22
Oct
2020

DAZN UK is coming in 2020, Matchroom shows to feature on schedule

Phil Jay 02/03/2020
DAZN UK Sports App

World Boxing News understands DAZN UK will hit the market this year, with Matchroom shows to be part of the package offered to UK subscribers.

WBN believes all Matchroom Boxing USA shows, usually available to Sky Sports viewers through DAZN USA, could be heading to DAZN UK as part of the deal.

DAZN, which launched in the United States in 2018, initially planned to hit British shores in 2022. That date was then brought forward to 2021.

It’s now happening even earlier and could be down to an agreement with Eddie Hearn to split boxing coverage between DAZN and Sky.

The 2022 delay was firstly down to Hearn’s ongoing deal with Sky, which still has years to run. But Hearn only has to provide Sky with a certain number of shows per year.

This means any other event outside the Sky scope can be handed to DAZN, primarily those which come under the USA side of the banner.

Canelo vs Billy Joe Saunders is being earmarked as the big kick-off extravaganza in order to drive early purchases.

A price around the £9.99 per month mark is expected but could be lower if punters are willing to sign up for the longer-term.


LOYALTY

The news comes as a huge blow to Sky Sports and Head of Boxing Adam Smith, who showed complete loyalty to Hearn back in 2011.

Smith put all his eggs into Hearn’s basket. But when DAZN came calling with their mass amounts of cash, Sky coverage suffered.

UK fans complained about the standard of shows as Hearn was concentrating primarily on breaking the US market. This further twist is a kick in the balls for Sky.

Hearn looks set to go forward with DAZN as the streaming giants get the lion’s share of Matchroom’s biggest stars.

Sky’s deal with Matchroom Sport was inked in 2018 and still has five more years to run. The Matchroom Boxing agreement was from 2015 to 2021 but should be covered by the branded extension.

The 2015 to 2021 contract was for 20 shows per year. It’s not yet fully known whether this will remain in place after next year.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay