Anthony Joshua has signed a huge UK TV deal with streaming platform DAZN.
The former IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion has ended his successful and long association with the UK’s largest pay TV network Sky Sports to jump ship for the self-styled ‘Netflix of sports’.
Joshua has spent his entire professional career to date with his fights being aired on Sky in the UK, but all that will change. However his next bout – that rematch vs Oleksandr Usyk – is not certain to be on DAZN with promoter Eddie Hearn admitting that the Saudi hosts own the global rights and are now negotiating with broadcasters.
AJ’s bouts were aleready streamed live outside the UK on DAZN, and his promoter Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing already has a global partnership with the company.
DAZN, bankrolled by one of Britain’s richest men in Sir Len Blavatnik, has spent fortunes already trying to build a global streaming behemoth, but has so far sustained heavy financial losses. Blavatnik though has deep pockets and clearly a strong belief that DAZN can get over to the hump to profitability.
DAZN splashes out again for Joshua
The Joshua deal in the UK is just the latest blockbusting deal for DAZN – it reportedly paid Hearn and Matchroom $1billion over eight years to set up shop in the United States, and then $365million to sign P4P king Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez to an 11-fight pact. It also has the likes of Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin under contract.
Despite saying initially that “PPV is dead”, DAZN has now moved to the model in the United States, with Canelo’s defeat by Dmitry Bivol in May being the debut for DAZN PPV. His next fight – the trilogy vs Golovkin on September 17 – will also be a PPV show.
Now speculation will intensify that DAZN will roll out PPV in the UK market as well with Joshua as the focus – potentially for that Usyk rematch.
AJ said: “I am entering a new phase in my career with a new training environment, new coaches and now a new broadcaster. 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.
AJ on why he signed for DAZN
“I’ve been working with DAZN and following its progress for a long time. We have enjoyed a really successful partnership in the US for many years and I know the team and understand the passion and drive of the business.”
Hearn meanwhile said: “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.”
“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.”