ESPN STAR Sports signs five-year broadcast deal with SFL

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

ESPN STAR Sports today announced a five-year broadcast deal with Super Fight League (SFL), Asia’s leading Mixed Martial Arts property.

The network will cover 23 SFL Fight Nights live on a fortnightly basis from the 2013-14 season, starting in Mumbai on March 29 and will continue till March end 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 Beltand the right to be crowned SFL World Champion.

This season will see participants from top notch MMA playing countries like Japan, Brazil and USA. A lot of NRI MMA fighters from countries like Australia, UK, Canada, Germany and USA will also be in seen in action.

Speaking on the occasion, Vijay Rajput, Chief Operating Officer, ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd, said, “We believe in offering the best of sporting content to the Indian sports fans across genres and this acquisition firmly reiterates our constant endeavour in this direction.

“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’re 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 top 5 MMA leagues in the world.

“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”.

Sanjay Dutt, Co-Founder of SFL, said, “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. 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.”

Olympic bronze medallist boxer, M C Mary Kom, who is the Brand Ambassador of SFL, said, “People need to understand that it is very difficult to be an MMA fighter. It is a full contact sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, standing as well as when you are on the ground. MMA includes Boxing, Wrestling, Brazilian Ji-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Karate, Judo and other styles. I get dazzled every time I see actual MMA action.”

In the Bantamweight category for males, current title holder Anup Kumar has been given the top ranking, while in the Featherweight category, Bharat Khandare (current title holder) tops the ranking.

In Lightweight, Rajinder Singh (current title holder) is ranked No.1 and in Welterweight, Shyam Prasad (current title holder) is at the top.

In the new categories introduced this year, John Troyer has been ranked highest in the Middleweight category. Goran Reljic is ranked second in the Light heavyweight category.

Daniel Amar Singh has been ranked highest in the Heavyweight category.

In the female section, Sanja Sucevic has been ranked highest in the Flyweight category, Hanna Sillen has been given the highest billing in Bantamweight, while in Featherweight, Puja Kadian is the favourite to win the title.

Published on March 13, 2013

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