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Eddie Hearn lands historic $1billion broadcast rights deal in America

The landmark deal will see Katie Taylor’s fights broadcast live in the USA.

MATCHROOM BOXING, THE promotional company behind unified world champions Katie Taylor and Anthony Joshua among others, has announced a $1billion broadcast partnership in the United States with global sports media company Perform.

The launch of the joint venture, Matchroom Boxing USA, represents the biggest rights deal in boxing history.

An eight-year partnership will see 16 fight nights a year staged in America, plus Matchroom’s existing 16 dates in the UK, shown on Perform’s live and on-demand streaming service, DAZN. The fights will also be broadcast by Sky Sports in Ireland and the UK.

The announcement comes as Matchroom chief Eddie Hearn continues negotiations over a possible heavyweight blockbuster between WBA, IBF and WBO champion Joshua and America’s WBC king Deontay Wilder.

“This is a historic moment for Matchroom and the sport of boxing,” Hearn said at the launch event in New York. “Since our expansion to the US, we have been looking for a partner that shares our vision and that can give us the volume of dates and rights fees required to build the strongest stable in world boxing and take it to a new level.

This is a dream scenario for us: we can build a formidable team of fighters and also put our stamp on events from production, to talent and in-arena experience. Our plan is to make DAZN the home of boxing and with 32 big fight nights already confirmed from the US and UK we are nicely on our way.

“America – we have well and truly arrived, let the fun begin!”

None of the fights on DAZN will be shown using the pay-per-view model, which has dominated the US fight market for decades, with viewers able to pay a monthly fee without any commitment to a long-term contract.

Matchroom made its initial venture into the US market six months ago and its two Stateside fight cards so far have been headlined by Brooklyn’s former WBA middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs. The latter saw Ireland’s Katie Taylor unify the lightweight division when she beat then-IBF World champion Victoria Bustos.

Joshua’s previous three bouts in the UK have been huge sold-out stadium shows, with wins against Carlos Takam and Joseph Parker at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium following his sensational 11th-round stoppage of Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley last April.

Katie Taylor celebrates with her trainer Ross Enamaitin and Eddie Hearn Source: Matt Heasley/INPHO

Head of Sky Sports Boxing, Adam Smith said:

The new deal is hugely exciting and offers customers an even bigger schedule of boxing. Boxing over here is in a really strong place right now, thanks to the emergence of stars like Anthony Joshua and Katie Taylor.

“With Sky Sports now showing more big name fights from America, the sport will only grow further and encourage the best head-to-head clashes worldwide.”

Former ESPN chief John Skipper, who on Monday joined Perform Group as Executive Chairman added: “DAZN has already proven itself in Japan, Germany and Canada as the best platform for delivering great live sport to passionate fans. It’s time to bring DAZN to America and the amazing events we have planned with Matchroom is a great place to start.”

- Omni

With additional reporting from Gavan Casey.

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