BOXNATION have secured the UK rights to screen the November 21 Miguel Cotto-Saul Alvarez WBC middleweight title fight. It makes for a strong end to the year for the channel, which broadcast last weekend’s Floyd Mayweather fight and also has Gennady Golovkin, on October 17, and Terence Crawford, on October 24, coming up.
Boxing News spoke to CEO George Warren about how BoxNation is faring. “We’ve got an incredibly healthy customer base that includes a vast majority of event driven customers that come in for the high profile events. One of the big challenges we’ve got ahead, and it’s something we’re doing right now, is improving that functionality, giving them the opportunity to access [on demand] content via their remote control. That’s a big step and something we’re spending quite considerable money and funds on doing. That allows customers to engage with our content in a much more accessible way. Something we hope to launch next year,” he said.
“In terms of getting more people on to that customer base, it’s about delivering big fights that people want to watch, trying to attract new customers. Hopefully they stay on. If they don’t and they only want to come on for the big events, that doesn’t matter to us because if that’s how they want to watch our content that’s fine.”
But Warren notes how they reach beyond a niche audience. “When you get something that is an exciting and engaging live show, we’re bringing in new fans and some of them are staying with us, some will stay for a year, some will stay for two years. Some might only come on for a month. We as a channel shouldn’t be dictating to people how they want to digest our content. We’ve got to go with where technology’s going, the fact that there is a lot of other content out there, not just in boxing but across all different sports and entertainment, and give people the choice. If they want to pay £10 [for the app], or £12 [for the TV channel] they can. If they leave and want to come back later that year, or never again, that’s fine by us. It’s giving people that choice and how they want to access our content and that for me is a very exciting way of doing it because you’re all of a sudden not saying we’re dictated by the rules of how television has always been and how subscription TV has always been,” he said. For instance, they’re also looking at ways for non-subscribers to buy access for a single event, e.g. a day pass to view a show.
It was a bold move starting up a dedicated boxing channel but now BoxNation is established in Britain, they harbour ambitions to spread globally. “We feel we’re now in a position where the revenue we’re creating in the UK is something where we’ve proven to everyone this is a viable business. The naysayers that believed it was going to diminish after six months or a year – every year we hear the same people saying there’s no market for it – well, four years and counting we’re growing every year. That’s just in the UK. The next step is around the world and it’s something we’re steadily implementing. I certainly hope that by the turn of the new year we’re in at least two or three new territories around that world and that will be something we’ll keep developing.”