News comes after BBC renewed Bellator deal

C4 PFL - Claressa Shields & Louisa Compton of Channel 4 & Peter Murray CEO PFL & Brendan Loughnane MMA

Channel 4 has become the UK broadcast partner of MMA competition the Professional Fighters League (PFL).

The free-to-air broadcaster will air the PFL’s inaugural Challenger Series, along with the 2022 PFL Regular Season which gets under way on 20th April and includes the Playoffs, and PFL World Championship.

In addition, there will be original content from both PFL Studios and Channel 4’s in-house digital agency 4Studios, plus archival footage from the 2019-2021 seasons. 

British interest in the series includes featherweight Brendan Loughnane and heavyweight Stuart Austin from England, as well as lightweights Myles Price from Ireland and Stevie Ray from Scotland. 

This annoucement comes shortly after the BBC renewed its deal to air fellow MMA competition Bellator, which will be live on BBC3 and BBC iPlayer. The public service broadcasters may see MMA as a way to appeal to younger viewers. 

Channel 4 commissioning editor for sport Joe Blake-Turner said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with The PFL and bringing top quality MMA to British fight fans. The PFL is innovative, ambitious, fast and exciting. It’s really popular with younger audiences, particularly on digital and a fantastic addition to our expanding sports portfolio.”

PFL CEO Peter Murray added: “The Professional Fighters League is thrilled to announce our broadcast partnership with Channel 4.

“As MMA continues to be the growth sport of this decade, we look forward to expanding our unique product this year and building the United Kingdom and Ireland as two top priority international markets for the PFL.”

The Professional Fighting League continues the growth of Channel 4’s sport offering, after it won the rights to 10 live Super League matches-a-season in November last year.