ESPN STAR Sports (ESS) has picked up the broadcast rights of Indian Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) property Super Fight League (SFL) for five years. SFL was earlier aired on Neo Prime. ESS will air 23 SFL Fight Nights live on a fortnightly basis from the 2013-14 season, which kicks off in Mumbai on March 29 and will continue all year round till March end 2014. ESPN Software India COO Vijay Rajput 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,” he added. Launched in 2012, SFL is a brainchild of Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra and Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt. This year a total of around 250 fighters, male and female, from India and abroad will fight it out for the coveted Championship Title Belt and the right to be crowned SFL World Champion. This season will see participants from 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. Kundra added, “The broadcast tie-up with ESPN Star Sports will provide a major boost to our efforts to promote this property across South Asia. We are very enthused with the response that SFL has been able to generate in its very first year of operation." ESS has rights of Indian cricket, England Cricket Board (ECB), English Premier League (EPL), Hockey India League (HIL), Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL), Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), and FA Cup.