Golden Boy is Doing Streaming Right

By Paul Magno on August 7, 2018
Golden Boy is Doing Streaming Right
Being a fight fan who wants legal access to all the fights in the US is going to cost you.

When a promoter tries to move away from boxing business as usual, they deserve a positive word and some earnest support…

If you want to be a boxing fan, not only will you have to navigate your way into finding the sport in various corners of the TV and online universe, but it’s also going to cost you a pretty penny. A quick, informal calculation of subscription fees and cable costs shows that being a boxing fan who wants legal access to all the fights in the US is going to cost you approximately $1700 a year—and that’s not even counting anything the sport’s promoters deem REALLY attractive and worthy of a big pay-per-view price tag.

No other sport would dare charge their fans for access to the sport and THEN insist that their fans fully subsidize the entire business with a subscription fee. Boxing’s double-gouging business model is like having to pay a cover charge to get into the supermarket and then finding that the dairy and produce aisles require yet another cover charge.

Boxing promoters are simply not working hard enough to promote the sport and they’re also failing miserably at monetizing their own business. Always eager to fall back on the “let’s just stick it to the fans” mentality, they are creating nothing but ill will and frustration among the sport’s most loyal followers, who are either walking away or embracing the world of pirated internet streams.

That’s why when a promoter tries to move away from boxing business as usual, they deserve a positive word and some earnest support.

Golden Boy Promotions, in a partnership with Main Events, is launching a free live Facebook Watch series featuring high-end boxing talent, set to debut this Saturday, August 11. The main event for the first card of the five-card trial balloon will pit defending WBA featherweight champ Jesus Rojas against Joseph (Jo Jo) Diaz Jr. Event no. 2, set to showcase a Sullivan Barrera-Sean Monaghan headliner the following week, had to be scrapped when Barrera suffered an eye injury. (Golden Boy just announced a September 1 card featuring top prospect Ryan Garcia vs. NABA super featherweight champ Carlos Morales.)

Boxing being streamed for free on Facebook is nothing new, but social media broadcasting has usually been limited to the sport’s small-time players or to big fight undercards. Putting actual main events of quality out there for a potential one billion Facebook users to see, however, is something new (US fans will be able to watch via Facebook Watch and the rest of the world will have access through the Golden Boy Promotions Facebook page).

“Boxing is changing,” the promotional company said via press release. “The way the sport is watched is changing. Golden Boy Promotions is adapting to these changes to ensure that it remains at the pinnacle of the sport for years to come. This revolutionary deal will give fans great matchups at no cost, thus powering the sport for growth across new and existing demographics.”

The concept of making the sport accessible to as many fans as possible and funding the related costs via traditional advertising and sponsorship deals should not be revolutionary. But, in boxing, it is.

The Al Haymon-led efforts to take boxing back to network TV via his Premier Boxing Champions project were met with an odd level of derision and flat-out attack, mostly originating from lapdog media members tied to old guard boxing promoters who, most definitely, did not want the boxing business model turned upside down. Unfortunately, the successful attacks on “freeee” boxing just fortified the current boxing business model of charging everyone for everything, all of the time.

Top Rank has been airing “free” cards via their deal with ESPN, but they’re also passing off too much of their good stuff to the not-free ESPN+ app. One gets the impression that, ultimately, the boxing on ESPN may be more promotional tool than anything else, designed to deliver fight fans to the new subscription-only service.

Golden Boy’s streaming plan is an ambitious one and one that could permanently change the way boxing is delivered to the masses. Online streaming is the way of the future in a world populated more and more by cord-cutters and cell phone/tablet-gazers and a really good promoter should be able to figure out a way to sell boxing to advertisers and sponsors rather than perpetually pass the proverbial hat.

Here’s hoping that Golden Boy is up to the task because, if they succeed, this could be a game-changer for the sport.

Imagine a boxing world without paywall hurdles, accessible to anyone and everyone, and without its usual nickel-and-dime gouging of loyal fans. Imagine that…

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  1. Kid Blast 08:28am, 08/09/2018

    Good point but I’m not sure there are enough fans to take it out of being a niche sport. There are only so many Wembleys. Heck, today’s kids are more into other things. Just don’t see it here in the USA. The UK is a different story and maybe there are lessons to be learned there. That would take time and effort and promoters are simply too lazy to do the heavy lifting. An occasional PPV and MSG sellout and maybe some primo stuff in Las Vegas, but that’s about it. Barclay’s and Carson are promising.

    Actually Pro Wresting and MMA are eating into boxing on an increasing basis IMO.

  2. fan 06:37am, 08/09/2018

    Boxing should have a fan event with great matchups on a regular basis.

  3. Your Name 10:26am, 08/08/2018

    another thread tainted

  4. Chico Salmon 07:19am, 08/08/2018

    Once again, boxing is behind the times. These knuckleheads need to go back to what worked before, and that is quality fights on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and heavyweight title fights shown live on regular network television. Otherwise, boxing will continue to be regulated to third tier status in the sports world.

  5. Kid Blast 07:03am, 08/08/2018

    “...approximately $1700 a year…” You need to break that down because you get a lot of other stuff for your money. Boxing is just a part of the total, no?

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