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MTV enters Indian sports rights market with Super Fight League deal

Youth orientated television channel MTV has made its first major move into the Indian sports media market by acquiring exclusive broadcast and digital rights to mixed martial arts promotion Super Fight League.

The agreement is for the second season of the franchise-based competition, which will launch in February.

Viacom Media Networks-owned MTV has signed the SFL deal after agreeing a partnership with newly-formed Indian esports league UCypher in March.

Raj Nayak, chief operating officer of Viacom18, said: “Mixed martial arts is a niche sport in India but one that's gaining a lot of popularity. Through MTV's association with Super Fight League we aim to popularise the sport and make it accessible to a much larger audience than it currently enjoys – the youth of India. We see a lot of potential in the sport and hope for a longstanding association with the league.”

Bill Dosanjh, SFL’s chief executive and founder, added: “MTV is the channel that resonates strongly with the youth of today and this association will help build the sport amongst the millennial generation and (gain) more participation from the youth.

“Having MTV as the broadcast partner will further augment our endeavour to reach the core population of India and make Super Fight League a name to reckon with in the MMA fraternity in India. On the investment side, we have spent almost Rs. 250 crore (€32.8m/$38.8m) in the last five years and we are looking to invest a further Rs. 200 crore over the next three years.”