Court Bauer Reveals Why MLW Chose a Deal With DAZN

In an interview with DAZN, MLW founder Court Bauer spoke about why the company chose DAZN as the home for its programming once it relaunches later this year. Here are highlights:

On why MLW chose DAZN: “For us, we look at our audience and where our audience is at today and where we’re all going tomorrow as a society and in terms of consumer sports. To me, it’s streaming. It’s no longer the premise of streaming is the future. Streaming is the here and now. And to me, it was a 21st-century move. You go where the future is. Right now that’s all about what DAZN is doing. So for us, that was like, a great place for us to go and present our future premium events, put our library on there. It just made a lot of sense. The content ecosystem of DAZN is so robust. The user interface is incredible. It checked off a lot of boxes just in terms of the fan experience. When you watch it, if you’re not familiar with MLW and you find out about it while you’re checking out a Canelo fight or a Bellator show. It’s such an easy find. We have a lot of former MMA fighters, a jiu-jitsu gold medalist, King Mo (Lawal,) who’s dabbled in boxing a little, and of course in MMA. It felt like a great home for us. And for everything we have heard from our fans, it’s been a great place to just binge on MLW. We have some cool stuff in the pipeline I can’t talk about yet, but we’re excited to be in the mix with DAZN on.”

On MLW returning in November: “First off, I’m thrilled that we are going to be back, holding tapings and providing exclusive content to DAZN. People kept asking when we were going to return. Our last show was in Mexico on March 13. Things happen so fast. I think that morning of our show, the NBA decided to temporarily go on hiatus. By that night and the final main event, we knew we were going to be going on hiatus. You don’t know for how long. There’s no way to really chart a course like this. But we knew would probably be shutting it down for some period of time until we got a sense of where everything was in the world.

We really wanted to operate with an abundance of caution for the health and wellness of our athletes, our crew and our staff. So we didn’t rev it right back up. We wanted to be careful and wanted to take into account the latest developments for treatment, PPE, vaccines and anything and everything that would give us a better sense of comfort for our fans, athletes, and everyone involved.

As time has progressed and checking in with our chief medical advisor, Dr. Schwegler, we started to see some encouraging steps on the treatment as well as the testing and a lot of breakthroughs in the last — including a total breakthrough this week with an instant five-minute test that the FDA approved. The saliva direct test is really a big move. You’re seeing treatment really get better. We have all these vaccines in the mix. We’ve talked with different organizations, our media team, our medical team, going down to Johns Hopkins Hospital to be part of a symposium on the virus and try to get as much information to see how other people have done it with the success they’ve had and things they would suggest, or doing differently.

Taking all that into account has been very helpful for us. That’s put us on a track to say, “Okay, I think we can start to enter the next phase of this.” Part of that for us was getting our staff certified training and preparation for that. In terms of the virus, while there’s a whole process you go through to get certified training, a lot of it really is common sense stuff, but you want everyone equipped with the knowledge. Then, of course, bringing in someone in that and oversee this in the trenches. It’s important to have that person really monitoring everything, and having everything set up and helping us prepare our crew or talent in advance of that with all the information, the guidelines, everything and then starting the testing process.”

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