The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the US-based mixed martial arts (MMA) series, has extended its partnership with global fight scoring and prediction app Verdict ahead of the start of its 2022 season.

Under the extension, fans will continue to be able to add round-by-round scoring for the main card bouts, which will be integrated into the broadcasts on ESPN networks and streaming platforms.

ESPN, the international sports broadcaster, holds rights in the US to the PFL after extending its deal with the series through 2023 in January. It first secured the rights in February 2019 in a two-year deal.

Peter Murray, PFL chief executive, said: “Our extended partnership with an innovation leader such as Verdict represents the PFL’s commitment to giving fight fans around the world premium MMA experiences

“Their cutting-edge technology brings audiences closer to the action than ever before and allows them to have an active role in each PFL Season event.”

The deal builds on the two parties’ relationship from last year when Verdict’s app provided fans with the opportunity to engage one another before, during, and after bouts by predicting fight outcomes, live scoring of the action, and enabling post-fight debates.

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Verdict has since launched bespoke editorials on their website and worked with familiar names in the MMA space and said they are looking to announce a big release soon.

Sanjay Thakur, Verdict chief executive, said: “The PFL is committed to giving fight fans the best fight night experience – a perfect symbiotic relationship given both of our missions.

“Our partnership speaks volumes about their willingness to innovate in all details of their broadcast. We’ll be bringing much more to our platform this year for the PFL.”

PFL’s 2022 regular season starts tomorrow (April 20), with fighters across the lightweight and light heavyweight divisions.

Meanwhile, the PFL has also announced a new partnership with Rival, marking the gaming platform’s entrance into the combat sports space.

Under the partnership, Rival will launch the PFL’s dedicated gaming community, via which fans will be able to participate, compete, and engage in competitions with popular gaming titles.

The community will give the PFL and fans the ability to host competitive tournaments along with future esports initiatives, with the winner of the first tournament hosted by the platform receiving a private match hosted by 2021 PFL Light Heavyweight champion Antonio Carlos Jr.

Murray said: “The PFL is proud to partner with Rival and embrace esports in a specialized gaming community giving MMA fans unprecedented connectivity.

“In this first of its kind partnership, the PFL continues to disrupt traditional MMA, embrace technology and give our fans a unique experience.”

Dan Parise, Rival chief marketing officer, said: “With the launch of their new gaming community, PFL continues the trend of creativity and innovation when it comes to engaging fans and creating opportunities for corporate partners.”

The two new deals add to PFL growing portfolio of partners as it looks to grow the series internationally.

Earlier this month, ESPN Africa, the regional arm of the international sports broadcaster, secured an agreement to show the 2022 season of PFL in Sub-Saharan Africa, giving it exclusive live coverage of the regular season, playoffs, and World Championship.

It also entered into an exclusive multi-year broadcast deal for similar coverage in Italy, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia with pay-television over-the-top platform Mola TV, Saudi-owned free-to-air broadcaster MBC Group across the Middle East and North Africa, and with Vietnamese streaming platform FPT Play.

Other deals and renewals concluded by PFL in the last few months include collaborations with pay-TV operator Sky New Zealand, free-to-air US media heavyweight ESPN, UK broadcaster Channel 4, French pay-television operator RMC Sport, German combat sports platform, sports broadcaster DirecTV in South America, and Australian online streaming platform Stan.

In December, the series agreed to a multi-year deal with FuboTV, the over-the-top live television, and sports streaming service, for its new PFL Challenger Series.

The PFL Challenger Series, which debuted on February 18, streams exclusively on FuboTV and its linear network, Fubo Sports Network.

Viewers are also able to interact in real-time with the competition through FuboTV’s predictive, free-to-play games.