Matchroom Boxing and promoter Eddie Hearn still plan to proceed with boxing cards starting in July that will be held on the promotion’s property and will be the first fights in the U.K. since the Covid-19 shutdown in March.
And now, we are getting clues, as it relates to the DAZN streaming service possibly televising those fights and their future.
In an Instagram live chat session with fans earlier this week, Hearn pointed to Friday as the day in which Matchroom will learn more about DAZN’s financial situation and short-term future:
About halfway through the video, Hearn answered a fan question about DAZN possibly going out of business with,
“Just wait and see. We’ve got a meeting on Friday to discuss the schedule coming up.
It ain’t ideal times for anybody. I mean, if you’ve got a subscription company that thrives off live sport, and there’s been no live sport, it’s obviously not the best. But, we’re cracking on, mate.”
As we wrote last weekend, the Financial Times reported that Ukranian billonaire Len Blavatnik, the owner of the global streaming service, is actively seeking a large investor, if not an outright buyer, to keep them afloat.
This is due to DAZN not only losing boxing, but Major League Baseball and most importantly, European Soccer the last 2+ months, as their key programming to get and keep subscribers.
DAZN laid off a significant amount of it’s over 2,000 worldwide employees and informed sports leagues, boxing promotions, etc. that it would not be paying any rights fees, while games/fights weren’t happening.
Clearly, Hearn and Matchroom putting on fights are exactly what DAZN needs – programming.
The real question is: that with the streaming service having already lost an estimated tens of millions of dollars in subscribers over the last 75 days or so, and certain to lose more through the upcoming month of June without live sports programming, how much will these Hearn backyard fights really help them gain enough subscribers back?
The streaming service also has a deal with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. And, they appear set to televise a July 4th show that probably will be in California without fans and feature unbeaten lightweight contender, Ryan Garcia, in the main event.
DAZN also has deals with four division World Champ and arguably the biggest draw in boxing, Canelo Alvarez. And, they also signed up, former Undisputed Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, as well. They had hoped to televise their upcoming fights, and then, have Alvarez and GGG fight each other for a third time late this year.
However, neither fighter is likely going to be in the ring next 60 days or more to help DAZN in the short term.
So, now we wait to learn more about what DAZN will or won’t be able to do financially? And, it remains to be seen if they can survive the massive loss of subscribers and revenue during the Coronavirus pandemic, even if they have some programming in June and July.