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Anthony Joshua ditches Sky for DAZN in ‘nine-figure’ UK rights deal

Heavyweight boxing star's fights to air PPV in the UK via streaming service.

13 June 2022 Rory Jones

Getty Images

  • Multi-year contract requires Joshua to fight at least twice a year
  • British star also gains equity in DAZN and joins advisory board

DAZN has confirmed a multi-year deal with Anthony Joshua that will see the sports streaming company broadcast the British heavyweight boxing star’s future fights in the UK.

According to The Telegraph, the global rights agreement with DAZN is worth a nine-figure US dollar fee that could earn Joshua hundreds of millions over the course of a contract. The UK paper also reports that the first bout covered in the contract will be with Usyk in August as the two boxers split a UK£100 million (US$120 million) purse to fight for the IBF, WBA and WBO belts in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Joshua’s promoter, Matchroom Boxing, signed a major global broadcast deal with DAZN in 2021 but the heavyweight star’s home territory rights were tied up with UK pay-TV network Sky until after what turned out to be a humbling defeat to Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September last year. DAZN has broadcast Joshua’s fights in the US since May 2018, when Matchroom signed its first deal with the UK-based media company.

The new agreement means Joshua’s future bouts will now be broadcast in the UK on DAZN, likely via the pay-per-view (PPV) platform the media company launched last year. Joshua’s DAZN agreement reportedly includes a minimum requirement of two fights annually over a term that could reach five years.

In addition, Joshua will become a shareholder in DAZN, as well as a brand ambassador and special advisor with a seat on the media company’s strategic board.

I am entering a new phase in my career with a new training environment, new coaches and now a new broadcaster,” Anthony Joshua said.

“Negotiations at this level take time so I am pleased to have it all wrapped up and now I can fully focus on giving the fans and DAZN what they want, knockouts in the glamour division. 

He added: “DAZN’s vision and passion to innovate is what attracted me to the partnership. They are leading the digital landscape in sport and the future of sports broadcasting. I am really looking forward to a long and successful partnership.”

Shay Segev, chief executive of DAZN Group, said: “AJ is a hugely popular and influential sportsman. His alignment with us and his investment in our business speaks volumes. This deal is his seal of approval for our vision and our direction as a business. We welcome his passion, his drive and – most significantly – the vast audiences he attracts.”

Eddie Harn, Matchroom chairman, said: “We have been successfully working in partnership with DAZN for many years now and this new announcement with Anthony Joshua emphasises why they continue to set the standard for the future of sports broadcasting. We have a shared vision with DAZN to make it the unrivalled home of boxing for fans across the world. Now with Anthony joining the team the stage is set to do even more together and we are looking forward to getting started.”

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