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Perform Group signs $1bn US streaming deal with Matchroom Boxing


By Cameron Clarke, Editor

May 10, 2018 | 3 min read

Perform Group will launch its sports streaming service DAZN in the US after striking a $1bn broadcast deal with Anthony Joshua's promoter Matchroom Boxing.

Perform Matchroom

Perform Group's John Skipper (left) and Simon Denyer (right) with Matchroom Boxing's Eddie Hearn (centre)

Billed as the "biggest-ever deal in boxing," the eight-year partnership will see Matchroom Boxing USA stage 16 fight nights a year across America which will be streamed live on the DAZN platform.

Simon Denyer, chief executive of Perform Group, said: “Perform Group has a rich history of long-term strategic partnerships with the best rights holders in the world. I’m excited about working with Matchroom; we share the same passion and vision for reigniting boxing in the US, and it’s time for DAZN to provide an exciting new platform for these great events."

Traditionally, major fights in the US have been shown on pay-per-view television, with established broadcasters HBO and Showtime dominating coverage of the sport's most significant bouts.

But on DAZN – already established as a Netflix-like sports streaming service in Canada, Germany and Japan – there will be no pay-per-views. Instead, a to-be-confirmed monthly fee will grant access to all the content.

As part of the deal, DAZN US viewers will also be able to watch Matchroom's 16 fight nights a year from the UK, and Deyner today said more sports would be added to the service when it launches later this year.

Both Perform and Matchroom originated in the UK and are using the deal as a springboard to build operations in America from a shared base in New York. John Skipper, the former president and 20-year veteran of ESPN, joined Perform Group this week to spearhead its US strategy and operations.

Eddie Hearn, managing director of Matchroom Boxing, pledged to use the windfall to build a stable of elite US boxers to fill the schedules.

"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 to in-arena experience," Hearn said.

The formula follows Matchroom's business model in the UK, where it has used a long-term broadcasting deal with Sky Sports as a platform to build a stable of popular fighters to fill its TV shows. Its roster includes some of the biggest names in UK boxing, including world heavyweight champion Joshua, Tony Bellew and Amir Khan.

As part of their deal together, Sky Sports will show Matchroom's 16 USA fights exclusively in the UK.

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