MTV, the Viacom18 youth entertainment channel, is venturing into sports broadcasting by acquiring the exclusive broadcast and digital rights of the second season of Super Fight League (SFL), the mixed martial arts (MMA) tournament. In its first season, the league was broadcast by Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD. MTV aims to consolidate the position of MMA as a main sport with the massive appeal in the world sports fraternity.
Hindi GEC of Viacom18, Colors, also broadcast SFL matches, between 2012 and 2016. The matches that Colors broadcast were in the format that had sports and each fight was preceded by 45 minutes of live Bollywood entertainment from Bollywood stars. However, the channels could not push much property and finally, the formal league that took place between January 20 and February 25, 2017, was broadcast by Sony ESPN.
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For the second season, however, SFL has returned to Viacom18, albeit in its youth channel. This is not the first time that non-sports or entertainment channels broadcast sports events. Sony Max had broadcast the ICC Champions Trophy until 2007, while the Indian Premier League took that channel after 2008. Star Gold also broadcast sporting events such as Pro Kabaddi League and Indian Super League, along with network sports channels. Sony and Colors also, on different occasions, had broadcast the cricket room event – Box Cricket League.
These properties, IPL, ISL and PKL have always worked much better in non-sports channels thanks to the pure distribution, reach and promotions they have. Although Colors could not do and win a lot of SFl, it will be interesting to see the treatment the tournament receives and lends it to MTV.
The second season begins in February 2018. The league is promoted by the British entrepreneur and sports enthusiast Bill Dosanjh and the British professional boxer and two-time world champion Amir Khan. With the reputation of having obtained more than 100 million visits in five years for 67 live televised events, SFL is ranked as the third largest MMA brand in the world. The franchise-based league that is being organized in partnership with the Association of Martial Arts of India (AIMMAA) will carry a cash prize of Rs. 4 crores, as well as 96 players and eight teams.
Raj Nayak, COO, Viacom18, said: “MMA is a niche sport in India but it is gaining a lot of popularity.” Through MTV’s partnership with SFL, our goal is to popularize the sport and make it accessible to a much wider audience. great of what he currently enjoys: young people, we see a lot of potential in sports and we look forward to a long-standing partnership with the league. “
Ferzad Palia, Director, Youth, Music and English Entertainment, Viacom18, said: “Indian youth are always looking for something new and exciting, and when it comes to sports, they are exploring avenues beyond cricket. a sport that not only allows one to learn the tricks of self-defence but also gives great confidence to those who enter the ring.From our target group, young people in the country are constantly looking for something that inspires them, this is a great MTV Super Fight League is going to be a platform for young people to discover an exciting sport in which they will learn that fighting is not only about being strong but also being fit and being smart “.
MTV SFL 2018 will promote gender equality through a fair and unique platform with women who have the same influence on the team as men. The league involves a group ‘A’ and ‘B’, which consists of four teams each. Each team has six players, five male fighters and one female, and six backs, belonging to six different weight categories. The teams within the group compete with each other in 12 league-level matches.
The second season of the leading MMA league will be held at MTV SFL Arena, Famous Studios, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai, from February 9 to March 17, 2018.