BURGEONING online streaming platform ESPN+ has continued its investment in Australian boxing.
After broadcasting two high-profile fights in a four month period, the US-exclusive streaming service has picked up the American broadcast rights for the blockbuster showdown at Suncorp Stadium.
Aligned to leading global sports authority ESPN, the service has televised the only world title fight to be contested in Australia this year, being Billy Dib’s farewell fight against Tevin Farmer.
This was followed by Andrew Moloney’s break-out win against Luis Concepcion in September.
Having secured over a million subscribers in less than twelve months, the news of the American broadcast will be welcomed by the event promoters, who will receive a fee for the televised rights.
And while Australian viewers will still need to purchase the event on pay-per-view, the interest of ESPN is a promising sign for the growth of the sport, with foreign investment continuing to rise.
The new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service had made waves earlier in the year, after announcing a seven-year deal including 54 events annually with Top Rank.
The November 30th event will be the second time that Horn (18-1-1, 12 KOs) has featured on ESPN+, with his unsuccessful title defence against Terence Crawford featuring on the platform.
Horn is already familiar with American audiences, with his historic title winning effort over Manny Pacquiao last year being the most watched combat sports program on the network since 2012.
Although the partnership is exclusive to Top Rank, they have shown a willingness to regularly broadcast international fights.
“We’re starting to figure this out,” said Top Rank president Todd duBoef to The Ring.
“When (Terence) Crawford fought on ESPN+ everybody criticized, ‘people aren’t going to care.’ This is very powerful to see the network response coming off ESPN+; they’re seamless platforms.”
“We’re keeping the lights on at all times. People are talking and there’s chatter out there. We’re activating the public again. They are engaged.”
Crawford’s last fight against Jose Benavidez Jr. was broadcast live on ESPN’s linear platform and delivered 2.708 million viewers at its peak, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Photo: Getty Images