CANELO ALVAREZ signing a major deal with new streaming service DAZN has caught the attention of the boxing world.
It’s a surprising move, not only in the scale of deal but also with the mainstay of HBO Boxing moving on to a new provider.
Frank Warren, who streams his British shows on ESPN+ in America, is an interested observer. “HBO has gone, that’s been ruined, their situation was ruined and they’ve done this deal. Where would they [Canelo’s team] have to go? They’d have had to go to Bob Arum [on ESPN] or Showtime and they decided to go [with DAZN],” he said noting, “It’s huge money, that’s half of that budget gone. It’s Oscar [De La Hoya]’s deal, it’s not [Eddie] Hearn’s deal. It’s Oscar’s deal.”
“ESPN’s a different model totally to DAZN. ESPN is a sports channel, it’s got basketball, it’s got American football, it’s got all this and you’re getting that for $5, half the price,” he added. “You’re not having to go out and sell it [ESPN], it’s there. It’s a sports channel.”
With the money DAZN are spending, they’ll want big results. Alvarez does bring a significant American audience with him. “Canelo averages 900,000 to a million buys,” Warren considered. “Remember that’s $10 [a viewer on DAZN] gross, off of that you’ve got your operating expenses and everything else. You’ve got to go something to make that up. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. The only way you’re going to find out is the test of time.
“I don’t know what it means [for the industry]. I hope it’s successful. When we started BoxNation … it’s tough. What you’re doing, you’re starting a channel from zero, I don’t know what they got for free to air [initially] let alone people paying for it? What were those numbers?”
The new era for boxing in America starts when Canelo Alvarez boxes Rocky Fielding on December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York. What we do know is that Canelo Alvarez is the most highly paid boxer in the world today, unless Floyd Mayweather decides to stage a comeback and challenge for that particular crown…