The official announcement of the most eagerly-anticipated heavyweight rematch in years has brought questions as to who will gain TV rights to Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury II.
Upon Wilder vs Fury II being confirmed earlier this week, it was immediately made apparent that FOX and ESPN would share rights to the Pay-Per-View in the United States.
But what about the UK TV broadcast?
Well, it’s since been revealed by Frank Warren that Sky made a massive bid to host the WBC heavyweight title clash after televising Wilder’s last two bouts.
Sky Sports has an agreement in place with FOX and Al Haymon after screening Wilder’s knockout victories over Dominic Breazeale in New York and Luis Ortiz in Las Vegas.
On the face of it, that proved to be a very shrewd move by Sky. It’s one which now places mounting pressure on Fury’s regular network at BT Sport.
Adam Smith, Head of Boxing at Sky, was instructed to gain the UK rights at any cost. BT now has to match that figure or risk losing Fury to their biggest rivals.
Fury fighting on Sky after being exclusive to BT since his comeback would be a huge blow in the current climate. BT has a decision to make over which direction they go.
Having the first refusal is an advantage for BT, although Sky has deep pockets. Boss Smith holds a track record of securing the biggest PPV’s around.
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao and Conor McGregor, the two biggest worldwide paid platform events were both shown on Sky. Plus, Fury’s previous victorious 2015 world title night opposite Wladimir Klitschko in Germany.
The outcome of the race could also have an effect on the price. Sky recently bumped their major PPV’s to £24.95. BT is yet to go above £19.95 for a boxing show.
Wilder vs Fury on Sky would certainly fall into the new higher bracket and be a consideration for BT to even go beyond that to boost their income. That’s if they chose to match the bid on the table.
Whatever happens, UK fans can surely expect to pay at least £24.95 for Wilder vs Fury. US buyers, on the other hand, are looking at the $85 to $100 range for HD. Wilder’s last fight with Luis Ortiz was sold at $74.99.
The return with Fury should push a non-HD broadcast to a minimum of $84.99 or $89.99 in North American territories.
More will be revealed soon as we push to just under eight weeks until fight night.