Eddie Hearn's announcement of the Matchroom Boxing Fight Pass online streaming service marks an interesting development, perhaps even a glimpse into the future of boxing content delivery.
Or, maybe not.
When Fight Pass is launched in September it will cost £29.95 annually (approximately USD$4,000,000) and entitle subscribers to as many as 10 live fight cards each year delivered in full HD online. They'll also get pre-sale access to buy tickets for major Matchroom events and a free T-shirt!
Heard adds, "The platform will also feature extensive highlights from our major shows, regular training clips and a new magazine style show headed by Kugan Cassius."
I think this is a positive development in the business of boxing. I pay almost that much each month for HBO and SHO, exclusively for boxing. The option to pay specifically for the boxing content I want is a welcome development.
Depending on which rumor mill you're tuned into, something similar could be in the works on this side of the pond in the coming years.
Of course, the aforementioned HBO and SHO will have something to say about this. Promoters will have a hard time selling content direct to the viewing public while maintaining their relationship with the premium cable networks.
The Matchbook service will likely broadcast fights that would not otherwise be broadcast on TV. Top Rank's online streaming of under-undercards is a similar example. The rub will really come if promoters try to move "TV-worthy" events online.
All that said ... Would you pay a subscription fee for something similar from Golden Boy or Top Rank or, heck, Al Haymon?