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DAZN to Add Pay-Per-View Events on Top of Streaming Subscription, Starting with Alvarez vs. Bivol

Jeff Kotuby

Live sports streaming service DAZN is reversing course on its PPV strategy, but we’ll argue it’s for a good reason — Canelo Alvarez.

Today, the Sports Business Journal highlighted the upcoming Canelo Alvarez/Dmitry Bivol fight as a way that DAZN is changing its business model to reach new fans and drive growth. Rather than solely relying on the monthly subscription model, DAZN will charge fight fans up to $79.99 to watch the bout on May 7. DAZN EVP Joe Markowski said that while there was plenty of debate about the move, it will do well for the company in the long run.

“My position on this was our business is about serving boxing fans with tremendous value and the best content in boxing,” Markowski said. “And to continue to do that and be competitive in the rights-for-sale processes for the likes of Anthony Joshua in the U.K. and Canelo Alvarez in the U.S., you have to have a PPV platform, and therefore we need to do it.”

Combat sports like boxing, MMA, and professional wrestling have seemingly always relied on PPV events for major paydays. While the WWE, pro wrestling’s foremost name, has eschewed the PPV model in favor of a monthly subscription fee — first through the WWE Network and now through Peacock — most other entities like AEW, Impact Wrestling, and New Japan Pro Wrestling still use the traditional PPV model.

Likewise, the UFC still saves its major fights for PPVs through ESPN+, but does provide mid-to-low tier fights in the form of UFC Fight Nights, which are included in a user’s standard ESPN+ subscription. Markowski says DAZN will use a similar concept, saving the big fight for its PPV system while letting lower-level events stay on the monthly subscription service.

“We’re not going to use it in the way other industry players do on an overly regular basis,” Markowski said. “We’re going to do it when we need to do it to make great fights happen, and we’ll first and foremost continue to serve our consumers with the same value we’ve been serving them for the last four years since our entry into the U.S.”

DAZN subscribers will be able to purchase the fight for $59.99 on top of their monthly fee, while non-subscribers will have to pay $79.99, but will also receive a month’s worth of DAZN upon purchase.

DAZN

DAZN is a live sports subscription streaming service that offers 80+ fights a year from Matchroom USA, Bellator, Golden Boy Promotions, World Boxing Super Series and Combate Americas.

They are the exclusive home to Canelo’s next 11 fights, starting with his December 15th bout against Rocky Fielding at Madison Square Garden, plus 10 of Golden Boy Promotion’s best fights.

For all fights, they include every match from the entire undercard through the main event. DAZN is available for $9.99 a month, after a one-month free trial.

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