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HBO gets out of the US fight game after 45 years

US pay-television broadcaster HBO has decided to end its live boxing coverage after 45 years, responding to seismic changes in the US boxing landscape.

Pay-television broadcasters ESPN, Showtime and Fox have all agreed major deals for premium live boxing content over the coming years, and streaming platform DAZN’s deal with Matchroom Boxing has saturated the market.

Over the last four years, HBO’s boxing portfolio has become reliant on fighters signed to Golden Boy Promotions, which recently signed a deal with Facebook.

Peter Nelson, executive vice-president of sports at HBO, said boxing was no longer a subscription-driver for HBO. It is understood HBO’s boxing events averaged about 800,000 viewers in 2018.