The news that Eddie Hearn is leaving Sky Sports on July 1 for a new UK deal with streaming platform DAZN sent shockwaves through the world of boxing overnight, but how does it affect Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua?
While there had been speculation he would make the move for a while – it becoming reality was still quite the bombshell.
The five-year partnership means Matchroom Boxing’s promotional powers and UK shows will now help to grow a subscriber base for DAZN in boxing’s biggest market. The platform launched here last December and retails for £1.99 per month.
DAZN already has some tasty events coming up in the UK – including the ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders superfight on May 8. From July 1 it will have a much more regular schedule of shows taking place inside the UK – with potential to build a huge audience.
Fury vs Joshua on TV
But one big question boxing fans were left asking as Wednesday night’s news began to properly sink in was: How does this affect Fury vs Joshua? The answer – quite simply – is not very much.
Contracts are signed on a two-fight deal with the first bout expected to take place in Saudi Arabia in late July or early August.
But the crucial factor here is that Sky Sports has an exclusive contract with Joshua – separate to the deal Hearn has done with DAZN. Dillian Whyte also sits outside the new pact (which reportedly worth well into nine figures).
No AJ in Hearn DAZN UK deal
So while Hearn is contracted to DAZN in the UK from July 1, Joshua is – as yet – not.
That means the plan will likely remain for Sky and BT Sport to share rights for Fury vs Joshua in the UK. ESPN+ meanwhile is likely to air the PPV in the United States – as part of its exclusive contract with Fury.
DAZN will not totally lose out here. It is highly likely given it’s global platform that it will hoover up the rights outside the UK and United Statets. A pretty nice consolation prize given the huge worldwide interest in the bout.
As ever, details remain to be ironed out. But for now at least, it appears as if it’s ‘as you were’ in terms of where UK fans will be able to watch Fury vs Joshua in a few months’ time.