DAZN makes US move in major boxing tie-up with Matchroom
By Martin Ross
DAZN, the Perform-owned over-the-top subscription service, is to announce a major boxing tie-up in the US market with Matchroom Boxing, the promoter headed up by Eddie Hearn.
DAZN and Matchroom are scheduled to hold a press conference in New York later today to announce the streaming of bouts involving fighters from the Matchroom stable.
The Perform-owned service has made moves into boxing rights acquisitions in the last year and has shown various major fights in its territories, including Anthony Joshua’s clash with Joseph Parker and the highly-anticipated fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.
DAZN dealt with Matchroom to show the Joshua-Parker fight exclusively in Germany, Austria and Canada (and non-exclusively in Switzerland). On Saturday, the all-British clash between Matchroom’s Tony Bellew and David Haye was streamed by DAZN in German-speaking countries.
On the tie-up with Perform’s DAZN, Hearn told the Daily Mail newspaper: “This is something significant. It's a very proud moment for Matchroom Boxing. It's a massive moment for the sport of boxing, for American boxing, world boxing and British boxing. It gives us every chance to build a worldwide stable the like of which has never been seen before in the sport.”
The DAZN-Matchroom Boxing agreement will span an initial four years plus a four-year option, according to various reports, and it is reported that 40 fight cards will be streamed each year, including 16 taking place in USA.
It is thought that the deal could be worth as much as $1 billion over eight years.
It remains to be seen whether the fights of UK heavyweight Joshua will be shown by DAZN in USA as part of the agreement with Matchroom. The fighter’s title defences in recent years have been broadcast by Showtime, the premium US entertainment cable and satellite channel.
A sign of Perform’s stateside ambitions was delivered earlier this week when John Skipper, former president of US sports broadcaster ESPN, was named as its executive chairman in a New York-based position.
Perform told Sportcal today: “Earlier this week we announced that John Skipper, previously president of ESPN Inc, joined Perform Group as executive chairman to oversee operations and strategy and help take Perform Group to the next level of our ambitions.
“We have made no secret of our ambitious expansion plans for DAZN, the live and on demand streaming service, which has successfully launched in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan and Canada.”
Perform declined to comment on the specific details of the agreement with Matchroom.