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Sky To Abandon Box-Office Boxing, Fights To Be Shown On Regular Sky Sports From Now On

By James Slater: In big news, it has been announced how U.K cable giant SKY Sports will, for the time being at least, stop having any boxing on their Box Office outlet. This means all future boxing cards that Sky gets to cover will (for the time being) go out on “free” channels either SKY Sports 1, 2, 3 or 4.

At first glance, this looks like great news for U.K fight fans who pay their annual subscription to SKY, as there will no be no further charges for the selected few bouts that in the past had an added fee of £14.95 as they went out on Box Office - what you guys in the U.S call Pay-Per-View. However, is this such a great thing? Will the top U.K promoters - your Frank Warrens, etc - now look to take their shows elsewhere, seeing as they will not get any additional cash from Box Office? If so, will the really big fights involving British stars wind up going out on Pay-Per-View on another cable network - Primetime for example? If so, this will be bad news for SKY viewers.

Amir Khan, for one British superstar, has already jumped ship from SKY; SKY fans must now hope other big names do not follow his lead. But why have the heads at SKY decided to drop Box Office anyway?

“We spend too much time trying to do deals on boxing for a limited return and no not think it’s fair on our audience to ask them to pay more for boxing,” a senior source at SKY told The Daily Express. “This is not to say we will never return to pay-per-view. It’s just not right for us at the moment.”

SKY began charging for certain fights way back in March of 1996, with the big Mike Tyson-Frank Bruno rematch from Las Vegas. To be fair to SKY, the price of their Box Office offerings has not gone up a great deal in fifteen years - with their pay-per-view debut going out at a price of £10.00. But now, with competition from Primetime, Channel 5 and even ITV, the cable giants have been forced to reassess their thinking when it comes to boxing.

Looking ahead at the remainder of this year’s boxing calendar, there are a number of big fights that will go out on SKY - fans can now look forward to watching them knowing there will be no additional Box Office payment to be made.

Article posted on 11.08.2011



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