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Haymon puts PBC on ITV; strengthens hand in Joshua-Wilder talks

Premier Boxing Champions, the series of events operated and managed by Al Haymon, has struck a three-year deal with UK commercial broadcaster ITV that spreads 15 events per year across its platforms.

ITV will hold rights to a minimum of 15 PBC events per year, the vast majority of which will be shown on its ITV and ITV4 free-to-air channels. However, an ITV press release claims that some of these events are destined for pay-per-view – a move that strengthens Haymon’s negotiating position with UK fighters and promotions.

Haymon manages WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, who is tipped to face unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua at some point over the next three years. Joshua is promoted by UK promotion Matchroom Boxing, which has an exclusive UK deal with pay-television broadcaster Sky.

Should Joshua and Wilder agree to a bout, Haymon now has a UK broadcaster in his corner willing to bid against Sky for the rights. This will enable Haymon and Wilder to negotiate a more favourable split of pay-per-view revenue in the UK.

The deal also maintains ITV’s presence in the UK boxing landscape, after its deal for rights to the inaugural season of the World Boxing Super Series put the broadcaster back on the map. ITV was the UK’s premier boxing broadcaster during late 1980s and early 1990s, and resurfaced from 2005 to 2010.

The broadcaster helped launch the careers of several British world champions in the late 2000s including Amir Khan, Carl Froch and Joe Calzaghe.