U.K.-based sports media company Perform Group is betting $1 billion that it can revive boxing in North America.
“The U.S. boxing market has almost eaten itself alive,” said Chief Executive Officer Simon Denyer. “It’s pushed anything compelling to pay-per-view, and the pricing is now around $100, which is insane. It needs to be blown up. The whole thing needs to be rethought.”
Perform is entering an eight-year partnership with U.K.-based promoter Matchroom Boxing, launching a joint venture that will organize and execute fights in the U.S. The $1 billion investment creates a hefty war chest for Matchroom Boxing USA—the name of the new endeavor—to lure elite fighters, secure top-flight venues and reimagine the boxing experience for fans in the arena and those watching at home.
Perform will own a little less than half of the joint venture. Most important for the company, it will broadcast the events in the U.S. through its DAZN platform, a digital streaming service similar to ESPN+ that will launch in the U.S. this summer. Already available in five other countries, DAZN (pronounced “da-zone”) will use the boxing deal as its entry into a U.S. market in which no other major rights are available.