Fight fans in Ireland & the U.K are indeed a long-suffering bunch, forced to frequently keep ludicrous hours at the weekends due to the time difference between here and the likes of New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, the most common sites for mega-bouts in both boxing and MMA.
We have been lucky in another sense, however. While our U.S counterparts are often forced to fork over in excess of $50 and sometimes as much as $100 to watch fight-cards, we rarely have to pay more than £20 or €25 to watch the same shows. Most of the time, we don’t have to pay anything beyond subscription fees to Sky Sports or BT Sport/Boxnation.
Even in May of 2015, when people in the U.S had to pay between $90 and $100 for the long-awaited Floyd Mayweather Junior vs. Manny Pacquiao showdown, Sky Sports only tagged on a few pounds or euros to their usual Pay-per-view price. It was, then, a much easier pill for fans in these parts to swallow when the much-ballyhooed ‘Fight of the Century’ turned out to be a cautious, tactical affair that was, for the most part, devoid of real action.
Many feared, however, that things would change ahead of Mayweather’s August 26th bout with UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and that we would be looking at a price similar to those common in the states, perhaps setting a dangerous precedent. Reports and rumours floating around online have supported those fears, but a person close to the situation attempted to allay them somewhat in a recent interview with GQ.
Boxing promoter and Managing Director of Matchroom Sports Eddie Hearn claimed that while one of the fighters involved is in support of a price hike, it’s unlikely to happen.
“Mayweather wants the price to be £100,” said Hearn. “The price will be within the same realms as it always has. I don’t set the price, but my gut feeling is £19.95(via The Independent).”
“If it went to £24.95…I can’t see it, but it wouldn’t be my decision. Sky won’t want to go beyond £19.95. That is their price point.”
There has been no confirmation as of yet that Sky Sports will actually be broadcasting the fight and they have obvious competition from BT Sport and ITV.
BT Sport are heavily involved in combat sports, as they have long held the exclusive rights to broadcast the UFC on this side of the Atlantic. Their interest in the area has grown even further in recent times, as they struck a partnership with Boxnation earlier this year. ITV have been involved in boxing somewhat sporadically in recent years but they seem more committed to the sport now than they have in in quite some time, recently launching a Pay-per-view platform with Chris Eubank Junior’s bout against aged super-middleweight veteran Arthur Abraham.
Sky would still have to be considered favourites to secure the bout.
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