ESPN and boxing promoter Top Rank signed a new seven year deal that includes airing 54 live events per year exclusively on ESPN channels.
The deal also includes exclusive shoulder programming, classic fights and studio content.
Many events and much of the content will appear on ESPN+, bulking up the over-the-top direct-to-consumer product launched earlier this year.
“ESPN is thrilled with this new long-term agreement with Top Rank, which represents the most innovative and comprehensive relationship in the world of boxing today,” said ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro. By creating and distributing significantly more Top Rank events and boxing content, ESPN and Top Rank will jointly cultivate upcoming fighters and fights, creating the stars of tomorrow while providing fans with the sport’s best content in a more personalized manner.”
The exclusive live event breakdown per year is:
· 18 events on ESPN
· 12 exclusive, prime time events on ESPN+
· 24 premium international events on ESPN+
· Undercard coverage of all 54 events on ESPN+
Subscribers to ESPN+ will also have access to a variety of new and existing boxing content throughout the year, including:
· The Boxing Beat with Dan Rafael (Tuesdays)
· In this Corner (twice monthly)
· Camp Life
· The unmatched, on-demand treasure chest of the greatest fights of all time, including hundreds of fights from the ESPN Big Fights Library and the Top Rank archive, including Ali vs. Frazier I-III, Ali vs. Foreman, Leonard vs. Duran I-III, Hagler vs. Hearns and Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, among many more
· Re-airs of all Top Rank on ESPN and Top Rank on ESPN PPV bouts
· Weigh-ins, post-fight interviews, and press conferences
Boxing news, information, and opinion will also appear across ESPN platforms and new programs will be developed and announced at a later date.
“This expanded relationship with Top Rank increases the ability of ESPN+ to serve boxing fans better than ever and allows us to continue to build more direct relationships with this incredibly passionate audience,” said Kevin Mayer, chair, direct-to-consumer and international, at The Walt Disney Co.
“This partnership will continue to bring the biggest events and best fighters from around the world to ESPN networks. Our collective ability to integrate live events, classic fights, studio shows, and behind-the-scenes features will raise the long-term profile of the sport of boxing and the athletes,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank.