By Ryan Burton
ESPN and Top Rank today announced a vast and exclusive, multimedia agreement to make ESPN the home of Top Rank in the U.S. and Canada. Under the agreement, ESPN will televise live fights on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream them on the ESPN App, will stream fights and other Top Rank content on the recently announced ESPN-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service via BAMTech and deliver select pay-per-view (PPV) fight events.
It will also air all Top Rank content in English and in French on Canadian sister networks TSN and RDS. The next Top Rank Boxing on ESPN fight card, scheduled for September 22 in Tucson, Arizona, features two WBO World Title Fights with Oscar Valdez (22-0, 19 KOs, Featherweight) and Gilberto Ramirez (35-0, 24 KOs, Super Middleweight) title defenses.
“ESPN is excited to announce this new relationship with Top Rank, the most comprehensive and innovative media agreement in the history of the sport,” Burke Magnus, executive vice president of programming & scheduling, ESPN said.
“We believe in a new vision for boxing that will super-serve existing boxing fans and create legions of new fans through the highest quality boxing content across multiple ESPN platforms - 365 days a year. Together, ESPN and Top Rank will build the superstars of tomorrow through unrivaled exposure, original content and cutting edge technology.”
In the first year of the deal, ESPN will showcase 18 main events in the U.S. on multiple platforms, including television networks, the ESPN App, the direct-to-consumer service and PPV events, in both English and Spanish, and on Canada’s TSN in English and RDS in French.
Top Rank on ESPN content will be widely accessible across multiple platforms, including the ESPN-branded multi-sport direct-to-consumer streaming service, and will feature all undercards, select main events, re-airs of all ESPN and PPV events, Top Rank archival fights and more.