BN Investigates | Premium | Nov 02 2018

EXCLUSIVE Is Eddie Hearn going to war with BT Sport?

If DAZN is so good for America, why is Britain stuck with pay-per-view? Matt Christie speaks to promoter Eddie Hearn
Eddie Hearn on Matchroom
Dillian Whyte Press Conference  |  Action Images/Reuters/Alan Walter

LET’S talk about December 22, when Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton also fight on BT Sports Box Office. Staging Dillian Whyte vs Dereck Chisora on the same night is not good for boxing fans. But you might argue, from a business point of view, because you’re directly going to war with BT Sport, it’s a potential masterstroke.

It’s genuinely not because it doesn’t really suit anybody. I can understand what you’re saying. But you’re blocking or trying to affect something that will also have a detrimental effect on your own numbers, do you know what I mean? So in respect of December 22, the better move [for us] would have been to go on the 15th because you get a free run at it, you run a pay-per-view before their pay-per-view, which means I’m going to buy Whyte-Chisora and I’m not going to buy Frampton-Warrington, so actually [is it a business masterstroke?], not really.

I can understand the strategy to crush their numbers on the 22nd and it will affect BT Sport Box Office. But we’re going to lose numbers by doing it on the same night too. Naturally, it’s two completely different fights and two completely different markets. Frampton-Warrington is a hardcore fans’ fight, it’s not a fight for the casuals, it’s never going to attract casuals, even if it wasn’t on the same night as us. Ours is a big heavyweight grudge match, where actually, some of the hardcore fans might go, ‘No, I’m going to watch Warrington-Frampton’.