ESPN STAR Sports on Wednesday announced a five-year broadcast deal with the India-based Super Fight League.
The network will cover 23 SFL Fight Nights live on a fortnightly basis (every two-weeks) from the 2013-14 season, which kicks off in Mumbai on March 29, 2013, and will continue year round until March 2014.
Ever since its launch in 2012, SFL has gained a lot of traction amongst MMA enthusiasts in the country. This year, a total of around 250 fighters, male and female, from India and abroad will fight it out for the coveted championship title belt and the right to be crowned SFL World Champion. This season will see participants from countries like Japan, Brazil and the United States. A lot of non-resident Indian MMA fighters from countries like Australia, UK, Canada, Germany and the United States will also compete.
“We believe in offering the best of sporting content to the Indian sports fans across genres and this acquisition firmly reiterates our constant endeavor in this direction,” said Vijay Rajput, Chief Operating Officer, ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd. “This acquisition enables us to expand our content in MMA fighting and we think this property will get a lot of traction with fight fans across the country. We will soon start a high decibel marketing campaign across our entire network leveraging top fighters of the league and Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt to build up to the season launch.”
Raj Kundra, Founder Chairman, Super Fight League, said, “The broadcast tie-up with ESPN STAR Sports will provide a major boost to our efforts to promote this property across South Asia. We are very enthused with the response that SFL has been able to generate in its very first year of operation. The league is today ranked amongst the top 5 MMA leagues in the world. In fact, SFL’s exclusive YouTube channel has recently crossed an impressive 10,000,000 video views over the past one year.
“As a result, we have seen a lot of interest from leading MMA fighters to compete in SFL season 2. Good quality fighters from India and abroad will help the league reach new highs. We are also expanding in a big way. The new season will see 11 title belts on offer, up from 5 title belts in the first edition. Male participants will fight it out across 8 weight categories from bantamweight to heavyweight while the ladies’ section will see action in 3 weight categories from flyweight to featherweight.”
“SFL is about real heroes, real fight, real action. SFL fights are also intense where one good move can help an underdog come up triumphant over an established champion. One has to be alert as there are no second chances here,” added Sanjay Dutt, Co-Founder, Super Fight League. “I get inspired when I see these fighters prepare for action. The broadcast deal with ESPN STAR Sports will give SFL a big boost especially riding on the success of the first year.”
SFL Season 2 is set to kick-off in Mumbai on March 29 this year and will take place bi-weekly until March of 2014. For more information on all the action, visit www.superfightleague.com.