By: Sean Crose
It appears DAZNs three hundred fifty plus million dollar investment in middleweight king Saul “Canelo” Alvarez may be paying off. The streaming service announced on Wednesday that over 1.2 million viewers logged on to see last Saturday night’s middleweight title unifier between Canelo and Brooklyn’s Daniel Jacobs as it was broadcast live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Canelo won the fight by unanimous decision. The fact that the WBA, WBC, and IBF middleweight titles were on the line, coupled with the fact that Jacobs was considered one of the best fighters in the middleweight division walking in, meant that Canelo-Jacobs was the biggest boxing match of the year to date.
The viewership results are good news for DAZN. The international streaming service reportedly discovered 600,000 of Saturday’s 1.2 million viewers came from the United States. Canelo, the most popular boxer on the planet, turned more than a few heads when he signed exclusively with DAZN in 2018, effectively leaving behind the Pay Per View model he had cashed in on throughout the previous five plus years. Aside from near record breaking numbers when he faced Floyd Mayweather back in 2013, Canelo has done huge Pay Per View numbers against Miguel Cotto and Gennady Golovkin (twice) respectively. In order to get an effective return on the stated three hundred sixty five million dollar Canelo contract, DAZN will have to bring in a healthy influx of subscribers.
Aside from Canelo, DAZN has also brought in arch rival Golovkin, as well as highly skilled WBO middleweight kingpin Demetrius Andrade, making for a scenario where the biggest names in the division can face off with less of the political issues that currently plague boxing’s promotional and broadcasting scene. Heavyweight honcho Anthony Joshua will be making his US debut on DAZN as well, when he faces off against Andy Ruiz June 1st at Madison Square Garden in New York.