EDDIE HEARN has announced a landmark broadcast deal for the American arm of his promotional company, Matchroom Boxing. On Thursday they unveiled the creation of a joint venture with the Perform Group worth a whopping $1 billion, one of the biggest deals in boxing history.
The eight year tie up will see DAZN, a live and on demand streaming service for sport that is moving into the US market, hold exclusive American broadcasting rights for Matchroom bills. Matchroom Boxing USA will stage 16 shows in the United States and a further 16 bills from the UK will be hosted on the platform. The first show in the deal is pencilled in for late September. In Britain Sky Sports will broadcast the 32 cards.
Hearn now has the war chest to sign big-name fighters in America. Matchroom are believed to be talking to up to 30 US boxers.
Speaking to Boxing News Hearn stated his intentions. “It’s a massive moment for us. It’s a massive moment for US boxing, world boxing. It enables to build a global stable that will be unrivalled,” he said.
Hearn described this as “unbelievable news for US fighters”.
The promoter continued, “Because what it means is loads more money coming into the market. Brilliant for fighters who have now got choices. Before we come along, when Matchroom were around but we weren’t really doing much, [in the UK] you basically just went with Frank Warren. You had no choice. Then we come along now you’ve got choice, go Matchroom, go Warren, Hennessy, you go Cyclone and it’s the same in America now. You go with us, you can go with Top Rank, you can go with [Al] Haymon, you can go to HBO, you can go to Golden Boy. They’re all competitive. What it actually means is, it’s great news for the fighters and for the fans.”
None of the fight nights in this deal will require additional pay-per-view transactions in America. All the shows will be available on one monthly fee, which will be announced in June, and no long-term contract for the customer.
In a statement at the announcement, Hearn added, “Our plan is to make DAZN the home of boxing and with 32 big fight nights already confirmed from the US and UK we are nicely on our way.
“America – we have well and truly arrived, let the fun begin.”
Simon Denyer, CEO of Perform Group, 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 its time for DAZN to provide an exciting new platform for these great events. It’s a better deal for everyone – especially fight fans”
John Skipper, the former ESPN president, joined Perform Group as Executive Chairman on Monday. He said, “DAZN has already proven itself in Japan, Germany and Canada as the best platform for delivering great live sport to passionate fans. It’s time to bring DAZN to America and the amazing events we have planned with Matchroom is a great place to start”.