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BT Sport beats Sky for Wilder v Fury rematch

Frank Warren turns down fight offer north of UK£10m to sick with BT.

  • Posted: January 14 2020
  • By: Ed Dixon

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BT Sport has seen off competition from rival UK pay-TV broadcaster Sky for domestic broadcast rights to Tyson Fury’s heavyweight boxing rematch against Deontay Wilder on 22nd February.

According to the Daily Mail, Sky tabled ‘a huge offer’, reportedly north of UK£10 million (US$13 million), to snatch media rights away from BT for the highly-anticipated world title fight.

Instead, Fury’s team, Frank Warren and his Queensberry Promotions company, have opted to stick with BT, which has broadcast every fight since the 31-year-old lineal champion’s 2018 comeback.

With the WBC belt on the line at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Arena, the bout is now set to be aired via BT Sport’s Box Office pay-per-view (PPV) service. The event will also available to non-subscribers through means such as the BT Sport Box Office app, which launched before the first Wilder-Fury matchup at the end of 2018, ending in a controversial draw.

The PPV asking price in the UK is still to be confirmed. Wilder and Fury’s first fight, held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, cost UK£19.99 (US$25.95) and had 420,000 buys. This was well short of Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr in December 2019, which pulled in a UK record 1.6 million buys on Sky Sport Box Office.

However, many British audiences were put off by the Wilder-Fury fight not starting until around 5am UK time, while Joshua’s bout, held in Saudi Arabia, got underway at approximately 9pm.

BT are reportedly confident next month’s rematch will beat the 420,000 figure set for the first encounter, while American promoter Bob Arum predicted that the event would generate two million PPV buys in the US across ESPN and Fox. With the US set to charge significantly more for the fight, probably around the US$75 mark, Arum’s estimation could see the US$150 million revenue barrier for the fight broken.

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January 14, 2020 at 09:44AM

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