BT Sport has seen off competition from Sky Sports and acquired the UK television rights for Tyson Fury’s heavyweight rematch against Deontay Wilder.
The news comes after it was widely reported that Sky tested BT’s resolve with a substantial bid in an attempt to bring the hotly anticipated rematch to its platform.
Despite Sky’s offer, it is believed that the decision was swayed in BT’s favor due to the potential the platform provides for attracting millions of extra subscribers and thus the broadcaster is set to continue its recent role in providing coverage of every fight since the 31-year-old’s 2018 comeback.
The bout, for the WBC belt at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, is now set to be broadcast on BT Sport Box Office pay-per-view (PPV) service, however, the event will also be made available to the general public through TV channels and streaming platforms such as the BT Sport Box Office app, which launched in the build up to the first Wilder-Fury matchup.
As a result of the wider audience reach, BT will be aiming to eclipse the UK record 1.6m buys set by Sky Box Office in December which generated £40m in sales revenue when Anthony Joshua regained his championship belts from Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia.
Despite bringing in 420,000 buys for their first bout in 2018, 1.2m less than Sky’s Joshua coverage, BT is reportedly confident that February’s rematch will surpass the record, with US promoter Bob Arum predicting that the event is set to generate two million combined PPV buys through both the ESPN and Fox networks.
Having charged £19.99 back in 2018, BT is yet to confirm the PPV price in the UK for the rematch. It is also being reported that the US is set to charge significantly more, with a figure in the region of $75 being touted which would in turn see Arum’s estimation bring in over $115m.
Insider Insight: BT could follow in Sky’s footsteps and increase the PPV price, as was done for Joshua vs Ruiz II, however, the broadcaster will still have a mountain to climb if it aims to eclipse Sky’s figures due to the fact that Fury’s fight gets underway in the early hours of the UK morning compared to the 10pm prime time slot Joshua received.