The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the US-based mixed martial arts (MMA) series, has today announced a multi-year broadcast deal with international pay-TV giant Canal Plus for French language rights in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The media rights partnership also includes Myanmar and Haiti where the broadcaster airs several top sports competitions.

Canal Plus will provide live localized programming, continuing across all PFL Global, PFL Europe, PFL MENA, Bellator Champions Series, PFL Super Fights, selected PFL and Bellator archives, and the new PFL Africa which will launch in 2025.

PFL Africa, officially unveiled yesterday (July 10), will benefit from exposure on Canal Plus Sport channels in Sub-Saharan Africa, where it will carry PFL action live with French commentary on linear channels.

The PFL already has a substantial media rights agreement in place in Sub-Saharan Africa with pay-TV broadcaster SuperSport, which was signed in March and covers non-French speaking markets.

James Frewin, PFL managing director of international, said: “The PFL believes strongly in connecting with MMA fans in areas that have been traditionally underserved in the sport and doing so in their native languages.

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“Canal Plus is the sports media brand that lives in the hearts and minds of the French-speaking population in Sub-Saharan Africa and is synonymous with premium sport.” 

Jacques du Puy, chief executive of Canal Plus International says, “Fighting competitions, and MMA leagues, in particular, attract ever larger audiences of fans among African audiences. This perfectly fits our strategy of promoting African sport on the continent and beyond.”

PFL Africa will officially get underway in the second quarter of 2025, with a sports league-style regular season, playoffs, and championship format seeing events staged across Sub-Saharan Africa with a roster of fighters selected from across the continent.

Cameroonian MMA icon Francis Ngannou will serve as chair and is a minority owner of the franchise, with further investment coming from Africa-focused private equity investment fund Helios Sports & Entertainment group which will also hold a stake in PFL Africa.