Last weekends rain delay turned out to be a good this for the Professional Fighters League (PFL) inaugural event, #PFLDaytona on NBC Sports. The event was originally scheduled for 10:30 pm EST, after the Daytona NASCAR event, but mother nature had other plans.
The rain and high humidity caused NASCAR to push the race back to Saturday, giving the prime time slot to the PFL.
The humid conditions made it hard for fighters to follow a game plan under regular conditions, but that didn’t deter any of them from putting on some great fights. Jon Fitch was the scheduled main event and he managed to pull off the only finish on the card. According to a press release from the PFL, the event peaked at 495,000 viewers with an average of 291,000.
It also stated that the broadcast led NBCSN as the “top primetime finish for the night (7-11 p.m. ET) among sports networks.”
Over the past ten years, Fitch had won a majority of his fights by decision. But his finish of Brian Foster was his first since he submitted Roan Carniero in June of 2007.
"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.” -Carlos Silva, President of Event Production and Business Operations for the PFL.
Fighters in the PFL will have a shot at winning a one million-dollar grand prize for their respective weight classes in a tournament style format once they begin the official season. The next PFL event take place in Everett Washington on July 29.