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Jul 24, 2005
Streaming giant DAZN aims to fix 'broken' PPV system for U.S. fight fans

July 18, 2018 11:50am EDT July 18, 2018 11:50am EDT Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, NOPOPUP Media execs weigh in on DAZN's unique selling proposition as the live sports streaming service invades the U.S. market.
Anthony Joshua (Getty Images)
Michael McCarthy M @MMC CarthyREV

Published on Jul. 18, 2018

NEW YORK — Would you rather pay $10 a month for a steady diet of championship boxing and mixed martial arts, or up to $100 several times a year for separate pay-per-view events that may or may not make you want to throw your remote control through your TV set?

That's the unique selling proposition offered by Perform Group's DAZN as it invades the U.S. market. Generations of American combat sports fans have been victimized time and again by expensive PPV telecasts that didn't live up to their billing.

Live sports streaming giant DAZN (pronounced DA-zone) has been called the "Netflix of sports" as it expanded through Canada, Europe and Asia the past two years. Given the "broken" PPV model in the U.S., DAZN CEO James Rushton says it's time to offer consumers a simpler, low-cost choice.

DAZN: There’s a new way to watch fight sports – find out more

At a price of $9.99 a month, with a free trial month, DAZN will launch in the U.S. market on Sep. 10. The Over-the-Top (OTT) streaming service already has deals with British boxing promoter Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing, Viacom-owned MMA promotion Bellator and the World Boxing Super Series.

Subscribers will be able to watch 70 fight nights a year, both live and on demand, on connected devices. More importantly, DAZN will not reserve its best matchups for PPV, premium cable TV or higher-priced packages.

The first fight night features world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua taking on Alexander Povetkin Sept. 22 live from Wembley Stadium in London. The first Bellator MMA card comes Sept. 29, with Gegard Mousasi taking on Rory MacDonald from the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. To add to the big-event feel, ring announcer Michael "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" Buffer has signed an exclusive deal.

DAZN: Win tickets to a major fight – find out how

"We have an absolute conviction that there's a value play in this market around fight sports," Rushton told Sporting News. "We can do that because we don't have the overhead associated with a big network like ESPN. Part of it was very much thinking about how badly screwed U.S. fight fans have been over the past 30 years by pay-per-view fights. I was talking to Eddie (Hearn). It actually has, in my opinion, broken the U.S. fight eco-system."

Yes, a few select fights like Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather become big PPV successes (Mayweather-McGregor, for example, drew 4.6 million PPV buys). But most are lucky to draw 100,000-150,000 buys. The result, according to Rushton? The system simply doesn't work any more. So DAZN wants to offer shows that are as good as any pay-per-view — without the pain. And to price it in a way that makes consumers take notice.

"It's basically one-and-a-half pay-per-views (per year)," Rushton said. "... So the whole idea of creating a better deal for fight fans is something we absolutely care about. And pricing is a really important part of that."

Former ESPN president John Skipper, who joined Perform as executive chairman in May, thinks U.S. consumers will love the way DAZN is "disrupting" a pay-per-view model that's ticked off fight fans for decades. He relishes the chance to challenge ESPN, HBO, Showtime and other combat sports competitors on the global stage.

"It is a fabulous economic proposition. Do you want to pay $100 to see a pay-per-view fight? Or do you want to get a $100-a-year subscription to a service, and get 100 fights and some mixed marital arts and some other content. It's a great economic proposition. There's no reason that a million people won't say yes to that."

The current PPV model in the U.S. has hurt fighters, according to Skipper, with only a few stars getting promoted and the rest forgotten.

Said Skipper: "It limits the market. There's never but a handful of fighters who can do that. Nobody knows about any of the other fighters. It becomes hard to keep the pipeline going. Everybody agrees this works better for everybody — except maybe the promoter who's going to get paid $200 million for one evening's boxing."

Skipper mentioned DAZN is "committed to including our best best fights in its subscription service" and couldn't resist tweaking his old company expansion into combat sports via its ESPN+ streaming service.

"ESPN has already suggested Manny Pacquiao will only be fighting on ESPN+. And (Terence) Crawford is on ESPN+. So I think they're already responding to this very smart idea."
Feb 10, 2006
What do you guys think of Munguia? He’s good hard hitting but I don’t think he’s ready for the top guys just yet!
YO! This thread is dead now and it sucks!

With that being said, Mungia does have a lot of work to do but is definitely not a cherry picker. He will probably have like 2 more fights at 154 then move up to 160. Hopefully he gets new trainers because he has the power and stamina but doesn't have the full skill yet. He should be Roach's last project


Sicc OG
Jun 14, 2005
Fury got robbed despite the two knockdowns. Sheistyness in the sport continues on. I swear some of these judges should serve prison sentences for these robberies lol