Broadcast Peaked At 495,000 Viewers, A Nearly 50 Percent Increase Over Previous WSOF Main Event Card Aired On NBCSN
The Professional Fighters League debuted Friday night, June 30 with an innovative event never before seen in the world of mixed martial arts. Professional Fighters League: Daytona was held in the infield at the iconic Daytona International Speedway before a raucous crowd and a near-record television audience. The primetime NBCSN broadcast was the second largest ever to view an MMA event on the network and the largest in over three years.
The event audience peaked at 495,000 viewers with an average of 291,000 over the 143-minute broadcast. Despite the NASCAR Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 having been cancelled due to rain, the strong showing by the League helped lead NBCSN to the top primetime finish for the night (7-11 p.m. ET) among sports networks. The 533,000 viewers topped second-ranked ESPN by 39 percent.
Professional Fighters League: Daytona also performed well in key P18-49 and P25-54 demographics, delivering 82,000 viewers, up 24 percent from the 2016 WSOF premier average and 121,000 viewers, up 48 percent from the 2016 WSOF premiere average, respectively. The race cancellation added to the atmosphere as many of the drivers and their crews packed the venue to watch the Professional Fighters League kick off Fourth of July Weekend with their own brand of fireworks.
“The atmosphere was electric,” said Carlos Silva, President of Event Production and Business Operations for the Professional Fighters League. “For the first time ever, fans were able to watch elite MMA athletes outside under the lights at Daytona International Speedway. We’re thrilled to see that excitement translated to our television audience, and eager to bring fans more innovative experiences like the one Friday night as we prepare for the official launch of our new league season in January 2018.”
The NBCSN broadcast of Professional Fighters League outdrew MLS Soccer on ESPN (Salt Lake vs. Orlando, 9:30-11:33 p.m. ET) and baseball on MLB Network (New York Yankees vs. Houston or Washington vs. St. Louis, 8:11-11:31 p.m. ET). The Daytona event bested both programs in the overall share (Professional Fighters League scored 0.19 to 0.18 for both soccer and baseball).
The Professional Fighters League’s next event will be in Everett, Washington on July 29 when undefeated featherweight Andre Harrison takes on Steven Rodriguez for the number one seed in that weight class when league play begins in January. Tickets are on sale and priced at $19, $29, $49 while cage-side seats are $79. Tickets are available at the XFINITY Arena Box Office, online at www.xfinityarenaeverett.com, or charge by phone 866.332.8499.
ABOUT THE PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS LEAGUE 2018 SEASON
The Professional Fighters League will kick-off their inaugural season in January 2018. The League brings the pure sport format to MMA, with individual fighters competing in a scheduled regular season and $10 million post-season tournament. The season will begin with 84 athletes, 12 in each of 7 weight-classes, with 1 emerging as the champion in each.
ABOUT PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS LEAGUE
The Professional Fighters League is co-founded by Donn Davis, Russ Ramsey, and Mark Leschly and backed by business titans in sports, media, and technology and will debut in January 2018. The Professional Fighters League purchased the fighting operations and event infrastructure of the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) in January 2017. For more visit www.professionalfightersleague.com.
Greg Savage, Professional Fighters League
TJ Ducklo, Professional Fighters League