ESPN and Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International today announced an extensive line up of exclusive boxing programming for ESPN+, the new direct-to-consumer sports streaming service launching April 12. Additionally, through an expansion of ESPN’s agreement with Top Rank, ESPN+ will add 12 exclusive world-class Top Rank on ESPN cards to the annual line up.
The monthly live ESPN+ events start Saturday, June 9, with a world championship bout showcasing pound-for-pound superstar Terence “Bud” Crawford as he seeks to win a world title in a third weight class when he challenges welterweight world champion Jeff “The Hornet” Horn at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
ESPN+ will also exclusively stream six international Top Rank on ESPN cards per year, giving subscribers access to some of the sport’s best international fights. The first international live event to stream on ESPN+ will be Saturday, April 21, when former unified junior welterweight world champion Amir Khan faces Phil Lo Greco in a welterweight battle, live from Liverpool, England.
The agreement sets the table for an integrated alliance between Top Rank and ESPN’s industry-leading networks and platforms to allow all forms of Top Rank content, including additional original programming and library content, to reach more fans in a variety of new ways.
The 12 additional Top Rank on ESPN cards and six international live events are exclusive to ESPN+. Subscribers of ESPN+ will also have access to a variety of new and existing boxing content throughout the year, including:
· A consistent studio show covering all the latest news, results and storylines
· The unmatched, on-demand treasure chest of the greatest fights of all time, including hundreds of fights from the ESPN Big Fights Library and the Top Rank archive, including Ali vs. Frazier I-III, Ali vs. Foreman, Leonard vs. Duran I-III, Hagler vs. Hearns and Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, among many, many more
All Top Rank on ESPN undercard fights
· Re-airs of all Top Rank on ESPN and Top Rank on ESPN PPV bouts
· Weigh-ins, post-fight interviews, and press conferences
· News, information, and opinion across ESPN platforms
“ESPN is thrilled to take our relationship with Top Rank to a new level via this innovative and exclusive distribution on ESPN+,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN Executive Vice President of Programming and Scheduling. “By distributing more Top Rank events and boxing content than ever before, we are showing fans our commitment to boxing through a more personalized and targeted manner.”
“Top Rank is thrilled to extend our agreement to include these additional world-class events for ESPN+,” said Todd duBoef, Top Rank President. “This addition offers a 360 approach to the entire boxing vertical, including live world class events, unparalleled coverage, as well as access to historical moments in the sport.”
Launching April 12, ESPN+ will be an integrated part of a completely redesigned ESPN App. Already the leading sports app, the new ESPN App will be the premier all-in-one digital sports platform for fans and is a showcase of the company’s culture of innovation. With a richer, increasingly more personalized experience, the new ESPN App will curate all of ESPN’s incredible content into an experience unique to each fan’s individual tastes. ESPN+ will also be available through ESPN.com.
ESPN+ is the first-ever multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International in partnership with ESPN and featuring ESPN branded content. It will offer fans thousands of additional live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks. This includes hundreds of MLB, NHL and MLS games, Grand Slam tennis, Top Rank boxing, PGA Tour golf, college sports, international rugby, cricket, the full library of ESPN Films (including 30 for 30) and more. Fans can subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or a discounted annual price of $49.99 per year) and cancel at any time.
Last August, ESPN and Top Rank announced a vast and exclusive, multimedia agreement to make ESPN the home of Top Rank in the U.S. and Canada. Under the agreement, ESPN currently televises live fights on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and streams them on the ESPN App. It also airs all Top Rank content in English and in French on Canadian sister networks TSN and RDS.