DAZN has signed a “game-changing” five-year deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing to televise fights in the UK and Ireland, marking the latest blow the sports streamer has struck to Comcast-owned Sky.
Under the pact, DAZN will stream 16 fights a year featuring a roster of Matchroom boxers including Conor Benn and Katie Taylor. Heavyweight Anthony Joshua’s fights are not included in the deal, however, given the British athlete has a separate agreement with Sky.
DAZN effectively replaces Sky as the exclusive home of Matchroom fights in the UK and Ireland from July 31. It is the second time this year that the company, which is chaired by former Disney executive Kevin Mayer, has encroached on Sky’s territory after it ended the broadcaster’s stranglehold over Serie A rights in Italy.
DAZN and Matchroom’s agreement builds on an existing relationship between the two companies, which have previously partnered in the U.S., Italy, and Spain. DAZN has also pledged to double down on original content, developing documentaries, features, and series with Matchroom that supplement existing brands like The DAZN Boxing Show.
DAZN Co-CEO James Rushton hailed the “historic” deal. “Together, we are committed to building the new home of boxing in the UK and Ireland while continuing to grow the global home of boxing in a way that matches today’s evolving viewing habits and brings fans all over the world more of the most premium live action,” he added.
Matchroom Boxing chairman Hearn said: “We have made the monumental decision to sign a historic 5-year deal with sports streaming giant DAZN. This means that our UK events will now be broadcast live on DAZN along with all Matchroom shows across the world. Pushing the boundaries is something we will always continue to do and we needed a partner that shared our vision for boxing, and who was also willing to make the investment to make those dreams a reality.”
Analyst Paolo Pescatore said the deal is a “statement of intent” by DAZN and represents a “huge blow to Sky in Europe.”