EXCLUSIVE The looming bidding war for Anthony Joshua in America

Anthony Joshua
Action Images/Andrew Couldridge
US broadcasting behemoths will be competing for Anthony Joshua's US television rights. Declan Taylor speaks to the new player in the market

DAZN are ready to fight it out with broadcasting behemoths HBO and Showtime for the right to show Anthony Joshua’s American debut.

That is according to Simon Denyer, chief executive of Perform Group, who own the streaming service with which Eddie Hearn has agreed a groundbreaking deal.

World heavyweight champion Joshua, the jewel in the crown of Matchroom’s stable, was not included in the $1 billion agreement with the details of his next fight still unclear.

Now, with his licensing deal with Showtime now over, Joshua is free to choose which American network he aligns himself with for his next bout – and a bidding war is expected.

And Denyer says DAZN, who are backed by billionaire Len Blavatnik, are ready to ensure Joshua snubs the more familiar broadcasters in favour of their streaming platform.

“Is Joshua a target? Absolutely,” Denyer told Boxing News at the Manhattan announcement.

“Anthony Joshua and Eddie need to decide what they want to do. They hold all the cards. He’s selling out 90,000-seater stadiums in the UK so there’s no reason to come to the US yet but eventually he wants to.

“Anthony and Eddie are planning their own path now but if they want to come to the US, we are absolutely adamant that we are the home of boxing here now, we have a huge budget and we want his fights to be on DAZN. It’s up to him.”

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Denyer was not prepared to comment on how much DAZN’s monthly US subscription will be once they officially launch in June, nor did he reveal their subscription target for the first year. However, it is understood that the subscription fee will be in line with their current monthly price points in Canada ($20) and Germany (€9.99).

Denyer said: “We are not going to confirm the price yet but the model is pretty clear. It’s one sensible price, no contract, free for a month, and then rolling.

“In Germany it’s 10 euros for all that content, it’s the price of a beer and a half. People don’t turn off.”

On the subject of subscription targets, he added: “I’m not going to mention that at the moment but we have internal targets. We’ve done a lot of research and although it’s not as popular as baseball or the NBA, we think that in America there are at least 10 million what I would call ‘hardcore’ boxing fans that would watch boxing regularly.

“The problem is, it’s not that regular and the big fights that are on often cost $100 on pay-per-view.
“America is the home of boxing and always will be. There is plenty of potential here but it’s just the model has been wrong for the last three or four years. Now we feel like we can get some proper ownership over the sport and make DAZN the home of boxing.

“We will have a load of other sports on the service but the key is to have something we are known for and being the home of boxing is what we want to become.”

For a full insight into Eddie Hearn’s billion dollar deal with DAZN don’t miss this week’s issue of Boxing News magazine


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