By Steve Kim
Earlier this afternoon in New York City, Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sports announced a landmark deal that will see them put on 16 cards (per year) over the next years beginning this September for eight years.
The deal was made with Perform Group and will be televised on their DAZN streaming platform. This agreement was announced at being worth a staggering $1 billion.
Many questions are being asked about partnership and what it means for the overall business of boxing.
Chief among them: will Matchroom Sports work with other promoters, some of whom have their own output deals, such as Top Rank with ESPN?
Hearn stated - "I've never met a platform like these guys who understand the landscape of boxing to the point that it's a bit like the (Anthony) Joshua - it's not a deal based on Anthony Joshua, of course they want Anthony Joshua, they're making a very aggressive offer - but they understand that if Joshua-(Deontay)Wilder goes on Showtime and it does a million buys, there's more money.
"They're really unique in that respect. You will probably see this platform partner up with other major networks to potentially share programming or with Facebook, Twitter to show the support programming. To show earlier fights on the undercard to gain exposure."
Hearn - who made it clear that he will be signing more boxers for his stable - says that there will be no pay-per-view element in this package.
"There will be no pay-per-view on this channel, this is one of the models behind this. The aim here is 12 big fight nights and four absolute monsters," said Hearn, who explained, "the monster nights signify the pay-per-view numbers - they just wont be pay-per-view. They will be the nights that used to be $99, $69. For example (Andre) Ward-(Sergey) Kovalev, it would've been easy for us to put on our platform with the money I've got. Not for pay-per-view, just for subscribers.(Gennady) Golovkin-(Danny) Jacobs, no problem.
"The ones that will be difficult are the ones that will do a million-plus buys because we can only sink $20 million of rights fee into a show. Once they start going beyond that it's difficult. But that's really the key, to create pay-per-view nights that aren't pay-per-view but part of the subscription."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com