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PFL partners with reality television veteran Mark Burnett

The PFL has partnered with reality TV veteran Mark Burnett.
Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

One of the leaders in the reality television space is making his return to MMA.

Mark Burnett, the President of MGM Television and Digital Group and the executive producer popular shows such as The Voice, Survivor, and Shark Tank, has partnered with the Professional Fighters League (PFL) in a deal that will see Burnett and MGM help to “develop and produce new content and programming for PFL’s upcoming season,” the promotion announced Thursday.

Both Burnett and MGM have come aboard as investors for the PFL, according to a release. Burnett has also been added to the PFL’s advisory board ahead of the promotion’s inaugural 11-event season, which launches June 7 and will air Thursday nights on NBC Sports Network and Facebook.

Per the announcement, aside from live events, Burnett’s involvement will also include work on a slew of digital non-event programming for the PFL.

“As an enthusiast for innovation within the television industry, I’m passionate about the growth and vision of PFL and it’s time this sport revolves around a league format,” Burnett said in a statement. “They’re elevating the sport in an entirely new way and I’m looking forward to being part of it.”

The PFL, a re-branding and relaunching of World Series of Fighting, is expected to approach MMA with a league format that will culminate in a playoffs where the top fighters in every division will each compete for a $1 million grand prize. Ex-UFC fighters Rick Story, Chris Wade, and Will Brooks have all signed with the promotion in recent months.

Thursday’s partnership does not mark Burnett’s first foray into MMA.

Back in 2007, the television producer joined forces with now-defunct promotion ProElite on a supposed multi-program deal that was expected to launch with a television series centered around Herschel Walker and Jose Canseco helping other professional athletes cross over into MMA. Ultimately, the show never came to fruition.

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