This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Afilliate I earn from qualifying purchases.

DAZN Derailed by Eddie Hearn(Again)

With a summer line-up of fights featuring the Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk rematch as well as the third fight between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs Gennadiy Golovkin it should be a time where DAZN could bask in their achievements. But this is DAZN we are talking about, the company that continues to flounder through the sport of boxing no matter how much money they spend.

Let us start with the Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk rematch which is taking place in August in the boxing hotbed of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  On the surface this seemed like a rather significant deal for DAZN.  Because shortly after the details of the rematch were announced DAZN made their own announcement that they had signed Anthony Joshua to a deal which would see him leave Sky Sports PPV for DAZN PPV.

Yet it only took a short while for this writer’s suspicions to be confirmed when promoter Eddie Hearn revealed that DAZN did not actually have any claim to this rematch and neither did Matchroom Boxing. For Eddie had given over control of the fight to the Saudi Arabian promoter.

This is just another chapter in the bizarre pairing of DAZN and Eddie Hearn. Despite constant failures and hundreds of millions of dollars lost, DAZN is as committed as ever to the promoter who has now sold the rights to the biggest fight in Anthony Joshua’s career to a competitor to DAZN in the streaming marketplace.

Eddie placed DAZN in a position where they would have to overspend in an attempt to get the UK PPV rights that the Saudis preferred to go to Sky Sports. Leaving no ability to even recoup their costs if they had been successful in outbidding Sky Sports. They can only hope that AJ wins so they can salvage some shred of victory over this blunder. If AJ loses then where does that leave them? With a Dillian Whyte or Joseph Parker rematch? 

Things are not looking much better in the US with Canelo vs GGG 3. Despite having the most popular boxer in the US at the moment in Saul Alvarez, DAZN is facing headwinds in trying to sell this trilogy.

Under Canelo’s original contract with Golden Boy Promotions when GBP signed an exclusive deal with DAZN, Canelo was promised a minimum of $60 million for a third fight with Golovkin. While that contract no longer exists, it is reasonable to assume that Canelo is demanding more than the ~$40 million he has been getting over the past few fights. Golovkin as well would be asking for an elevated purse.  One just needs to look at the ticket prices to see the economic hurdle that is being faced with the floor tickets going for $5005 and $3505. 

We have to remember that when Floyd Mayweather Jr was in the midst of his oddly ridiculed deal with Showtime that the top ticket price was around $1500 for the floor seats in the MGM Grand Garden Arena. 

Now the cost is triple which requires a promoter to have the connections to people who can move those tickets. These are connections that Eddie Hearn lacks as evidenced by the disastrous performance of the Canelo vs Bivol tickets which saw at least five price cuts the week of the fight and a live gate that failed to break the $10 million mark.

This is the hell that DAZN continues to place themselves within, they have a promoter who has no need to turn a profit and who only cares about promoting himself above anyone else.

Perhaps nothing encapsulates Eddie Hearn’s lack of interest in actually breaking even on these events than the fact that for over a week on the AXS website, the links to the fight led to the wrong place. The link for the tickets in the $705-$3505 price range would tell a potential buyer that there were no available tickets. The link to the $305-$505 tickets would lead to the available inventory which the broken link was supposed to lead towards.

Maybe I have odd expectations but I think checking to see if the website that I was depending on to sell the tickets to pay for my massively expensive event actually led people to the tickets they were interested in buying. But I am not in the promotion business, maybe Eddie was using some outside the box thinking?

These broken links were not fixed until Eddie had his underling list his VIP tickets where you can get a $50 VISA debit card for spending $500 over face value. Yet despite the links finally being fixed, the AXS website still lists the top ticket price as being $5505.

What's $500 Between Friends?

The pricing for this event is more aggressive than the first two fights between Canelo vs GGG with the arena originally designed for a complete sellout live gate of ~$32 million. Which, again, would not be an issue if you had buyers for the top prices. But interest has been so soft that Hearn removed over 2600 tickets from the AXS website before they switched from a static map to the live seat view.

It is not uncommon for a promoter to hold back tickets to aid in the perception that is a hot ticket, but I have never before seen a promoter remove half the inventory before displaying the seat view. And much like the Bivol fight, there has already been a price cut for this event which saw several hundred $5005 tickets reduced to $3505 and almost all the $2005 tickets marked down to $1505. Moves that reduced the potential gate by ~$1.3 million.

Even this move by Hearn has failed to create much interest. At the time of this writing with six weeks to go until the night of the fight, there are five hundred more tickets listed on AXS than there were at the same point for the Canelo vs Bivol fight.

It would seem that the only people who have learned a lesson from the pairing of DAZN,Hearn and Canelo are the Canelo fans who know there is no need to purchase tickets ahead of time and it’s far better to wait until fight week to take advantage of the inevitable price cuts as Hearn panics over the prospect of a broadcast showing only a third of the venue sold.

Because in the end, the optics are the only thing Eddie Hearn cares about and he doesn’t care how much of DAZN’s money he has to spend to keep up the illusion that he is the biggest promoter in the game.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join The List

Sign up to receive alerts when new articles are posted!