UKTV has moved into live sports after landing the exclusive rights to David Haye’s comeback fight.
Dave will air the former heavyweight world champion’s forthcoming fight against Australia’s Mark De Mori at the O2 on 16 January.
It is Haye’s first fight since defeating Dereck Chisora at Upton Park over three years ago.
Landing such a high profile sporting event is a shock leap from the free-to-air general entertainment channel, which is best known for entertainment series including Taskmaster, Storage Hunters UK and Dave Gorman’s Modern Life Is Goodish.
UKTV channel Dave will also air a 30 minute preview show, Haye v De Mori: The Countdown, on the eve of the fight.
The deal was completed by Dave general manager Steve North and director of commissioning Richard Watsham.
“We are quickly establishing UKTV as a network able to handle attention grabbing live events, from the Python’s last ever performance - Monty Python Live (Mostly) for Gold through Really’s halloween spectacular Most Haunted Live to the Red Bull Soapbox Race,” said Watsham.
“Our ambition continues to grow in terms of the variety and quality of our programming and appointment to view TV remains at the top of our wish list.”