Pay-tv gets bloody nose as DAZN signs up Matchroom Boxing to five-year deal

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Sports streamer DAZN has announced an exclusive five-year deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom which sees one of Sky Sports ‘crown jewel’ broadcast rights packages move entirely online.

DAZN gets the rights to at least sixteen UK fight nights for its audience in the UK and Ireland.

It expands on a US$1bn international rights deal agreed between DAZN and Matchroom which had been running in tandem with the promoter’s Sky deal, with the UK broadcast on pay-tv.

Now, Matchroom – which promotes Anthony Joshua and Katie Taylor along with a large stable of other fighters – will only broadcast its UK fights via the DAZN app.

In moving away from Sky the promoter is also now taking control of its own content production operations.

“We have made the monumental decision to sign a historic 5-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,” Hearn said in a statement.

“This is also an amazing opportunity for our newly formed production and content business, Matchroom Media, which will now be responsible for live production across our events, working in close collaboration with DAZN.”

DAZN co-chief executive James Rushton added: “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.

“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.”

DAZN’s major shareholder Sir Leonard Blavatnik was last month named ‘Britain’s richest man’ by the annual Sunday Times Rich List after he amassed £7.2bn of wealth in the year to take his total worth to £23bn.

Via his Access Industries vehicle, Blavatnik amassed fortunes in natural resource and chemicals businesses with a track record that features companies that eventually become part of Rosneft, Russia’s second largest company and RUSAL, one of the world’s largest aluminium producers.

More recently, Access moved into media and digital technology companies with investments in the likes of Snapchat, Square, Alibaba, Spotify and e-commerce app Zalondo.

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