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Sky Sports and Matchroom announce US fight deal agreement

Eddie Hearn will stage 16 live shows a year on the Perform Group’s on-demand streaming service, DAZN

Sky Sports will broadcast 16 fight nights a year live and exclusive from the USA as part of a new deal with long-term partners Matchroom Boxing.

The new agreement means that viewers will have increased access to fighters, exclusive interviews, blogs and podcasts, available across all Sky Sports platforms.

Fight nights will be scheduled to begin at 6pm US time, meaning the action will kick off at 11pm in the UK when fights are held on the East Coast. Up to six fights will be scheduled on every bill.

The deal follows a hugely successful year of boxing on Sky Sports, which has seen Anthony Joshua become a unified heavyweight world champion, Tony Bellew defeat David Haye for a second time, and the return of Amir Khan.

“The new deal is hugely exciting and offers customers an even bigger schedule of boxing,” said head of Sky Sports Boxing, Adam Smith. “British boxing is in a really strong place right now, thanks to the emergence of stars like Anthony Joshua and Katie Taylor. With Sky Sports now showing more big name fights from America, the sport will only grow further and encourage the best head-to-head clashes worldwide.”

Managing director of Matchroom, Eddie Hearn added: “This is a historic moment for Matchroom and the world of boxing. This is fantastic news for UK fight fans on Sky Sports. Not only will you have the huge UK fight nights, you will now have 16 monsters from the US to get your teeth into. We have been looking at the US market for some time but we needed a platform that would give us a huge volume of dates and a war chest to build an unrivalled stable within the sport. This will be a platform built by fans for fans from the fights, to the production and presentation team to the build-up.”

Meanwhile, Hearn and Simon Denyer, Perform Group’s chief executive, announced a $1bn joint OTT platform venture, intended to stretch over eight years, in New York on Thursday night.

Under the banner of Matchroom Boxing USA, Hearn will stage 16 live shows a year on the Perform Group’s on-demand streaming service, DAZN, as well as 16 promotions in the UK. None will be on pay-per-view, but they will be available for a monthly fee without a long-term contract.