PFL 3 Prelims on ESPN2 draw 113,000 viewers

June 7, 2019

The Professional Fighters’ League prelims which aired on ESPN2 on Thursday afternoon/evening drew 113,000 viewers per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The event was the precursor to the third event of the second season for the PFL.  The prelims saw Emiliano Sordi get a 2nd round KO against Vinny Magalhaes in a light heavyweight matchup.  Also, Viktor Nemkov defeated Rakim Cleveland via unanimous decision.

Prelims for second season of PFL on ESPN

PFL 1: 137,000

PFL2:  120,000

PFL 3:  113,000

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are low but as a prelim event, its hardly any surprise for the ratings.  The event went up against the NHL Stanley Cup airing on NBC at about the same time too.  These events are ones that can get the PFL name out there on cable but the eventual hope is that fans gravitate to subscribe on ESPN+

PFL and iHeartMedia announce new partnership deal

May 3, 2019

The Professional Fighters League and iHeartMedia announced a marketing and content partnership deal “designed to promote fight events and enhance the fan experience through the fusion of music and MMA.”

The PFL begins its second season in its “sport-season format” of Regular Season, Playoffs and Championships next week. iHeartMedia touts itself as the “umber one audio company in the United States with subscription-based (and free) options for users to listen to live broadcast stations across the nation.

Via press release:

iHeartMedia on-air hosts and talent will make appearances at select events, kicking off with New York’s Hip Hop and R&B station Power 105.1’s DJ Suss-One spinning live at the first event of the PFL 2019 Season May 9 at Nassau Coliseum. Promotional opportunities continue with DJ Envy of The Breakfast Club, the popular morning show syndicated on Hip-Hop and R&B stations nationwide, to drive tune-in for the events.

The partnership also includes creating music experiences in connection with each fight night and providing fans with access to PFL “in the life” fighter interviews. Fans will gain insight into what happens behind-the-scenes during fight week through the lens of iHeart and PFL influencers. Promotional contests will run across iHeartMedia stations throughout the country and on iHeartRadio, the all-in-one digital live streaming radio service.

Payout Perspective:

The partnership looks to help the in-arena experience while infusing music into the PFL programming. One has to believe that this partnership was aided by PFL’s new platform on ESPN. How this helps each side? We will see.

PFL secures global partnership with Anheuser Busch In Bev’s Estrella Jalisco

March 13, 2019

The Professional Fighters’ League announced a multi-year global partnership with Anheuser Busch In-Bev’s Estrella Jalisco brand. It will be the Exclusive Beer Partner of the PFL.

Via PFL press release:

As the Official Beer of the PFL, Estrella Jalisco has global rights to use PFL logos and “Official Partner” branding for advertising and promotional usage, including pass-through branding rights for promotions with on-premise and retail channel partners. ABI and the league will also collaborate on exclusive content across digital platforms.

Estrella Jalisco logos will be featured in and around the cage and on signage in and around the arenas. PFL regular season action returns to New York and New Jersey, with mini residencies for PFL 1-3 at NYCB Live, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island, and PFL 4-6 at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. This season, the PFL will be introducing the PFL Cageside Club, a new VIP floor level experience for fans, which will prominently feature the Mexican beer.

Payout Perspective:

Interesting sponsorship development when you consider that the UFC and Modelo forged a deal for it to be a sponsor for the promotion.  Anheuser-Busch In Bev is the parent company of Modelo.  Thus, the company’s beers will be seen on ESPN through the two MMA promotions.  The partnership with the PFL was likely secured with the ESPN deal.

PFL’s New Year’s Eve Show drew 204,000 viewers on NBCSN

January 4, 2019

The New Year’s Eve showing of the PFL Championships on NBC Sports Network drew 204,000 viewers.

According to a PFL press release, “the 2018 Championship, the PFL saw a record-setting number of fans tune-in with over 5 million fans watching in the U.S. on NBCSN and in the rest of the world on Facebook Watch as well as on select international sports networks.”

The main card featured the finals of the weight divisions for the season with the winners taking home an advertised $1 million.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings were the best for the promotion this season which is surprising given the fights were shown on New Year’s Eve.  But it also speaks to the low ratings on NBC Sports Network this season as Monday’s event was the only one to go over 200,000 viewers. The finals had compelling storylines, upsets and focused on the life-changing event of becoming a millionaire which was key.  For the organization to go forward next season, it must find a way to draw more ratings and engage viewers in its product.

MMA Payout Year in Review: No. 5 – PFL debuts

December 30, 2018

The Professional Fighters League began its first season this year and will end it on New Year’s Eve in New York.  Although the PFL has re-emerged from WSOF with a novel “season” with winners having a chance at $1 million, it still is suffering from lack of viewership according to its ratings.

The good news is the PFL found a television partner in NBC Sports Network.  It also had a concept which was intriguing as the fighters fought tournament style earning points with fighters entering the playoffs and a final in each of the weight divisions.

In August, it was reported that comedian Kevin Hart and several other famous Hollywood stars had invested $28 million in the PFL.  Hart even did a video promo for its playoffs this past October.

The new investors that took over include investment banker Russ Ramsey, venture capitalists Donn Davis and Mark Leschly and D.C. sports franchise owner Ted Leonis.

The PFL season started this past summer with playoffs occurring in October.  It will culminate on Monday, December 31st.  Despite the financial security it may have with its investors, the viewership of the events has been dismal as not one event has surpassed 200,000 viewers.  The ratings are smaller than WSOF events on NBC Sports Network.

With such notable investors, we will see what strategies they take to attempt to turn the tide for the organization.

PFL introduces the ‘SmartCage’

December 19, 2018

The Professional Fighters League is partnering with SportsMEDIA Technology to announce a new technological venture that will measure real-time MMA fight performance.

 Via PFL press release

WASHINGTON DC (December 17, 2018) – The Professional Fighters League (PFL) and SMT (SportsMEDIA Technology) – the leading innovator in real-time data delivery and graphics solutions for the sports and entertainment industries – today announced an exclusive, long-term technology partnership. Under the terms of the agreement, SMT will partner with the PFL to create proprietary technology that will measure real-time MMA fighter performance analytics along with biometric and positional data that will provide fans a game-changing live event experience across all platforms.

Starting in 2019, SMT will help power the PFL’s vision of the first-ever SmartCage™. The SmartCage™ will utilize biometric sensors and proprietary technology that will enable the PFL to measure and deliver real-time fighter performance data and analytics, what the PFL is dubbing: Cagenomics™PFL fans watching linear and digital broadcasts of the league’s Regular Season, Playoff and Championship events will experience a new dimension of MMA fight action with integration of live athlete performance and tracking measurements including: speed (mph) of punches and kicks, power ratings, heart rate tracking, energy exerted and more.

“The Professional Fighters League is excited to be partnering with SMT to advance the sport of MMA.  The PFL’s new SmartCage™ will revolutionize the way MMA fans experience watching live fights as next year every PFL fight will deliver unprecedented, real-time fighter performance data and analytics, biometric tracking and an enhanced visual presentation of this great sport,” said Peter Murray, CEO, Professional Fighters League. “Not only will PFL fans benefit from our SmartCage™ innovation, but our pro fighters will now have access to new performance measurement data, analysis and tools to help them train and compete.   The PFL’s vision has always been two-fold: deliver the absolute best experience to fans and be a fighters-first organization and with the SmartCage™ we will accomplish both.”

“SMT is thrilled to be collaborating with the Professional Fighters League’s forward-thinking innovation team to bring our latest and greatest technology to PFL events,” said Gerard J. Hall, Founder & CEO, SMT. “Starting in 2019, PFL fans will begin to see real-time, live, innovative technology that is unique to the PFL in the MMA space.  SMT’s OASIS Platform will provide the PFLwith a seamlessly integrated system that combines live scoring with real-time biometric and positional data to enhance the analysis, storytelling and graphic presentation of the PFL’s Regular Season, Playoffs and Championship events next season.”

Payout Perspective:

It was only a matter of time before the advances of technology to analyze this sport would take place.  With the use of this new information, it will provide more information for the viewer which, presumably, will enhance the broadcast.  In a broader sense, the information will be made to help fans track fighters and allow them (let’s face it) to make bets.  Another question that will be brewing hill is who owns the information.  Is it the fighters, the promoters or the makers of the SmartCage?

PFL 8 draws 144,000 viewers

October 24, 2018

The Professional Fighters League playoffs this past Saturday on NBC Sports Network drew 144,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The 8th event this season took place in Washington, D.C. on Saturday with the winners heading to the New Year’s Eve Finals in New York for a chance at the $1 million price for each weight division.  Saturday night’s event was highlighted by welterweight Ray Cooper as he won his welterweight semifinal matchup against Handesson Ferreira via first round TKO.  Cooper will face Magomed MagomedKirmov who defeated Bojan Velickovic in the other semifinal on Saturday.

PFL 1: 116,000 viewers

PFL 2: 150,000 viewers

PFL 3: 146,000 viewers

PFL 4: 101,000 viewers

PFL 5: 112,000 viewers

PFL 6: 138,000 viewers

PFL 7: 136,000 viewers

PFL 8: 144,000 viewers

While they are not the biggest ratings, Saturdays numbers improve upon the first set of semifinals in Long Beach.   The event went unopposed from Bellator or the UFC so this likely helped the bump in viewership.

PFL 7 draws 136,000 Friday night

October 11, 2018

The Professional Fighters League did 136,000 viewers on Friday night on NBC Sports Network according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  Friday night was the start of the promotion’s playoffs.

Kevin Hart, one of the famous silent investors in the PFL, did a promo for the show.

PFL 1: 116,000 viewers

PFL 2: 150,000 viewers

PFL 3: 146,000 viewers

PFL 4: 101,000 viewers

PFL 5: 112,000 viewers

PFL 6: 138,000 viewers

PFL 7: 136,000 viewers

Payout Perspective:

Unfortunately for the PFL, UFC 229 overshadowed the start of the playoffs.  136,000 viewers is a decrease from the last show this past August.  Hopefully, the company will be able to gain some traction as the playoffs continue.

PFL 6 draws 138,000 viewers on NBC Sports Network

August 18, 2018

The Professional Fighter’s League on NBC Sports Network drew 138,000 Thursday night in its sixth event in the current season format.  The event improved upon PFL 5.

PFL 6 took place in Atlantic City and was capped by an impressive 18 second ref stoppage by Rey Cooper III to earn the number 1 seed in the welterweight playoffs.

Also on the telecast was Kayla Harrison as she earned her second pro victory in the third round over Jozette Cotton.

PFL 1: 116,000 viewers

PFL 2: 150,000 viewers

PFL 3: 146,000 viewers

PFL 4: 101,000 viewers

PFL 5: 112,000 viewers

PFL 6: 138,000 viewers

Payout Perspective:

Good ratings for a tough night of programming on cable as the NFL Preseason is back and the top cable telecast on Thursday night was ESPN’s game between the NY Jets and Washington.  FX’s Snowfall (923,000) and A&E’s Nightwatch Nation (1.437M) are among the shows that drew higher viewership in the same time slot.

PFL 5 on NBC Sports Network draws 112,000 viewers

August 6, 2018

The PFL on NBC Sports Network drew 112,000 viewers on Thursday night.

The event featured Nathan Schulte defeating Jason High in a lightweight matchup.

PFL 1: 116,000 viewers

PFL 2: 150,000 viewers

PFL 3: 146,000 viewers

PFL 4: 101,000 viewers

PFL 5: 112,000 viewers

Payout Perspective:

The event increased from a season-low of 101,000 viewers.  The ratings are still not on par with WSOF ratings.  We will see if viewership will increase before PFL gets to the playoffs.

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