Eddie Hearn critical of American PPVs

April 22, 2019

In the first four months of 2019, boxing has held three PPVs.  All have been a disappointment in entertainment and brings up the question of whether the future will be the over the top platform.

During a conference call promoting the May 4th Canelo Alvarez-Danny Jacobs fight, Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn spoke about the lack of competition in the PPV main event matchups in 2019.  Pacquiao-Broner, Spence-Garcia and Crawford-Khan showed the dominance of the favorite in these matchups.  Each provided a small amount of excitement despite a big price tag to purchase the events. The latest fight this weekend on PPV, saw Amir Khan retire to Terrence Crawford after he could not continue in the main event of their fight in New York.

Advocating for the subscription-based DAZN, Hearn derided the American PPV model stating that the boxing fans that may pay $70-$100 are getting an “unfair ride.”

DAZN, which debuted in the United States in September of last year has made big moves in boxing talent acquiring Canelo Alvarez, GGG and Anthony Joshua.  It also made a big run at locking down Deontay Wilder to a fight.  The subscription company charges an annual subscription of $99 a year or $19.99 per month for those that may want to see a fight such as next month’s Canelo-Jacobs showdown.

Payout Perspective:

Hearn is not wrong.  The PPVs this year have been less than stellar and while Spence-Garcia did surprising well with buys, the entertainment value was less than zero.  We don’t know how Crawford-Khan will do but you might expect the market for PPVs may decrease unless there’s a big, competitive fight.  Or, a Pacquiao fight.  DAZN might not be the savior of PPV.  While Canelo-Jacobs should be a big draw, DAZN’s other fighters of renown have soft landings in their debut’s on the network (i.e., GGG and Joshua).  We shall see how DAZN seems to address the competition of its top talent and whether it will be content to stay with its current pay tiers or switch to a ESPN+ model where you have double pay walls.

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