Top Rank Is Betting That ESPN+ Is the Future of Boxing

Credit: The Street
Published on April 17, 2019 - Duration: 04:02s

Top Rank Is Betting That ESPN+ Is the Future of Boxing

Boxing is pretty much the same sport is has always been.

The object of the Sweet Science is simple enough: Hit and don't get hit.

But the way people consume the sport has continuously been in flux.

In the post-World War II era when it was America's top sport, you could find the biggest boxing matches being broadcast on major network television.

As it waned its popularity, boxing turned to a closed circuit and pay-per view format.

That was the norm until very recently when boxing promoters like Top Rank and its president Todd DuBoef started signing exclusive deals with broadcast companies.

Top Rank is still in the first year of a seven year contract with ESPN that will see Top Rank put on 54 live boxing events annually for the company's suite of networks, including its direct to consumer ESPN+ streaming service.

DuBoef spoke with TheStreet about why its partnership with ESPN is a good thing for fight fans.

"So the plus product offers everything from big fights, the library fights to international fights, and it also does deep dives when you want to get in," DuBoef said.

" I think there's three, three buckets to the whole move, right?

I think there's the linear play, which is ESPN, ESPN linear.

Then I think it's the plus, which is the DTC product.

I think they complementary.

I don't think DTC and the sports world works or in anything works great alone.

I think it needs to have a complimentary.

And then when the top of the pier is a paper view, like we're going to see on Saturday night.


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