Professional Fighters League Sees Profitability in 2 Years

by birtanpublished on September 10, 2020

Believe it or not there are about half a billion mixed martial arts fans pretty much across the world and you know the professional fighters league or pfl is looking to capitalize on the sport's impressive growth pfl in case you didn't know it's a us-based mma promotion they

Entered the ring back in 2018 it's distributed now on espn big deal there and the reach the reach now is more than 160 countries across the world and the company says

It's the number two mma company in the world and like many sports is having obviously content with the fallout and reality of this ongoing pandemic back in april pfl announced that it was postponing its third

Official season to may next year to avoid the worst of this crisis and to give us an update on the business and maybe when we can see them once again let's join we're joined right now exclusively by the ceo

Peter murray he joins us out of florida today peter good morning from asia good evening where you are i guess a good starting point would be for

The benefit of a lot of our viewers maybe including hardcore mma fans i say mma immediately maybe people think ufc in this part of the world won championship tell us who you are and what makes you

Different yeah good morning great to be here thanks for having me what makes the pfl different we're the first and only mma organization on a global stage

That has a regular season a playoff and a championship it's not a promotion it's not about matchmaking it's about athletes the best athletes in the world

Earning their way through a regular season into a postseason culminating with the world title uh fight which we have six championships on one night on new year's eve we've executed that the last two

Seasons um and it's a journey it's no different than football global football the epl the nba it really speaks to athletes meritocracy uh and fans

Understand the programmatic nature where there's a beginning middle and end and a massive payout peter give us an update on the business this reality is obviously hitting live sports whether that's combat sports

Or other professional leagues you know how is that affecting what you guys are doing now and how is that also affecting your projections on when you think you might be able to break even

Uh i we're we're we're on course i mean kovid left its mark on society on businesses including sports and for us we were fortunate in that um it it didn't start

Uh impact uh the season we didn't start the season it occurred before so we made an early decision we rescheduled to 2021 this spring all of our broadcast agreements are locked in with espn

Uh all of our international uh distribution partners and our sponsors so we're we're planning to execute and set to execute in 21 and then in the meantime we really double down on content

We launched pfl studios which is our storytelling arm long form short form programming we have greenlit for original episodic series on espn also distributed around the world

There's a need for content just given the landscape sports are slowly coming back and it's a new norm but for us uh you know we we're we're on pace to uh

Profitability based on our our game plan uh over over the next uh within a four-year time period and we're two years into that so two years out and peter i'm interested on the

Rationale behind delaying your season until next year i mean we've seen a lot of sports leagues they've had them you know games behind closed doors no fans and still be able to air

Them why couldn't go you go that route with your digital tools yeah we we evaluated it and really two guiding principles uh that guided our decision making one safety for our fighters our fighters

Come from 25 countries around the world so those logistics would have really made it impossible at the time and then number two we wanted to maintain the integrity of our format

Which takes eight months from beginning to end uh and that was critically important with with two successful years and seasons under our belt growing our audience uh by 50 our championship new year's eve was up

Over 100 reaching three plus million people around the world live so from a business standpoint a truncated season didn't make sense and one-off events

Um it did not make sense as well uh but next year we will have a single site our version of the bubble uh we'll execute that in las vegas and should the landscape

Change uh with covet come post season next year uh we we can potentially plan to open up to fans and larger scale events

And peter it's interesting right going for this league style obviously you're filling a gap in the market uh the main draw though for the ufc is that they create these big fights and and

Build stars and generate the hype i mean i'm i don't particularly watch mma but i still know about this fight between conor mcgregor and lloyd mayweather so how do you

Attract viewers and how do you actually build a roster yeah i mean our roster is curated we have top-ranked talent from from around the world um there are more athletes that can fight at this level the pfl level on a

Global stage uh than then they have opportunity uh we're finding that uh our format is absolutely built to create stars kayla harrison she's a two-time olympic

Gold medalist in judo in the u.s she's now the world's number three uh women's female fighter in mma overall we also have champions stars of the sport coming over to the pfl

From other major organizations uh to compete because it's all about the opportunity it's a major belt the pfl belt it's a million dollar payout for each champion and we have some of the top

Talent in the world competing within our format

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