In what came as a shock to most it was confirmed this morning that Sky Sports had won the UK broadcast rights to the Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua rematch on August 20.
The TV rights distribution deals were controlled by the Saudi Arabian hosts as part of their overall fight package. In turn they put the streaming rights out for tender and although it’s not clear if Sky Sports were actually the highest bidder, they did secure the exclusive UK rights with an offer rumoured to be in the region of $28m.
Most were expecting the fight to land on DAZN after they secured a multi-fight contract with Anthony Joshua, a huge package which saw the former heavyweight champion become a shareholder and be given a special advisor role.
However, shortly after the DAZN announcement it became apparent that his rematch with Usyk was not included as part of the deal and wouldn’t necessarily be shown on the app.
Eddie Hearn Reaction To Sky Sports Winning Joshua vs Usyk TV Rights
“Sounds like it could be.”
“Obviously we weren’t involved in the process, there were 5 or 6 broadcasters bidding for that.”
“$30m was that the number? $28 million, something like that Sky have paid, shows you the value of the fight”
Hearn went on to say about pay-per-view expectations and potential price:
“First fight did 700k buys, so [I expect] around the same.”
“Maybe they will put the price up.”
“At the moment the way the boxing industry is going in the UK people are prepared to make a loss.”
Joshua will feel at home on Sky having appeared on the platform ever since he made his professional debut in October 2013, including 12 box office events.
The attention now turns to August 20 where the pressure is on Joshua to regain the three world titles he lost in London 10 months ago to Usyk.
DAZN have a lot riding on the 32-year-old beating the Ukrainian before he begins his UK stay on their platform as the three-time Heavyweight Champion of the World if he is successful.