Global sports streaming service DAZN has secured exclusive rights in France to the Professional Fighters League (PFL) mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion for the next three years.

Under the agreement, DAZN will air all PFL events, including the PFL Global Season, PFL Europe, PFL MENA, PFL Africa, PFL pay-per-view Super Fights, and the Bellator Championship Series, as well as archive content from PFL and Bellator.

The deal will see DAZN subscribers given access to more than 30 top MMA events in 2024.

DAZN Group chief executive Shay Segev said: “This new partnership shows our ambition for DAZN in France. This partnership with such a prestigious league is key to developing our sports portfolio with premium content and becoming the preferred destination for all sports fans, in a country where MMA is hugely popular. 

“DAZN will focus on delivering the highest quality entertainment through cutting-edge technology and easier accessibility to top-level fights.”

DAZN’s coverage in France will begin with the PPV event PFL Champions vs Bellator Champions being held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on February 24 and comes after the PFL staged its first event in the French capital Paris last year. The fight broke domestic viewing figures when France’s Cedric Doumbe achieved a 9-second knockout against Jordan Zebo.

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By GlobalData

On the back of the event’s success, the 2024 PFL Europe season will launch with a fight between Boumbe and fellow Frenchman Baissangour Chamsoudinov on March 7 at Accor Arena in Paris, which will also be aired by DAZN.

PFL chief executive Peter Murray said: “I’m excited about the continued strategic partnership between PFL and DAZN as we begin the second season of PFL Europe with a massive event at the Accor Arena in France on March 7.

“DAZN gives PFL fans the opportunity to watch our top European talent compete inside the SmartCage as we continue to grow our presence around the globe.”

The package includes content from the Bellator series, which PFL acquired from US media giant Paramount last November. At the time, PFL said the acquisition would allow it to rival Fighting Champions (UFC), the world’s largest MMA promotion.

To that end, the PFL also announced the launch of two new projects for this year – a league for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and a 'Super Fight' pay-per-view (PPV) division.

Its PFL Europe regional offshoot was launched last year as part of a joint venture deal with DAZN, with events in England, Ireland, France, and Germany.

The US-based PFL is a relative newcomer in combat sports, having launched its first event in 2018. It is backed by SRJ Sports Investments, the sports-focused investment vehicle recently launched by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which secured a minority stake in the promotion for $100 million in September.

That investment came after the PFL raised $200 million from a group of investors including Ares, Knighthead, Luxor Capital, Waverly Capital, and Elysian Park Ventures. The series was last year valued at between $500 million and $1 billion.