International streaming platform DAZN has struck a deal with In Demand to show the upcoming super-middleweight title fight between Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and England’s Callum Smith on US cable TV.
The deal will allow boxing fans who are not subscribed to DAZN to watch the bout – which is due to be held at Texas’ Alladrome on 19th December – for £69.99
This move is a core part of DAZN’s plan to expand into the US market, having already unveiled its global over-the-top boxing streaming service at the start of the month, which is available in over 200 territories.
As US boxing fans are more familiar with pay-per-view consumption for boxing matches, DAZN is hopeful that the deal with In Demand could begin to change some fans’ viewing habits.
In Demand currently provides services to the homes of 55 million Americans, distributed to its owners Comcast, Cox Communications and Charter, in addition to established broadcasters such as Verizon, Altice and AT&T.
The London based streaming services aims to disrupt the status quo in boxing with regards to streaming and broadcast rights.
Rather than have fans pay to watch fights on an ad hoc basis using the current PPB system, DAZN intend to offer boxing fans a guaranteed range of fights in return for a monthly subscription fee.
Rob Stecklow, the firm’s senior vice president, said: “DAZN’s global strategy is to provide sports fans access to our content in any environment where they’re seeking it.
“This is just another way to present our content to boxing fans, in the more traditional way that they seek it out.
“It’s not pay-per-view. People may think that, but it’s just not true. If it were true, we would just sell you the fight and not give you the four months of access. We’re trying to create a long-term relationship with boxing fans in the US; we just want to find them and want them to find us.”
So far this month DAZN has provided coverage of major world title fights, including the bout between Britain’s Billy Joe Saunders and Martin Murray and heavyweight Anthony Joshua’s title defence against Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev, which the Watford-born champion won by ninth round KO.
Saturday’s upcoming fight is Canelo Alvarez’s first since he walked away from his $365 contract with his previous promoter Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN.
Despite no longer being signed with DAZN – and having filed a lawsuit against the firm – Canelo is working with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, meaning DAZN will still carry the fight against Liverpool-born Smith due to the partnership between the two organisations.