When DAZN was launched in the United States to much fanfare in 2018, it came with the boast from its key people that ‘pay-per-view (PPV) is dead’.
The ability to watch the world’s greatest fighters for a low-cost monthly subscription was happily gobbled up by fight fans Stateside, but some thought it was too good to be.
Now DAZN, after losing around £3billion in 2019 and 2020, is changing the game again. This time to PPV.
Canelo back on DAZN, this time PPV
On Friday the platform announced that through Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing, it had signed P4P king Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez to a two-fight deal to return to the streaming platform. The pact is reportedly worth in the region of $100million with the potential for a third fight to be added.
Now Canelo will face WBA light-heavyweight king Dmitry Bivol in Las Vegas on May 7, and the bout will be the first on DAZN PPV. If he is victorious then Alvarez will likely face Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin in an eagerly-awaited trilogy fight in September. Golovkin defeated Ryoto Murata in his latest fight in Japan on April 9.
Along with the announcement of the Canelo deal, came the announcement of the new pricing and PPV structure. It basically means even if you have an existing DAZN sub, you’ll have to pay an extra one-off fee to watch the fight on PPV.
DAZN PPV price for Canelo vs Bivol
In its media release, Matchroom said: “The May 7 Canelo vs. Bivol mega matchup will be on DAZN PPV in the U.S., marking the first of very occasional events to come that will be sparingly offered to fight fans on top of a DAZN subscription. This event is priced at $59.99 for current subscribers on the app and $79.99 for new subscribers (inclusive of one month’s subscription to DAZN).
“The DAZN subscription in the U.S. is currently priced at $19.99 a month or just $99.99 for an entire year (which equates to only $8.33 per month). At this unrivalled value, existing subscribers will continue to enjoy a stacked boxing schedule of at least 50 top-tier fight nights annually, discounted PPV events, and an ever-growing slate of DAZN Originals including many of the most fascinating stories and figures in boxing.
“New subscribers to DAZN in the U.S. can continue to take advantage of the current annual subscription cost of $99.99 until May 2. Those signing up for an annual subscription after May 2 will be charged the new annual price of $149.99 (which still just equates to only $12.50 per month). Existing subscribers will be grandfathered in at their current $99.99 annual subscription cost.”
There is some good news for UK fans though – they will not have to pay extra for the Canelo vs Bivol fight, it will come as part of their existing subscription deal.
So we now know that PPV was never really dead, it was just on leave for a little while. To be fair to DAZN though, running a profitable boxing streaming business with big-name fighters but without PPV seemed an impossible task.
What are they doing is no different to what other networks have done in the past – PPV is an accepted staple of big-time boxing, particularly in the United States. The criticism from fight fans will be because of their earlier boasts that it would not happen on their watch. Let the fallout begin…