$1.3b US streaming deal 'biggest' in boxing

LONDON • Promoter Eddie Hearn had promised a blockbuster announcement to shake up boxing, and on Thursday he confirmed he had sealed a US$1 billion (S$1.33 billion) contract with an American media partner to deliver what he is calling "the biggest-ever deal in boxing".

Under the banner of Matchroom Boxing USA, Hearn will stage 16 live shows a year on the Perform Group's on-demand streaming service, DAZN, as well as 16 promotions in Britain.

None will be on pay-per-view, but they will be available for a monthly fee without a long-term contract, much the same as Frank Warren's BoxNation.

Hearn and Simon Denyer, Perform Group's chief executive, announced the joint venture, intended to stretch over eight years, in New York on Thursday night.

Hearn said: "Since our expansion to the US, we have been looking for a partner that shares our vision and that can give us the volume of dates and rights fees required to build the strongest stable in world boxing and take it to a new level.

"We can build a formidable team of fighters and also put our stamp on events from production to talent to in-arena experience.

"Our plan is to make DAZN the home of boxing and, with 32 big fight nights (a year) already confirmed from the US and UK, we are nicely on our way."

Denyer said: "Perform Group has a rich history of long-term strategic partnerships with the best rights holders in world.

"I'm excited about working with Matchroom; we share the same passion and vision for reigniting boxing in the US, and it's time for DAZN to provide an exciting new platform for these great events."

DAZN, little known in Europe outside the industry, has worked closely with Matchroom for more than 10 years, mainly in Japan, Germany and Canada.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2018, with the headline '$1.3b US streaming deal 'biggest' in boxing'. Subscribe