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Professional Fighters League & U-NEXT Announce Multi-year Agreement

This unprecedented agreement with U-NEXT begins with the PFL Champions vs Bellator Champions mega-global event on February 24.

 
NEW YORK (February 19, 2024) - The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the fastest-growing and most innovative sports league, today announced an expansive, multi-year partnership with U-NEXT, the leading Japanese video streaming platform. U-NEXT will now become the home of PFL and Bellator in Japan. 

The agreement begins with the unprecedented pay-per-view PFL Champions vs Bellator Champions mega event taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday, February 24.

Under the deal, all PFL Global Regular Season, PFL Europe, and PFL MENA event coverage, as well as archival content, will air exclusively in Japan on U-NEXT. Additionally, the streaming video platform will continue to broadcast live Bellator event coverage. That begins with the first-ever Bellator Champions Series event in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on March 22.

"A core component of our global expansion strategy is to partner with leading media platforms in key territories around the world. And we couldn't be more excited about this multi-year agreement with U-NEXT to bring the best in MMA to fans in Japan," said PFL SVP, International James Frewin.

CEO Tenshin Tsutsumi of U-NEXT said, "We are delighted to announce our strategic partnership with the Professional Fighters League, the world's most premiere mixed martial arts organization. Beginning with PFL Champions vs Bellator Champions, U-NEXT will continue to deliver the greatest MMA content to Japanese fans. We look forward to solidifying our position as the premiere destination for mixed martial arts."

As PFL continues to expand rapidly across the globe, it is committed to developing the best up-and-coming fighters from across the country to join its roster of world-class athletes. Among them are Japanese combat sports stars Kana Watanabe and Goiti Yamauchi.

Biaggio Ali Walsh, Muhammad Ali's grandson, walks toward the ring before a bout.(Courtesy of PFL MMA.)

About Professional Fighters League

PFL is the only organization in MMA with a sports-season format, where individual fighters compete in a regular season, playoffs, and championship each year. The combined roster of PFL and Bellator boasts 30% of its fighters independently world-ranked in the top 25 of their respective weight class. That is the same percentage as UFC. 

With an expansive global vision for the sport, PFL is building the "Champions League of MMA" with PFL Europe, and PFL MENA. And it has more international leagues in development. PFL leads in technology and innovation, with its proprietary PFL SmartCage, powering fight analytics, real-time betting, AI scoring, and a next-generation viewing experience. It is primetime on ESPN/ESPN+ in the United States. And it is broadcast and streamed in 150 countries with 20 premium media distribution partners. 

Professional Fighters League (PFL) is a global powerhouse in MMA and the fastest-growing sports league worldwide. There are five live PFL fight franchises, offering year-round content: PFL League Season, PFL PPV Super Fights, PFL Challenger Series, PFL International Leagues, and Bellator. 

Founded in 2018, PFL is backed by major blue-chip investors including SRJ, Ares, Knighthead, Luxor Capital, Waverley Capital, Elysian Park Ventures, and numerous NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS team owners. MMA is the growth sports business of the 2020s decade, with 650 million fans worldwide, the youngest audience demographic, and true global revenue streams.

Find PFL online at PFLmma.com, Instagram (@PFLmma), X, formerly known as Twitter (@PFLMMA), and Facebook (/PFLmma)

About U-NEXT

U-NEXT is Japan's leading video streaming platform. Currently, it provides the largest volume of subscription video on demand (SVOD) content in Japan (Source: January 2024, GEM Partners). In addition to the over 360,000 movies, live-action, and animated series available for on-demand streaming, U-NEXT also provides a variety of other real-time live streaming. those include music concerts, stage productions, and top-level sports events ranging from soccer, baseball, and golf, to martial arts. 

With a selection of over 1,010,000 manga, e-books and e-magazines. U-NEXT provides a unique entertainment experience among Japan's digital platforms. This allows subscribers to seamlessly enjoy electronic publications, video content, sports, concerts, and more within a single application. 

Through the service integration of Paravi in July 2023, a vast selection of the latest, best, and most-watched local variety and scripted dramas from Japan's leading terrestrial channels TBS and TV Tokyo as well as an extensive library of terrestrial TV programming was added to U-NEXT's lineup. This has further solidified the service's position in the market for strong local content.

This news release is republished with permission from the Professional Fighters League. 

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