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DAZN and Matchroom confirm five-year global rights deal

Streaming platform to show boxing promoter's fights in UK and Ireland for first time.

3 June 2021 Ed Dixon
  • DAZN takes over rights from Sky Sports in the UK, with new contract commencing in July
  • Streaming service to air at least 16 fights a year in the UK and Ireland and produce original content
  • Anthony Joshua fights not included in contract
  • The Athletic previously reported that contract is worth ‘well into nine figures’

Sports streaming subscription service DAZN has been confirmed as the global home of Matchroom Boxing.

Starting from July 2021 onwards, the five-year deal will also see at least 16 Matchroom UK fights annually made available exclusively to DAZN subscribers in the UK and Ireland for the first time. 

In addition to the UK fight nights, DAZN and Matchroom will deliver round-the-clock original content.

The first event under the new deal will be held on 31st July, which will be the first of three back-to-back weekends of the Matchroom Fight Camp series. The slate of summer and autumn fight programming will be announced in due course, as will the on-air talent roster.

Eddie Hearn (pictured above), Matchroom Boxing chairman, confirmed the agreement does not include unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Speaking to IFL TV, Hearn said: “Outside of Anthony Joshua, all Matchroom UK shows will sit on the DAZN service.” He added that Joshua is currently contracted to fight one more time on Sky Sports, after which the 31-year-old’s future will be announced “in due course”.

“This historic deal builds on the success and momentum of our long-term partnership with Matchroom around the world and solidifies DAZN at the forefront of the global sports streaming era,” said James Rushton, DAZN’s co-chief executive.

“Together, we are committed to building the new home of boxing in the UK and Ireland while continuing to grow the global home of boxing in a way that matches today’s evolving viewing habits and brings fans all over the world more of the most premium live action, more round-the-clock global storytelling, and more broadcast and content innovations – only on DAZN.”

Hearn added: “We have made the monumental decision to sign a historic five-year deal with sports streaming giant DAZN. This means that our UK events will now be broadcast live on DAZN along with all Matchroom shows across the world.

“Pushing the boundaries is something we will always continue to do and we needed a partner that shared our vision for boxing, and who was also willing to make the investment to make those dreams a reality.

“This is also an amazing opportunity for our newly formed production and content business, Matchroom Media, who will now be responsible for live production across our events, working in close collaboration with DAZN and enabling us to form a cradle to grave mindset across inception to completion of our shows so we can deliver the live event experience to the viewer in the narrative and style in which we have built it.”

Reports of the deal first emerged in April, when The Athletic said that the contract is worth ‘well into nine figures’.

It also signals the end of Matchroom’s exclusive UK broadcast partnership with pay-TV network Sky Sports, which has been in place since 2012. The broadcaster’s expiring deal ends this month.

DAZN and Matchroom have already been working together extensively in the US since 2018, after the promotional company agreed a joint venture with Perform Group worth US$1 billion.

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