American Boxing Faces a $1 Billion Hostile U.K. Takeover
(Bloomberg) -- U.K.-based sports media company Perform Group is betting $1 billion that it can revive boxing in North America.
“The U.S. boxing market has almost eaten itself alive,” said Chief Executive Officer Simon Denyer. “It’s pushed anything compelling to pay-per-view, and the pricing is now around $100, which is insane. It needs to be blown up. The whole thing needs to be rethought.”
Denyer said boxing’s decline is due to a stale business model, one in which any U.S. fight worth watching is shown only on pay-per-view, often for upward of $100 per order. At the most elite level, U.S. boxing is controlled by a small group of promoters and media executives, while in-arena undercards are generally an afterthought.
Perform Group, meanwhile, has three main businesses—a content group that buys and distributes data and media rights, a media group that operates websites such as Goal.com and SportingNews.com and DAZN, which bills itself as the Netflix of live sports. As it prepares to bring DAZN to America, Perform this week named former ESPN President John Skipper its new executive chairman. Skipper unexpectedly resigned from ESPN in December, citing substance abuse.
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