The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the US-based mixed martial arts (MMA) series, has agreed a deal with Chinese sports marketing agency China Sports Media to broadcast live fights on Douyin, the country’s leading short-form video platform.

The deal will give users in China access to all PFL regular season and PFL Europe events.

Under a multi-year agreement, China Sports Media will work with social media personalities and content creators, such as Guo Chendong, the founder of Chinese MMA organization Glory of Heroes, to “help the league reach new audiences and young fans.”

Douyin currently attracts more than 500 million daily active users.

China Sports Media is among the leading agencies in media rights distribution in China and has previously handled properties including domestic and international rights for domestic soccer’s Chinese Super League, international rights for Chinese national team matches, and rights in the market for Germany’s Bundesliga, Spain’s LaLiga, and Italy’s Serie A.

James Frewin, PFL senior vice president of international, said: “There is a massive opportunity to grow the sport of MMA in Asia and our partnership with China Sports Media will allow us to strengthen our presence and build digital bridges throughout the country through the popular Douyin platform.”
Eric Geng, managing director of rights at China Sports Media, added: “We are thrilled with this partnership with the Professional Fighters League, it’s a great step to expand our portfolio of combat sports.

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“This cooperation will allow PFL to broaden its fanbase and grow the reach and engagement within the younger demographics in the market.”

The Douyin tie-up is the first major live deal the PFL has announced since Harkiran Chima took up the role of director of PFL International in February, reporting to Frewin.

In March, it announced a highlights partnership with UK commercial broadcaster ITV.