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Eddie Hearn jumps Sky to make exclusive deal with DAZN, according to The Athletic

21
Apr

Newly minted Matchroom chairman Eddie Hearn has never been afraid to make bold, brash moves and he continued his wheeling, dealing ways on Wednesday.

A day after becoming Matchroom boss, Eddie Hearn, who took over the mantle at Matchroom for his retired father Barry, ended an exclusive partnership with Sky Sports to make a record-breaking deal with the streaming service DAZN, according to The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger, who broke the story.

Coppinger reported that the five-year contract is worth “nine figures,” ending Eddie Hearn and Matchroom’s eight-year exclusive relationship with Sky.

According to Coppinger’s Athletic report, DAZN “will now see many of Matchroom’s premium British roster, including Callum Smith, Conor Benn, Katie Taylor and Lawrence Okolie, added to DAZN’s blockbuster schedule.



“Hearn had previously held an exclusive UK and Ireland deal with Sky Sports since 2012, and last signed a six-year contract with the broadcaster in 2015, showcasing 120 fights a year.”

The Coppinger report stated that the last Matchroom-Sky Sports fight will take place in June.

Hearns’ DAZN deal will kick in July 1, according to Coppinger.

In the meantime, Hearn and Matchroom owe two more shows to Sky Sports, one scheduled for May 15, featuring light heavyweight Joshua Buatsi at the AO Arena in Manchester, England, according to Coppinger.

That will take place a week after DAZN streams the Canelo Alvarez-Billy Joe Saunders super middleweight megafight at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on May 8.

The final Sky Sports show with Hearn and Matchroom will take place in June, according to the Coppinger report.

According to Coppinger, why did Hearn and Matchroom do this: “There are two main reasons — money and a sturdy relationship with DAZN.

“When Hearn linked up with DAZN in 2018 with a war chest to spend on the US market, it was always believed he would eventually be exclusive with the streaming service in the UK too.

“And now, with his Sky Sports deal set to expire imminently, Hearn has significantly increased his budget to spend on rights to fights in the UK.

“The cost, of course, is exposure. Sky Sports is an established paid-TV broadcasting power while DAZN is a streaming platform.”

Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.

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