If you’re a UK boxing fan, chances are you will recall the introduction of pay-per-view, or box-office, and you will remember the date it came to these shores. It was back in March of 1996 when Sky, knowing how much the entire British nation wanted to see, indeed could NOT afford to miss seeing, the Frank Bruno-Mike Tyson rematch (apologies for breaking the rule and putting the loser’s name first) and introduced the £10 fee.
Millions paid the asking price – seeing Bruno fail in his quest to retain his WBC belt, being crushed inside three one-sided rounds – and P-P-V boxing was born in the UK, and it was here to stay.
Over the following 23 years, fair enough, the Sky Sports Box-Office price tag has not increased too much: it has doubled, in fact, going up to £19.95 and staying there for many months. But no longer. News has broken of how the must-see return fight between today’s heavyweight giants, Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua, will be available, via Sky Sports Box-Office, for the fee of £24.95. This is quite an increase, and some further demand on the hard-earned money of UK fight fans.
Why the almost £5 pound increase? Who can say (I have my opinion but I’m hesitant to write it here for fear of something nasty coming over to the head of ESB). But, well – okay, I will write it down: it’s greed, greed and nothing more. How many millions of UK buys will the December 7 fight get? Many, many. How many would it have got had the fee remained at the usual Sky Sports standard of £19.95? Even more. But now, might plenty of fans draw the line and say no more; not only at the price increase for this fight, but also at the sheer number of Sky Sports P-P-V (or Box-Office) offerings put out inside a single 12-month period?
Let’s all agree, we want to see our heavyweight boxing hero, A.J, try and regain his belts and restore his reputation as, arguably the best big man on the planet. But trying to take a further £5 quid from the already strained wallets of British fight fans/tax payers/workers is, as the, the saying here goes, taking the piss.
Will YOU stand for it? No wonder illegal streams pull in the fans more and more these days. I hate greed, don’t you?