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.

Aside from DAZN, Canelo-Jacobs to be offered in theatres

April 19, 2019

The May 4th Showdown between Daniel Jacobs and Canelo Alvarez airing on DAZN is offering another option for boxing fans.  Watching the fight in theatres.

In partnership with Fathom Events, the fight will be available at theatres across America.  The get in price will be around $20.

Via Fathom Events:

The live broadcast of “Canelo vs Jacobs” presented by Fathom Events and Golden Boy is set for Saturday, May 4 beginning at beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 8:00 p.m. CT / 7:00 p.m. MT / 6:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. AK / 4:00 p.m HI. Boxing fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 500 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). A complete list of theater locations is available on the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Payout Perspective:

For those that don’t want to buy into DAZN, don’t have a strong internet connection or just want to watch the fight with others, this offers an alternative.  I’m not sure about the success of these with the UFC and other boxing events doing this theatre event but it gives the fight another revenue stream as May 4th nears.

LeBron James-led media company producing “24/7”-inspired docu-series starting this weekend for Canelo-Jacobs

April 17, 2019

The May 4th showdown between Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs will receive a “24/7” style docuseries from the digital media company of LeBron James and Maverick Carter.

“40 Days,” the entitled series which describes the eight weeks of training boxers use to prepare for a fight will give viewers the behind the scenes look at each training camp.

The series debuts this weekend on DAZN and Uninterrupted’s digital media platform and then will move to Univision, NBCSN and regional sports networks.

Payout Perspective:

I have not seen a series produced by Uninterrupted but they cater to athletes to tell their stories. As always, I find behind the scenes before a fight fascinating and with this series, it will not be any different.

DAZN institutes new pay structure including annual fee

March 21, 2019

DAZN announced that starting next week it will debut a new annual pass option of $99.99 per year.  In the alternative, it will allow new subscribers to pay $19.99 per month.

DAZN is granting those that began with the $9.99 per month option to pay over the next year.  The new $19.99 per month option allows for a subscriber to cancel at any time.

The digital platform began this past September in the United States.  Since then it has featured Bellator events as well as boxing events.  The big news came when Canelo Alvarez signed on with the streaming site for a then-record 5-year, 11 fight deal worth $365 million.  It then signed GGG earlier this month to a three-year, six-fight deal which was reported in the nine-figure range although not disclosed.

It also made a run at heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder who had a $100 million offer on the table but the Alabama native turned it down to sign a pact with Showtime Boxing for his next fight.

Payout Perspective:

The new payment structure is good and bad.  The overarching reason for the change is to grow the subscriber base.  If you take advantage of the annual fee, you realize a 20% decrease over the year.  For boxing fans this is a good deal to pay $100 per year for good cards each month.  For MMA fans, the new pay structure will make you consider the need for the digital platform as Bellator has just a handful of exclusive cards on DAZN.  But, the $19.99 per month essentially accounts for combat sports fans that want to see a specific event but does not want to pay for the year.  With the GGG and Canelo fighting in the next couple months, the raise in subscription price ensures that the company maintains revenue without losing too much without charging a PPV.

GGG signs with DAZN

March 8, 2019

Gennady Golovkin has signed a three-year, six fight contract with sports streaming service DAZN early Thursday morning according to Mike Coppinger.

According to Coppinger’s sources, GGG will be paid 8 figures per fight and twice a year.  The deal will be announced on Monday with GGG intending to fight in June.

ESPN reports that ESPN, Top Rank and PBC all courted GGG for his services.  DAZN offered GGG a home for his promotional company as well as the trilogy with Canelo.

Payout Perspective:

The move inches GGG closer to a third fight with Canelo Alvarez.  Last year, Canelo signed a deal worth $365 million for 11 fights over 5 years with DAZN.  The big question will be if and when a fight occurs between the two is whether the fight will take place on the $9.99 a month streaming service or on PPV.  One would think that the sides would be leaving money on the table without PPV.  Notwithstanding, the DAZN signing is huge for the service as it has bulked up its stable of fighters which makes a must for boxing fans to subscribe.

1.5M viewers watch Bader-Fedor on Paramount last Saturday

February 2, 2019

Last Saturday, 1.5 million viewers saw the main event of Bellator 214 with Ryan Bader taking care of Fedor in the very first round.  According to Nielsen via Bellator, the entire telecast drew 784,000 viewers in its 2 hour and 44-minute airing on the Paramount Network including the DVR +3 ratings

Bader won the Heavyweight title becoming a Bellator double champ with the win over Emelianenko.

In addition, the Aaron Pico-Henry Corrales fight drew 1 million viewers and Jake Hager-J.W. Kizer fight drew 1 million viewers.  Both of these fights ended in the first round.

In addition, Bellator outlined several other highlights from its broadcast last Saturday.

  • The most-watched Bellator event since Bellator 192on January 20, 2018.
  • The highest-rated Bellator event with adults 18-49 (.6) since Bellator 175on March 31, 2017.
  • The highest-rated Bellator event with men 18-49 (.73) since Bellator 192.
  • The second most-streamed Bellator event ever (on various Bellator/Paramount mobile platforms).
  • The most-streamed Bellator prelimany card ever.
  • The Ryan Bader knockout was among the most engaged posts in Bellator social media history with over 4 millionviews on various social platforms including a record number of video views on      Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
  • The week leading into Bellator 214delivered the second most growth for new followers to Bellator’s social platforms in franchise history.

Payout Perspective:

The numbers should please Bellator execs as the company has seen a decline in their ratings on Paramount in 2018.  The ratings, even though they include DVR ratings should show promise.  But the strong ratings are based on several minutes of viewership as the three featured fights lasted less than a round.  Yet, you could argue that there was strong interest based on the numbers. It also should be noted that the ratings do not include the number of those watching on DAZN.

Canelo-Jacobs set for DAZN on May 4th

January 17, 2019

Canelo Alvarez will be fighting Daniel Jacobs on May 4, 2019.  The event will be streamed on DAZN.

The fight will unify the WBA, IBF, and WBC middleweight titles.

The Jacobs fight is one that boxing fans wanted despite it not being the sexiest of picks.  Yet, the 35-2 Jacobs should have won a decision over Gennady Golovkin when the two met in March 2017.  GGG won the fight, which aired on PPV, via unanimous decision.

Alvarez defeated GGG this past September in the second matchup.  Although it’s inevitable that the two complete the trilogy, GGG is currently a free agent looking for a broadcast partner.  While he may sign with DAZN, it has not come to fruition.  Meanwhile, Alvarez has aligned himself with the streaming service and appeared late last year in an easy victory over Rocky Felding.

Payout Perspective:

There will not be any pressure for PPV buys here since it will be streaming on DAZN.  But, the pressure to sell sponsorships and subscriptions for the event will be magnified as the Cinco de Mayo weekend fight is the biggest weekend of the boxing calendar.  How Golden Boy will come up with the additional revenue to make up for the PPV losses will be interesting to see.

MMA Payout Year in Review: No. 7 – DAZN enters sports streaming market

December 28, 2018

This past June, Bellator MMA announced a deal with sport streaming service DAZN.  The late September 2018 launch in the U.S. of the $9.99 per month service was another challenge on the traditional way we watch sports.

Perhaps bigger than the Bellator deal, and securing another deal with Combates America, it signed Canelo Alvarez to an exclusive deal which began in December.  Alvarez pummeled an overmatched Fielding.

Bellator MMA aired several events which were exclusive to DAZN but also some events were also airing on the Paramount Network.  But the streaming on the digital platform allowed subscribers to see the Bellator product where the promotion did not have media deals.

DAZN is spending a lot of money for media rights and we’ll see if it pays off in the end.  For Bellator, it’s hard to decipher whether the deal will help recruit new fans to its product, but it gets it more exposure in previously untapped markets.

The question for Bellator will be whether it decides to abandon the notion of PPV and air exclusive events on DAZN.

Tape-delayed Bellator 209 on Paramount draws 381,000 viewers

November 19, 2018

Bellator MMA Live 209 drew 381,000 viewers on the Paramount Network according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The telecast was also available via digital streaming service DAZN.

The event was tape-delayed from Israel and featured Patricio Freire as he defeated Emmanuel Sanchez for Friere’s Featherweight title.

The event drew 0.13 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

You can certainly stick the blame for the ratings on the one-day tape delay.  The ratings this year for Bellator have been disappointing.

Monster Energy renews sponsor deal with Bellator

November 16, 2018

Monster Energy will remain in the Bellator cage as the promotion announced a new three-year-deal per company release on Friday.  The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Via Bellator press release:

The partnership with Monster Energy has been an important component of our business since day one,” said Bellator President Scott Coker. “They have played a factor in our success and we are thrilled to announce this new three-year extension. The hard work and passion that Hans Molenkamp and the rest of their team have for this sport is unmatched. We look forward to new and exciting opportunities for our brand, fighters and fans that this continued relationship brings to the table.”

Beginning in 2014, Bellator became the first MMA promotion to partner with Monster Energy, which paved the way in creating numerous future sponsorship opportunities throughout the combat sports landscape. Since that time, many of MMA’s most memorable events and elite athletes have been supported by the industry-leading energy drink brand.

“Bellator delivers compelling, high-action, adrenaline-pumping MMA events worldwide,” added Monster Energy Vice President of Sports Marketing Mitch Covington. “We are thrilled to continue our longtime partnership and look forward to evolving our relationship even further, allowing us to further integrate the Monster Energy and Bellator brands.”

Over the years, Monster Energy and Bellator have worked together to host unique and creative activations for fans. Previously, Monster Energy Bellator MMA fight series events have been held during Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Monster Energy Supercross races. Drawing thousands in attendance to experience live MMA bouts and fighter autograph signings, these events are expected to continue and evolve under the new partnership.

In addition to Bellator, Monster is a sponsor in the UFC octagon and has forged individual deals with several UFC athletes.

(photo via Bellator press release)

Payout Perspective:

SoCal-based Monster is a big sponsor within extreme sports and MMA as it caters to the young, active demo.  With a new digital deal on DAZN for Bellator, Monster will get another source of visibility.  Not to mention it is heavily involved the UFC which solidifies itself as the energy drink brand in MMA.

Next Page »