Alvarez, DAZN Finalize Five-Year, $365M Deal To Stream Fights
Boxer Canelo Alvarez in a "record-shattering" move signed a "five-year, 11-fight deal worth a minimum" of $365M with OTT service DAZN, which launched in the U.S. in September, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. The deal finalized early this morning will "commence with his move up to super middleweight" to fight Rocky Fielding on Dec. 15 at MSG, where they will "meet face-to-face at the kickoff news conference" this afternoon. HBO had the "right of first negotiation and a last-look provision" for Alvarez-Fielding, and the net "made an offer for an HBO PPV event, but it elected not to match the one made by DAZN." The move to DAZN will take Alvarez "off HBO PPV -- where his fights cost around $80 apiece for viewers -- and place his two fights per year on the all-sports streaming service that charges $9.99 a month." When Alvarez was fighting on PPV, he would "earn money for every buy above a set threshold beyond his guaranteed purse." But even though DAZN "doesn't offer" PPV, Alvarez can "still earn even more money beyond his guarantee based on specific subscription benchmarks that DAZN can reach during the course of the deal." Although Alvarez is the "centerpiece of the deal," Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya, who reps Alvarez, had "leverage to use Alvarez to secure dates and license fees from DAZN for his company's non-Alvarez events." That agreement, for which financial terms were not disclosed, calls for Golden Boy to "put on up to 10 'high-caliber fight nights' per year that will stream live on DAZN" beginning in early '19. The deal with Golden Boy also will "give DAZN access to the roughly 7,000-hour library of Golden Boy's fights." Golden Boy Media & Entertainment also will "produce various shoulder programs to complement the live events" (ESPN.com, 10/17).
POWER PLAY: YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Iole noted DAZN already has heavyweight Anthony Joshua on its roster, so the addition of Alvarez "would give it a powerful 1-2 combination at the top to draw viewers in." DAZN has been "offering top-dollar to boxers to sign with the service." It announced a $1B deal with Matchroom Boxing USA to "stream 32 fight cards per year" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/16). DAZN launched in the U.S. last month with Joshua knocking out Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium. Landing Alvarez "gives DAZN the most popular boxer in the U.S. and Mexico" (L.A. TIMES, 10/17).