Eddie Hearn says pay-per-view will “end in tears”
With nine fights likely to air on pay-per-view (PPV) between now and the new year, Matchroom Sport managing director, Eddie Hearn, is concerned about creating an oversaturated market.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the Joshua-Povetkin fight, Hearn has expressed concerns that the growth in the number of fights held on pay-per-view (PPV) will “end in tears”.
Earlier in the year, Hearn reached a landmark media rights agreement with over-the-top (OTT) streaming service DAZN worth US$1 billion, which will see the platform stream 16 fights a year for eight years.
The deal was thought to be the beginning of the end for pay-per-view boxing, most imminently in the US, as consumers are continuing to favour OTT service providers ahead of their traditional counterparts.
Hearn as predicted the upcoming Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin fight would be the only one to break a million buys with others struggling to break 100,000.
“I think pay-per-view will end in tears at some point,” he said.
“We are in a strong position because our platform is solid, proven.
“But what will happen is other fighters will take risks on pay-per-views that won’t work.
“If [Josh] Warrington vs [Carl] Frampton did 100,000 buys on pay-per-view I’d be astonished,” Hearn said.
“And if we go on the 22nd [December for Dillian Whyte v Dereck Chisora] it won’t do 50,000 buys.”
“So how are the fighters going to make any money? Too much pay-per-view, you can’t say it is good for boxing because it is not.”
Hearn also stated that UK broadcaster Sky should be doing more financially to back non-pay-per-view fights and reward promoters for filling venues.
“Sky is consistently backing boxing at a level where we can do an Amir Khan fight on Saturday and just about wipe our face,” he added.
“What sort of business is that? You work on a Khan card for three to four months, sell 8,000 tickets and as a promoter, you are thinking: ‘Can I break even? Where we make our money is pay-per-view.”