For a long time, Eddie Hearn was the powerhouse behind Sky Sports’ boxing coverage. His Matchroom promotional company had a long and successful relationship with the broadcaster that saw them grow boxing to all-new heights in the UK.
Back in June 2021, however, Hearn announced he was leaving Sky along with his stable of fighters and went to work with emerging international sports streaming service, DAZN.
It hasn’t been all plain-sailing, with some criticism regarding the introduction of a pay-per-view model following previous claims that suggested there would be no such thing.
However, Hearn has recently spoken out to IFL TV about the quality of Sky’s offerings since he left. Ben Shalom’s Boxxer filled the void he left behind, but Hearn considers it to have fallen short of what he did with Matchroom.
“You’ve seen things go [downhill at Sky].
We’ve [DAZN] had some ups and downs as well, but if you see what we were doing on Sky vs what you’re seeing now, it’s a car crash. That’s the reality.
We were doing millions of buys a year on pay-per-view. They’ve only been able to do three pay-per-view events in two years, and one of them was our fight with [Anthony Joshua.] From a financial sense, it’s been a disaster.”
Hearn references the career of Boxxer’s heavyweight Frazier Clarke, who was recently pulled out of a fight with Hearn’s Fabio Wardley and instead beat Mariusz Wach on points at York Hall this past weekend, as an example of how and why Sky is falling behind.
“That’s a headline fight on Sky in front of 800 people. If I did that and put that show on, I’d be lynched. But it’s great that they’re trying because, without the competition, it would be boring.”
Hearn admits that losing Connor Benn-Chris Eubank Jnr and Dillian White-Otto Wallin last year was challenging for DAZN but that the platform is now “flying” with new subscribers.