Pro Fighters League plans streaming service, int’l expansion

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Professional Fighters League will unveil an over-the-top streaming service next month as it aims to keep growing despite the cancellation of its 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The PFL will create its own video content for the largest media venture yet by the league-based mixed martial arts promotion, which has a broadcast deal with ESPN and distribution to 160 countries.

The PFL also plans to announce a new collection of international broadcast deals next month despite postponing its next competitive fights to 2021.

The promotion hired longtime One Championship executive Loren Mack this month to play a major role in those international development plans. Mack also will work for the New York-based promotion in Las Vegas, where the PFL intends to increase its presence in 2021.

The PFL canceled its season in April, but offered a monthly stipend to its fighters. Most other MMA promotions have since returned to competition or announced plans to fight later in 2020, but the PFL still plans to start fresh next year with its unique regular season/playoff competition format.

PFL President Ray Sefo said the promotion didn’t believe it could complete its entire season of competition due to the worldwide uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic. While recent signee Rory MacDonald and other PFL fighters accepted the decision, it has been criticized by key fighters including Lance Palmer, Brendan Loughnane and Justin Willis, who all would rather be fighting than receiving a stipend.

The PFL was formed as the World Series of Fighting in 2012, changing its name to the PFL in 2017.

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