An interesting approach from a newer league has been the Professional Fighters League’s focus on studio content. The MMA promotion was one of the first leagues to call off their 2020 season entirely amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, doing so last April, and at that time, they shifted their focus to not only preparing for a 2021 season, but launching PFL Studios and creating 10 programmatic series that appeared across ESPN platforms, other distribution partners like WAVE.tv and fubo Sports Network, and their own app and free OTT platform. One of those series, PFL Vault, has done well for fubo Sports Network on Wednesdays, and it’s now moving to a primetime 9 p.m. slot on Fridays. Here’s more on that from a release:
The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the fastest growing and most innovative sports league, announced today that “PFL Vault” will now be streaming on Friday nights at 9 p.m. ET across fubo Sports Network, the live, free-to-consumer TV network featuring sports stories on and off the field.
The hour-long program features archival footage specially curated from PFL Studios, showcasing the league’s efforts to engage with fans year-round given the unique sport-season format of the PFL schedule. fubo Sports Network moved “PFL Vault” to its primetime schedule on Friday nights given its strong performance across the platform on Wednesdays as the staple within fubo’s combat sports weekly programming.
“There’s a strong demand from MMA fans for a consistent flow of new content and our partnership with fubo Sports Network is boosting our presence in key markets,” said PFL CEO, Peter Murray. “They’ve been a great distribution partner and our highlight driven footage will get fans even more excited for our return on April 23 and throughout the season.”
The PFL’s long-form studio content is led by executive producer George Greenberg, a 16-time Emmy Award-winning producer and director known for decades of work at Fox and ABC. And their studio content (including their docuseries on Randy Couture, which premieres Saturday on ESPN and ESPN+) has been particularly important this last year without live events, as Murray told AA last fall:
“We’ve been busier than ever. We’ve been maintaining brand visibility and growing our fanbase. …The PFL is not just an event company; we’ve now established that. We’ve expanded our content offerings beyond live events.”
PFL Vault is part of that approach, and it’s notable to see it getting a bigger spotlight here. We’ll see how it does in setting the stage for the PFL’s return.