fuboTV Inks Multi-Year Deal With Professional Fighters League for New PFL Challenger Series, Completes Acquisition of Molotov SAS
The Professional Fighters League has announced an exclusive multi-year partnership for its new PFL Challenger Series with fuboTV. In addition, fuboTV has closed its acquisition of France’s Molotov SAS — a deal which was previously expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.
Professional Fighters League
The PFL Challenger Series debuts live on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, and will stream on consecutive Friday nights exclusively on fuboTV and its linear network, Fubo Sports Network, in February, March, and April.
“PFL Challenger Series is not your father’s contender series,” says PFL Founder and Chairman Donn Davis. “The winner of the PFL Challenger Series can become a real-world Rocky story, going from an unknown pro to World Champion holding a $1 million check in the same year.”
The PFL Challenger Series takes the competition format familiar to MMA fans and makes it more exciting and modern with the innovative, disruptive approach PFL is known for.
Each week will be a must-watch event to see who joins the judging panel, bringing combat sports champions, major celebrities from music and entertainment, and global influencers. Confirmed judges to appear this season of the PFL Challenger Series on fubo include Mike Tyson, Ray Lewis, and Todd Gurley.
“fuboTV provides sports fans an innovative viewing experience and PFL could not be more excited to launch our new PFL Challenger Series exclusively on their platform,” says PFL CEO Peter Murray. “The PFL Challenger Series will be the most unique live fight show showcasing the MMA stars of tomorrow and I’m confident it quickly will become buzzworthy viewing.”
The PFL Challenger Series fan vote will give MMA fans a seat at the judges’ table.
“Our partnership with the PFL and their new PFL Challenger Series allows fuboTV to further differentiate our sports-first programming with exclusive MMA content, which we know is one of the hottest live sports for consumers,” says David Gandler, co-founder and CEO, fuboTV.
Viewers can also interact with the live competition through fuboTV’s popular predictive, free-to-play games. fuboTV recently launched free games alongside select sports streaming on fuboTV and Fubo Sports Network giving viewers the opportunity to answer predictive questions about the action on screen.
“fuboTV believes the future of sports television will be interactive,” adds Gandler. “This partnership will give our audience unprecedented ways to interact and engage with the PFL. We are looking forward to bringing an interactive sports and entertainment television experience to consumers next year through this very unique partnership.”
Fubo Sportsbook will be the exclusive gambling sponsor of the PFL Challenger Series. Fubo Sportsbook launched in November 2021 in Iowa and will launch in additional states pending the requisite regulatory approvals.
Molotov SAS Acquisition
The synergies between fuboTV and Molotov’s technology and teams are expected to enable both companies to continue on paths of accelerated growth in their respective home countries and leverage their capabilities to improve both business models with greater scale. Molotov’s unique offerings include its direct-to-consumer live TV streaming service and its advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) service, Mango, which combined total nearly four million monthly active users in France (September 2021). The Molotov streaming platform was designed to be easily localized for new markets and languages, facilitating efficient launches in additional countries as fuboTV considers expanding its global footprint and launching its interactive sports and entertainment streaming platform on a global scale.
Molotov will continue to be based in Paris and led by JeanDavid Blanc who has been named president and will report directly to Gandler. Molotov’s approximately 100 employees will remain with the Company and fuboTV plans to further expand the product and engineering team in Paris. Molotov was founded in 2015 by Blanc (founder of AlloCiné) and Pierre Lescure (co-founder of Canal+).
“With today’s closing, fuboTV has acquired a very talented team and an innovative tech stack that can help accelerate our development in the U.S. with a judicious deployment of minimal incremental investment dollars,” says Gandler. “At the same time, this combination will provide technology to grow Molotov’s business model. Over the long term, we believe the synergies of the combined company will give us operating leverage to build a scalable global platform as we continue on our mission to deliver the world’s leading interactive sports and entertainment live TV experience.”
Molotov brings to fuboTV’s international business a freemium model which leverages a free tier to drive user growth and upsell customers to premium add-on channel packages. fuboTV plans to leverage Molotov’s strategy and low-cost marketing funnel for international growth while implementing fuboTV’s marketing technology to accelerate Molotov subscriptions.
Molotov has distinguished itself in France with a unique entertainment experience focused on live and on-demand TV series, movies, documentaries and kids content. fuboTV will look to provide Molotov with sports content and sports-first product features. The newly combined streaming platform has the potential to offer a robust and personalized product experience for everyone in the household. This well-rounded offering will also enable fuboTV to customize local content offerings as it enters new markets.
fuboTV currently operates in the U.S. and Canada and was the first U.S. virtual MVPD to enter Europe with its 2018 launch in Spain. Molotov operates in France, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Cameroon and expects to launch soon in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Company also operates in Morocco through a partnership with Maroc telecom.