.

The MMA organisation PFL has recently branched out into the European market, bringing its brand of tournament based, high stakes martial arts across the pond.

The competition got underway this past Saturday (March 25th) at PFL Europe 1 in Newcastle, England. In July, the league will move on to Berlin, Germany for its second edition, before playoffs take place in Paris, France in September, and the final of the tournament comes to Dublin, Ireland in December to close out the season.

As the PFL makes this step into European MMA, ITV will be happy to have captured the rights to show highlights of the action across its various platforms.

The network will produce and air a one-hour highlights package 24 hours after each show on its live streaming platform ITVX. This highlights show will also be aired on its ITV4 channel every Friday following an event.

The first such highlights show will be available this Friday (March 31st) covering the weekend's action from Newcastle.

PFL International Senior Vice President, James Frewin, said of the agreement:

“ITV is the home of entertainment in the UK and we are delighted to be partnering with a platform that is synonymous with media and sport. MMA has become a mainstream sport here in the UK, so when you add to this the PFL’s unique season format based on true values and meritocracy it makes us the perfect partner for ITV.”

The PFL is growing in notoriety of late, having struck marquee deals with influencer boxing giant Jake Paul and UFC legend Dan Hardy, among others, increasing their popularity on both sides of the pond.

ITV will become the latest British free-to-air channel to dip their toes into the waters of MMA, as the BBC continues its partnership with Bellator and until last year, Channel 4 owned the rights to show PFL events in the country.

The rights to air PFL live events themselves in the UK are now in the hands of DAZN, after they took over from Channel 4.

As the fighting league looks to compete more closely with the likes of the UFC, Bellator and ONE Championship, events like PFL Europe will play a vital role.

The sport of mixed martial arts is growing quickly across the board, with the UK being a hotbed for fans of the sport, making this deal between PFL and ITV somewhat of a coup for the broadcaster.

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