ESPN, Top Rank Punch Up New TV Boxing Deal

ESPN has inked an exclusive TV deal with boxing promotion company Top Rank Inc. that includes as many a 54 boxing events a year through 2025, the companies announced Thursday.

ESPN and Top Rank Inc. has signed a multi-year distribution deal that will feature such fighters as Manny Pacquiao (left).

ESPN and Top Rank Inc. has signed a multi-year distribution deal that will feature such fighters as Manny Pacquiao (left).

Top Rank will exclusively distribute boxing events on ESPN and ESPN+ -- as well as offer classic fights and studio content – as part of the seven-year deal, according to Top Rank. The deal includes 12 exclusive primetime events and 24 premium events a year on ESPN’s $4.99 per month, direct-to-consumer service ESPN+, said the sports network.

The deal extends the agreement the two companies reached last year, which included ESPN fight telecasts featuring such marquee boxers as Manny Pacquiao and Vasiliy Lomachenko, as well as ESPN+-exclusive bouts headlined by Pacquiao and welterweight champion Terence Crawford.

Related: Manny Pacquiao to Step into Digital Streaming Ring 

“ESPN is thrilled with this new long-term agreement with Top Rank, which represents the most innovative and comprehensive relationship in the world of boxing today,” said Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN President and Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks in a statement. “By creating and distributing significantly more Top Rank events and boxing content, ESPN and Top Rank will jointly cultivate upcoming fighters and fights, creating the stars of tomorrow while providing fans with the sport’s best content in a more personalized manner.”

Top Rank President Todd duBoef added: “This partnership will continue to bring the biggest events and best fighters from around the world to ESPN networks. Our collective ability to integrate live events, classic fights, studio shows, and behind-the-scenes features will raise the long-term profile of the sport of boxing and the athletes.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.