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Business - 26 Jan 2021
Matchroom Sport, the UK-based promotions company headed up by Barry Hearn, has launched an independent production arm, Matchroom Media.
This new division of the Matchroom brand - which holds commercial rights in the UK across sports such as boxing, darts and snooker - will work on producing and broadcasting live events, original documentaries and shows, and ‘shoulder’ programming across both linear and online broadcast platforms.
The new arm will be led by Katie Hearn - Barry’s daughter - Matchroom’s current director of programming, and will remain under the main group brand but will be independent in other respects.
Before joining Matchroom in 2004, Hearn had been at UK pay-television giant Sky since 1996, where she was an associate producer on coverage of English and European top-tier soccer.
She said today: “We’re excited to expand and produce not only more live sport, but engaging new content to support these events and the sportspeople that drive them. From outside broadcasts to live events and shoulder programming, we’re committed to bringing global audiences epic sporting moments and inspiring stories that are behind them.”
Eddie Hearn, Katie’s brother and the Matchroom Group’s managing director, added: “Content has never been more powerful and as we continue our global expansion, in-house production of our own live events will help us align the narrative from idea to execution. We plan to assemble the best production team and sharpest talent for our live broadcasts.”
Matchroom has 12 sports in its stable: boxing, snooker, darts, pool, fishing, ping pong, golf, gymnastics, basketball, poker, netball and tenpin bowling.
In May last year, the company launched Matchroom Live, an over-the-top streaming platform, which offers subscribers the option to stream both live events and archive footage, as well as offering pay-per-view options in some territories.
Talking to GlobalData Sport last May, Barry Hearn said he did not expect Matchroom Live to be profitable until at least the latter half of 2022, but added he was confident it would become a key part of the group’s revenue stream in years ahead.
One new possibility is for Matchroom Media to start producing original programming which could become part of the Matchroom Live streaming package.