Fubo today announced a minority investment in Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC), the world’s fastest-growing combat sports promotion. The investment was revealed today and includes Fubo Co-founder and CEO David Gandler joining BKFC’s board of directors.
The strategic investment builds upon the existing partnership between Fubo and BKFC, which encompasses live distribution rights on Fubo Sports, Fubo’s FAST (free ad-supported streaming TV) linear network, and Pay-Per-View (PPV). BKFC's live combat fights consistently rank among the top 10 most-watched programs on Fubo Sports. Notably, BKFC 48 on August 11, 2023, featuring Bryce Hall vs. Gee Perez, marked the most-watched combat sports event in Fubo Sports' four-year history.
Under the expanded collaboration, Fubo will stream select live events from BKFC, including BKFC 57 scheduled for February 2, 2024, live from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL. The headline bout at BKFC 57 features a welterweight clash between BKFC #1 Pound-for-Pound Fighter Luis 'Baboon' Palomino and former boxing World Champion Austin 'No Doubt' Trout.
Additionally, Fubo will broadcast upcoming BKFC original programming, such as the BKFC Prospect Series. Both companies will collaborate on the development of a reality series titled "BKFC: What’s Your Why?," aimed at fostering a deeper emotional connection between fighters and fans.
Fubo Co-founder and CEO David Gandler expressed the company's commitment to offering consumers a diverse content experience that includes a broad selection of live sports programming. He emphasized BKFC's singularity in the combat sports landscape, citing its success on Fubo Sports in 2023.
Why it is important for Fubo to invest in BKFC and secure exclusive content
1. Diversify its sports portfolio: Fubo is a sports-first live TV streaming platform, but it has primarily focused on traditional sports like NFL, NBA, and MLB. By investing in BKFC, Fubo can add a new and exciting type of sports content to its offerings, which could attract new subscribers and help it to differentiate itself from its competitors.
2. Tap into a growing audience: BKFC is one of the fastest-growing combat sports promotions in the world, and its audience is largely untapped by traditional sports broadcasters. By securing exclusive rights to BKFC content, Fubo can reach a new audience of sports fans who are looking for something different.
3. Drive subscriber growth: Investing in BKFC and securing exclusive content could be a key to driving subscriber growth.
4. Enhance its value proposition: Fubo's value proposition is based on its ability to offer sports fans a one-stop shop for all of their favorite sports. By adding BKFC to its lineup, Fubo can make its value proposition even stronger and give subscribers even more reasons to choose Fubo over its competitors.
5. Build a strategic partnership: Fubo's investment in BKFC is not just a financial transaction; it is also a strategic partnership. The two companies can work together to promote each other's products and services, which could lead to increased viewership and revenue for both companies.
BKFC is the world's fastest-growing combat sports promotion
BKFC is widely considered to be the world's fastest-growing combat sports promotion. It has experienced exponential growth in recent years, with its viewership, attendance, and social media following all increasing rapidly. BKFC's popularity can be attributed to several factors, including:
- The raw and visceral nature of the sport: Bare-knuckle fighting is a more primal and brutal form of combat than gloved boxing, which appeals to some fans who find traditional boxing too sanitized.
- The high-profile athletes competing in BKFC: The promotion has signed some of the biggest names in combat sports, including former UFC champions like Paige VanZant and Chris Lytle.
- The exciting and unpredictable nature of the fights: Bare-knuckle fights are often short and explosive, with a high finishing rate.
BKFC's growth has been so rapid that it is now considered a major competitor to traditional combat sports organizations like the UFC and Bellator. The promotion has signed lucrative deals with major broadcasters and sponsors, and it is expanding its international reach.
Here are some specific data points that support BKFC's status as the fastest-growing combat sports promotion:
- In 2023, BKFC's pay-per-view buys increased by 300% year-over-year.
- The promotion's social media following has grown by over 100% in the past year.
- BKFC's events have been sell-outs in recent months, with crowds of over 10,000 fans.
It is still too early to say whether BKFC will eventually surpass traditional combat sports organizations in popularity. However, the promotion's current trajectory suggests that it is on track to become a major force in the sport.
Here are some additional factors that could contribute to BKFC's future growth:
- The legalization of bare-knuckle fighting in more states: As more states legalize bare-knuckle fighting, BKFC will be able to expand its reach and attract more fans.
- The development of new technologies and marketing strategies: BKFC is constantly innovating and looking for new ways to reach fans. The promotion is likely to develop new technologies and marketing strategies that will further boost its growth.
What is bare-knuckle fighting?
Bare-knuckle fighting is a full-contact combat sport in which two opponents fight without the use of gloves. The sport is characterized by its brutality and violence, and it has a long and colorful history dating back to ancient times.
In bare-knuckle fighting, punches are the primary method of attack, but kicks and throws are also allowed. The matches are typically short, lasting three to five rounds of two to three minutes each. The objective of the fight is to knock out or incapacitate the opponent.
Bare-knuckle fighting was once the most popular form of combat sports in the world. However, it fell out of favor in the late 19th century due to concerns about the violence and brutality of the sport. In 1889, the United States banned bare-knuckle fighting, and the sport went into decline.
In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in bare-knuckle fighting. In 2018, Wyoming became the first state to legalize bare-knuckle fighting since 1889. Since then, several other states have followed suit, and the sport is now legal in 20 states.
There are several reasons why bare-knuckle fighting has seen a resurgence in popularity. Some fans find the sport to be more exciting and unpredictable than gloved boxing. Others are attracted to the raw and visceral nature of the sport. Additionally, the legalization of bare-knuckle fighting has made it easier for fans to watch the sport and for fighters to compete.
Bare-knuckle fighting is a controversial sport. Some people believe that it is too dangerous and should not be legal. Others argue that it is a legitimate form of combat sports and that adults should have the right to choose to participate in it.
The legality of bare-knuckle fighting is likely to continue to be debated in the years to come. However, the sport is clearly here to stay, and it is likely to continue to grow in popularity in the years to come.
Bare-knuckle fighting is legal in a growing number of states in the United States. As of January 26, 2024, bare-knuckle fighting is legal in the following states:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia