UPDATE: On April 21, 2021, reports emerged that Eddie Hearn and Matchroom have signed a huge five-year deal with DAZN in the UK and so will end their successful long-term partnership with Sky Sports.
Eddie Hearn says he is hopeful of extending his contract with Sky Sports in the coming months, despite receiving what he says are three offers from other broadcasters.
The 41-year-old Matchroom Boxing supremo has worked with Sky exclusively in the UK for almost a decade now, and it’s difficult to see the two being prised apart. Hearn of course promotes IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, as well as a host of other stars.
Hearn has options
While Hearn says his intention is to ink a new deal with the pay TV behemoth, now owned by U.S. giant Comcast, he said there are other offers out there.
Hearn told BoxingScene: “We have got a longstanding relationship with Sky, we are in negotiations with them to extend our deal.
“We have had three approaches from different broadcasters to try and look at or entertain a longterm deal with them. But we are very happy with where we are.
“We have a fantastic pay-per-view platform, we have a great team of people at Sky who have allowed us to grow and have trust in our vision for the sport, so we will be looking to finalise that over the next 4-6 weeks.
“There is interest from terrestrial TV in boxing and one who can carry a pay-per-view model as well. Everyone knows that DAZN have made a move into the UK in the last couple of weeks with their global platform. And there are a couple of other ones you wouldn’t expect as well.”
DAZN bidding for Hearn UK deal?
BoxingScene claims it is believed two of the offers are from streaming platform DAZN and terrestrial giant ITV. Hearn already has a partnership with the former in the United States, having signed a reported $1billion eight-year deal in 2018.
ITV meanwhile has sporadically been a major player in boxing, screening the rise of Amir Khan and Carl Froch among others – along with the early professional fights of Tyson Fury.
Sky will doubtless be extremely keen to get a Matchroom extension tied up as it prepares for the Fury vs Joshua blockbuster. That bout is likely to take place in June, with a rematch then expected before the end of 2021.
The association with Hearn has been a highly successful one, including massive promotions such as Carl Froch vs George Groves 2 at Wembley, the same venue that later played host to Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko.
Joshua’s rematch win over Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia in 2019 meanwhile produced record domestic PPV revenues. Around 1.6million homes bought the fight at a cost of £24.95 each.