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Rumored price increase would spell doom for DAZN

Baker Geist Updated
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One can’t fault streaming service DAZN for wanting to make more money. No different from any other service, it wants to maximize revenue and gain a bigger market share, in this case, in the sport of boxing.

A rumored monthly price increase ­­­— from $19.99 to $50 ­— isn’t the way to do it. If it does indeed happen, it will alienate boxing fans which will be bad for the sport overall.

As I’ve said since its debut, DAZN is an innovative product allowing fans the opportunity to see fights overseas that could only be followed by reading publications like Boxing Monthly or searching for less than reliable YouTube streams. I’ve been treated to the terrific — and underrated  — World Boxing Super Series where I was introduced to fighters like Maris Briedis, Yunier Dorticos, Aleksandr Usyk and many more. I’ve watched heavyweight Dillian Whyte climb the ranks and have been able to watch some entertaining Canelo Alvarez and Gernady Golovkin fights at a value.

That will no longer be the case if the price hike does happen.

While I can’t speak to what others’ budgets allow, I just don’t have an extra $600 dollars a year lying around when presumably I’ll receive the same value. Not when I have to budget for standalone pay per view fights as well.

I’m a boxing writer and I’m saying “no”. I can’t think DAZN’s 800,000 U.S. subscribers will react differently.

DAZN is intriguing because of its value and ability to bring fans a wide variety of fights, but a price increase should bring with it more in demand fights on a more consistent basis. Yes, 2019 ended strongly with the rematch of Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz and an entertaining, albeit short fight, between Danny Jacobs and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

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But for more money, December’s “fight season” should be the norm rather than the exception.

DAZN Facts and Figures

Employees: 2,600
Launched: 10 August 2016
Chairman: John Skipper (DAZN Group)
Owner: DAZN Group
CEO: Simon Denyer (DAZN Group)
Headquarters: London, England, United Kingdom
Parent: Access Industries

We should get to see fast-rising and current WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade against fellow champion Canelo Alvarez sooner rather than later or a third fight between Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. We should see DAZN, and Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, work harder to strike deals with other promotional companies so that fans get to see intriguing fights among all of boxing’s best.

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Some may call such demands unreasonable but they are no more unreasonable than rashly justifying a price hike on a network that lauded itself as the place to watch high quality boxing without the “pain of pay per view.”

Perhaps business demands a price increase. My skepticism peaked when Alvarez sign an 11-fight deal worth $365 million in October of 2018 only to be followed by Golovkin’s six-fight deal with the network a short time later.

“That’s stretching $9.99 pretty far,” I thought. “But oh well, they know what they’re doing.”

If ambition got the best of the brass at DAZN and the price hike is needed for the network to survive, quite frankly it won’t. Diehard fans will exit in droves, opting for cheaper options or maybe other forms of entertainment all together.

Not because we don’t enjoy boxing or DAZN. But because we’ve got to, ya know, eat, pay bills, and have money for other things that sometimes interfere with our passion.

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