SFL in talks with Amazon for streaming deal for MMA league

Super Fight League (SFL) is in talks with Amazon for a streaming deal to take mixed martial arts to the masses.

Amazon is keen to enter the sports broadcast market in India. For SFL to drive its digital growth strategy, riding on Amazon’s aggression could give it a shot in the arm.

SFL is being broadcast on Sony’s television network, which is buying rights for combat sports lately. With a streaming deal, SFL could be looking at subscription revenues in the near future too.

“We hope to build a digital business around the success of SFL and hope to seal the streaming deal with Amazon shortly”, Bill Dosanjh, co-founder of the SFL, told InsideSport.

All the Bollywood stars who have associated with the SFL have a combined Twitter and Facebook following of nearly 100 million. SFL is hoping to leverage that to drive the popularity and engagement of the league.

This week Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff joined the franchise Bengaluru Tigers as one of its owners. Shroff joins Randeep Hooda, Arjun Rampal and Ajay Devgn and other celebrities from Bollywood, building a buzz around the brand.

Star power for Super Fight League Pic: SFL

Gujarat and Punjab franchisee may make similar announcements shortly, adding to the celebrity quotient for the league.

With eight city franchisees in place, Dosanjh’s challenge will be to help the clubs build a brand that the franchisees can ride on through the year.

Revenue model

“Every franchisee has promised to open at least five gyms for their fans that can generate revenue from the fans who, in turn, can train with the stars”, Dosanjh says.

Each franchisee has committed to launching the gyms in the first year, where its team members will train. The gyms will earn revenue through while driving fan engagement opportunities too.

MMA has huge appeal among the youth which can be fuelled further with a strong digital presence. Dosanjh hopes SFL will help him reach out to that audience within India through the television and digital strategy. The two, together, could generate additional revenue for the clubs too.

An online subscription model for SFL, to reach out to the NRI market, could follow. A heady mix of Bollywood, action, entertainment and strong online presence could help drive revenues, SFL is hoping.

At the moment, though, all of it is a promise. When ticket sales and broadcast revenues start kicking in, SFL will be able to gauge better where exactly it stands.