WBC and WBA Middleweight world champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has signed an 11 fight contract with American streaming service DAZN with estimated earnings of £278m over five years.
The Mexican, who recently won his belts against former world champion Gennady Golovkin (triple G), has signed this lucrative deal in the build up to his first title defence against British super-middleweight champion Rocky Fielding. This is not the first time that the American service has owned the rights to show international and championship boxing in the States, having previously broadcast the Heavyweight title clash between Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin. Joshua described this type of move as: “a new era for broadcasting,” as the service was launched shortly prior to his main event.
In the latest build-up press conference, in New York, Alvarez explained how his reason for accepting this deal was to make it cheaper and more accessible for boxing fans to access his upcoming bouts: “I am so happy to be able to give great fights for less money. That was the biggest motivation for me when doing this deal. I’m happy with this new alliance with DAZN.” This type of deal could be the one that more professional fighters, across all disciplines, will be looking to sign in order to gain greater exposure of themselves and their respective sports, by allowing fans to gain easier access to watching them.
World renowned boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has recently taken the opportunity of this deal to promote up and coming US boxers, as well as his array of British talent, to sign exclusive deals with DAZN for US broadcasting for his next set of main events with Matchroom Boxing. “We have the ability to say for instance the Fielding fight is no longer $79.99 or $84.99 for this fight actually is free because they do a month’s free subscription anyway,” explained Hearn to the American media, concluding that American pay per view prices were too high.
This deal could signal the demise of the current ‘pay per view’ system in place for the majority of boxing coverage worldwide. With the increasing popularity and use of streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon prime and DAZN, fans may want to look for this style of fighting viewership to be in place more frequently for larger events due to it’s simplicity compared to pay per view as well as better value for money.