SBC News DAZN puts boxing & MMA at forefront of Sky channel debut

DAZN puts boxing & MMA at forefront of Sky channel debut

DAZN will expand its UK coverage by hosting its new ‘DAZN 1HD’ programme available on Sky’s digital platform (Channel 429).

The move comes ahead of a significant period for the group, with it preparing to host the return of Anthony Joshua.

DAZN Group CEO Shay Segev said: “Getting DAZN widely distributed is a priority for us as it delivers our great and growing array of content to more and more fans. We have ambitious, long-term and strategic plans for the UK market.

“The more people get to know Dazn and what we offer, not just in terms of rights but the full range of digital, interactive and sports entertainment we are developing, the better.

“This launch is great news for sports fans. DAZN 1 HD will optimise exposure for the upcoming Anthony Joshua fight, ensuring it is his most hotly anticipated and accessible bout in over a decade.”

Anthony Joshua added on the launch: “DAZN is working really hard to take sports broadcasting to new levels and bring fans closer to the action than ever before. It’s a huge element of why I wanted to commit my long-term future to the platform.

“The launch of DAZN 1 HD on channel 429 will make it even easier for fans to access my return to the ring on Saturday 1 April against Jermaine Franklin. Make sure you tune in for a spectacular night of boxing.”

It comes just days after criticism from British boxing prospect Joshua Buatsi over the lack of availability of DAZN on standard platforms, as he made the move from DAZN to Sky Sports.

From 23 March, DAZN 1 HD will show a 24/7 schedule of live and catch-up content, including its UK boxing line up with 50 fights a year featuring international superstars like Canelo Álvarez, Katie Taylor and Ryan Garcia, alongside a daily dose of boxing news on the DAZN Boxing Show.

The programming will also include DAZN’s link with KSI’s Misfits Boxing – the X Series, a new era of crossover boxing featuring the biggest names in entertainment, sport and lifestyle headlining blockbuster fight nights.

The platform has also made the move into MMA, expanding its offering to the tough UK market.  At the heart of the growth is the Professional Fighters League, alongside a full roster of MMA content, including MMA Bushido, MMA Naciones, Oktagon MMA, King of Kings, Brave Combat Federation, and Muay Thai For Life.

When it comes to the crossover in the audience of MMA and boxing, DAZN’s Joe Markowski told Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour that for the casual audience the crossover of a big fight is significant, so long as the narrative and the fighters involved are engaging.

He added that the platform is open to ‘sharing rights’ in the same way they did to make the megafight between Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis, a ‘pragmatism and commercial flexibility that boxing needs if it is to engage new fans’, according to Markowski. 

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