With just 12 days before the fight, U.S. TV rights for Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko on April 29 have finally been settled and announced. As had been rumored, Showtime will air the fight live at 4:15 pm ET, with HBO airing a same-day replay at approximately 10:45 pm ET.
Showtime has a deal with Joshua, while HBO has Klitschko under contract. With this not being a pay-per-view type of fight in the United States, the networks had to come to the sort of deal they’ve never done before. Notably, they worked together for the Lewis-Tyson and Mayweather-Pacquiao pay-per-views, but this is a different situation.
"We are thrilled to be delivering Joshua vs. Klitschko to the U.S. audience live on Showtime,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Showtime Sports.
“On the afternoon of April 29, U.S. sports fans will be able to tune in to Showtime to join a record-breaking crowd of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium and a worldwide television audience in witnessing an event that represents not only the contesting of the heavyweight world championship, but potentially the changing of the guard in the most influential division in boxing. We are proud to be Anthony Joshua’s exclusive U.S. television partner as he attempts to establish his legacy against the legendary Wladimir Klitschko, live on Showtime Championship Boxing, as Showtime continues its unrivaled commitment to the sport."
HBO Sports EVP Peter Nelson added, "Both promoters and both networks have found a solution that enables boxing fans in the U.S. to watch the world heavyweight championship. This agreement ensures that our subscribers have access to same-day primetime coverage of the fight. It will mark Wladimir Klitschko’s 22nd appearance on HBO and the first for Anthony Joshua.”
There is a rematch clause for the fight, so if a second fight comes about, HBO would have the rights to air it live, with SHO doing the same-day replay.