The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the world’s only major mixed martial arts league, announced today that they are partnering with Mark Burnett, President of MGM Television Group & Digital and MGM Television to develop and produce new content and programming for PFL’s upcoming season. MGM and Burnett (Survivor, The Voice, Shark Tank, The Contender) will both join as PFL investors and Burnett has personally been added to the advisory board. The PFL 2018 league season debuts June 7 and consists of 11 events live on NBC Sports Network and Facebook Watch.
The Professional Fighters League is the first organization ever to present MMA as a true sport with individual fighters competing in regular season, “win-and-advance” playoffs, and season-ending championship. The new partnership with MGM Television will bring unscripted programming and short-form content to PFL’s multi-platform distribution designed to maximize engagement with MMA’s 300 million fans worldwide. The initial unscripted series will engage fans in the day to day life of the fighters and feature a parallel tournament whose champion will win a spot in the PFL league playoffs.
“We are thrilled to partner with MGM Television and Mark Burnett,” said Peter Murray, Chief Executive Officer of Professional Fighters League. “Mark’s creative vision for delivering innovative live content is among the absolute best the industry has to offer – and that is exactly what we will bring MMA fans this season.”
Earlier this year, PFL announced exclusive multi-platform distribution agreements for the 2018 season with NBC Sports Group and Facebook. NBC Sports Group will establish an exclusive live Thursday night PFL fight franchise, presenting seven regular-season live events in prime time exclusively on NBCSN beginning June 7 through the end of August.
“It’s no secret that MMA’s audience is rapidly growing and PFL has an enormous global presence. As an enthusiast for innovation within the television industry, I’m passionate about the growth and vision of PFL and it’s time this sport revolves around a league format,” said Burnett. “They’re elevating the sport in an entirely new way and I’m looking forward to being part of it.”
In addition to the live events, the development deal will feature PFL’s “What Do you Fight For?” programming that brings viewers short-form digital & social content that will showcase the day-to-day lives and back stories of the fighters, designed to help build online communities of PFL’s fan base and encourage engagement among fans, fighters, and PFL’s on-air talent. Viewers can follow PFL athletes through an array of short-form original content, such as the “Top 10 of The Week, Path to the Finals, 24:7: Life of a Fighter, and “Inside the Gym” Cam.
“PFL is thrilled to partner with Mark Burnett the innovator and icon who invented and perfected unscripted TV,” said Donn Davis, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of the PFL. “The PFL is re-imagining MMA and the start of the 2018 Season June 7 will bring fans the same excitement and ‘hey, I have never seen that’ reaction they felt when Survivor debuted and ushered in the new age of television.”