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Sky Sports pulled the plug on Hatton Boxing?

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Sky Sports pulled the plug on Hatton Boxing? Empty Sky Sports pulled the plug on Hatton Boxing?

Post by School Project Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:20 am

Just been looking on Twitter and noticed Ricky Hatton has posted this:

Ricky Hatton MBE ‏ @realrickyhatton

Just landed in hong kong.what a trek that was. Just landed and get a load of tweets of sympathy as people have found out that sky have Pulled the plug on my dates. thank you to all who have sent best wishes. I have a load of champions and a to stable so HP will consider other Avenues for my lads. I guess if you want loyalty by a dog.

I'm not entire ure if this is a couple of shows or all of them, but it has me thinking... Apart from Matchroom, who on Earth will Sky be showing now? There's no other promotion on their network anymore?

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Post by hampo17 Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:54 am

What a complete joke!

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Post by rycoys Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:29 am

im disgusted at sky there coverage of boxing is shocking , the other day i read a tweet from sky sports saying to tune in at 1 pm as they had some huge news , got me thinking it was haye v vitali or mayweather v pacman but in fact it was they were going to show froch v bute ! now to me that isnt huge news as it was obvious they were going to show frochv bute and so they should show it !! also i like there ringside programe but they spend most of the time talking about fights thet skysports dont even show ! i just cant belive they dont show fights like mayweather cotto its shocking , and as a customer i feel let down mad

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:54 am

I feel sorry for Ricky but he is an unfortunate sign of the times. As big and powerful a corporation as Sky is, they are not immune to a sluggish global economy and will be cutting their cloth accordingly. They have obviously pumped huge sums into F1, and with football being a financial black hole already, marginalised sports like boxing are going to suffer. Boxing itself has to realise that the rules have changed at Sky now. It seems obvious to me that Sky have got some kind of 'quality over quantity' strategic policy going on right now and that is unlikely to change in the current sporting and economic environment. When you enter into a contract with Sky, you do so under the implicit knowledge that it is not a 'one sport' channel and that programming can change at the drop of a hat. It is a bitter bill to swallow but you know the boundaries when you sign up.

It might well leave a bitter taste in the mouth, but it is what it is right now. Instead of focussing all the wrath on Sky, who as mentioned yesterday, have supported the domestic fight game incredibly over the last 15 years, people should look at the deep rooted fault lines in the sport right now. Too many poor quality shows and too many fights that never happen. Why would Sky keep supporting a business model that rewards failure? It makes no sense to them. I am a Sky sports subscriber myself, and I don't like the fact that I now see less boxing for the same money, but I can see the other side of the argument pretty clearly.

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Post by Rowley Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:17 am

As always Tina on this issue you are bang on, Sky have consistently shown over the years that when the sport delivers the fights the public wants they will back them in a way no other broadcaster will. No sport or promoter has a god given right to a contract with Sky or any other broadcaster and lets be brutally honest here does Hatton really have anyone in his stable you would class as a must see fighter.

Too easy to blame Sky for everything, as far as I am concerned they are not the bad guy, as Hearn has proven if you put together a decent stable and innovative ideas such as Prizefighter (my own dislike of it aside) you will find a place with Sky

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Post by hampo17 Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:44 am

Personally I wish they'd done away with Hearn, when you look at Hattons stable, Crolla, Quigg, Munroe, Vassell, Theopane, Buckland, Martin Murray, Ryan Rhodes, there are some good exciting fighters.

Hearn has Froch, Brook, Rees, Frampton, but nobody else that really jumps to the front of my mind.

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Post by Rowley Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:47 am

The Hearns deliver a lot of programming for Sky though apart from boxing, the darts is hugely popular and is run by Hearn, believe he also provides snooker and pool amongst other things, his relationship with sky and the masses of other programming he provides mean it is always likely he will be favoured promoter with Sky.

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Post by DoubleD22 Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:54 am

That's a good point Rowley it was in the news the other day that the Premier league of Darts has its highest viewers now so with that he is doing well and Sky would favour him it is a shame as Hatton's stable does have some exiting up and comers was looking forward to Quigg Munroe in a fight I see Quigg winning but it being a cracking battle.

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Post by Soldier_Of_Fortune Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:55 am

School Project wrote:Just been looking on Twitter and noticed Ricky Hatton has posted this:

Ricky Hatton MBE ‏ @realrickyhatton

Just landed in hong kong.what a trek that was. Just landed and get a load of tweets of sympathy as people have found out that sky have Pulled the plug on my dates. thank you to all who have sent best wishes. I have a load of champions and a to stable so HP will consider other Avenues for my lads. I guess if you want loyalty by a dog.

I'm not entire ure if this is a couple of shows or all of them, but it has me thinking... Apart from Matchroom, who on Earth will Sky be showing now? There's no other promotion on their network anymore?

I take it that Quigg v Munroe has been dropped then!?!??!

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Post by 88Chris05 Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:18 am

Bad, bad news yet again, though as others have already said, I don't think you can lay all of the blame totally at anyone's door.

If it is a total wipe out of Hatton promotions, then Ricky may just have a fight on his hands to keep some of those young guns he has.
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Post by Rowley Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:20 am

Hard to imagine Ricky going cap in hand to Frank to get his lads on boxnation, but where else is there to go?

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:22 am

rowley wrote:Hard to imagine Ricky going cap in hand to Frank to get his lads on boxnation, but where else is there to go?

Tough situation for sure. On the flip side, if Boxnation fails, does Warren go back to Sky cap in hand on greatly reduced terms?

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Post by Union Cane Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:23 am

I should think that HP will be absorbed by Warren / BoxNation, which can only be a bad thing.

Damn you and your rapidly typing fingers, rowley.
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Post by Soldier_Of_Fortune Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:49 am

No I can't see that happening due to there history. ITV perhaps?

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:54 am

Soldier_Of_Fortune wrote:No I can't see that happening due to there history. ITV perhaps?

There is always a chance, SoF, but I would be surprised if ITV have the stomach to commit to much boxing in the current climate. Unless it is a 'big' fight between two well known fighters or maybe a heavyweight fight with some kind of public interest angle, then the rewards are probably not worth the risk right now. Possibly one of the smaller ITV channels but I am guessing here.

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Post by Rowley Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:55 am

You would like to think both could put the past behind them though, Warren needs to sell boxnation subscriptions and Hatton needs some sort of TV exposure for his fighters, but like others have alluded to would not hold my breath for it happening.

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Post by Soldier_Of_Fortune Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:14 am

Mind the windows Tino. wrote:
Soldier_Of_Fortune wrote:No I can't see that happening due to there history. ITV perhaps?

There is always a chance, SoF, but I would be surprised if ITV have the stomach to commit to much boxing in the current climate. Unless it is a 'big' fight between two well known fighters or maybe a heavyweight fight with some kind of public interest angle, then the rewards are probably not worth the risk right now. Possibly one of the smaller ITV channels but I am guessing here.

Yer I was think along the lines of ITV 2,3 and 4. Because Hatton is a big name, they might strike up a deal so who knows? It would be a shame if he couldn’t sort out of sort of TV deal as his stable may start to decrease. As you said, now looks a good time to push Towers on and try and drum up support for a Fury, Price or even a Chisora match up to try and generate public interest to the lay person.

rowley wrote:You would like to think both could put the past behind them though, Warren needs to sell boxnation subscriptions and Hatton needs some sort of TV exposure for his fighters, but like others have alluded to would not hold my breath for it happening.

It does make business sense but whether it would happen is another story. Its case of both admitting they both need each other, rather then who comes running to who.

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Post by manos de piedra Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:40 am

Warrens a businessman. If the money is right then I dont think he would have any issue working with Hatton if there was a profit to be made. I think the issue would be more on Hattons side who might feel that Warrens would basically take over his stable and cut him loose but without any tv exposure he probably wont survive. Already I would say some of his fighters could be tempted to leave and Im sure Warren and Hearn would be glad to accept them.

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Post by BoxingFan88 Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:29 pm

Seems we still have the shows already scheduled.

http://www.boxingscene.com/sky-sports-shake-up-matchroom-wins-big-hatton-out--52174

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Post by Group Cpt Lionel Mandrake Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:23 pm

if the rumours are true that they're about to take the UFC from ESPN, it makes sense that they'd cut budgets on other sports in order to fund it.

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Post by Nico the gman Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:11 pm

Me thinks its time for me to pull the plug on SKY sports,lack of quality boxing, end of footy season and F1 and rugby bore the hell out of me.

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Post by rycoys Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:40 pm

sky sports going down hill fast !!

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Post by School Project Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:20 pm

I pay something near to £30 a month for Sky Sports just to watch about 1 fight a month on there. Although BoxNation gets some stick, when you weigh it up its definitely good for boxing fans.

It's just a shame that boxing is now one of those sports that no one really cares about (other than the hardcore). It's pushed away in the news papers, hidden away on the BBC Website and now barely shown on Sky Sports!

I feel for Ricky as he has a good stable of boxers under him how he gets the big fights for. He's worked his arse off recently and always been committed to Sky, for this to happen to a promoter who has given that much is shocking from Sky. It effects the boxers even more though.

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Post by manos de piedra Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:33 pm

I dont think Sky Sports would be worth the subscription if it was only boxing that was what one was after.

It would be good if something like boxnation could inherit all the boxing in the UK, market and advetise itself well and then maybe have 1 month a year freeview in order to attract new fans.

But having various subscription channels competing and splitting up the sport is bad for fans and the sport in general.

I would rather see boxnation fail ad Sky get all the boxing, or alternatively boxnation grow and be able to absorb all the boxing off Sky and become really successful.

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Post by School Project Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:45 pm

manos de piedra wrote:I dont think Sky Sports would be worth the subscription if it was only boxing that was what one was after.

It would be good if something like boxnation could inherit all the boxing in the UK, market and advetise itself well and then maybe have 1 month a year freeview in order to attract new fans.

But having various subscription channels competing and splitting up the sport is bad for fans and the sport in general.

I would rather see boxnation fail ad Sky get all the boxing, or alternatively boxnation grow and be able to absorb all the boxing off Sky and become really successful.

Spot on, between the £30 bill for Sky and £10 for BoxNation = £480 a year for Boxing. Like I said, I don't watch any other sports so after the Froch fight I'm going to cancel. It amazes me that they've plugged so much into the F1 (Oh my it's in HD!) when I'm sure the BBC still show it?!

I can't justify almost £500 on 3 big fights a year and a bunch of domestic scraps.

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Post by ShahenshahG Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:37 pm

Alternatively, they could put all the big names on the subscription and freeview for up and comers and journeymen Or even fob off highlights to the terrestrial channels like MOTD for popular but below the elite fighters while heavily promoting/discussing the big fights in between as a general info thing. I think the interest is always there - the only thing that varies is the willingness to pay and the exposure the fighters are given.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:49 am

School Project wrote:
It amazes me that they've plugged so much into the F1 (Oh my it's in HD!)

Why would that amaze you? It amazes me that Sky didn't go for it earlier. Maybe contractually they couldn't, I don't know, but it is the perfect vehicle (terrible pun!) for a company like Sky. The revenue streams with F1 are huge, absolutely astronomical compared to your bog standard boxing promotion. It has a fully defined season, a truly global product and a guaranteed fan base both live and on TV. It is an advertising mans dream sport. It goes back to a point Jeff was making about footy t'other day. Sky know that Man Utd will play Arsenal twice a year at least and all the other big games are (as close as can) 100% certain to happen. They can plan accordingly and it remains a stable business model all year round, similar to F1. Boxing just can't offer that promise. There is too much risk attached to the sport so why would Sky bother throwing good money after bad.

Personally, I can't stand F1 (although it does keep my eldest boy quiet for a hour) but as a package, it is as close to perfect for Sky as you could imagine. For someone like you, SP, if you only watch boxing then it is a no-brainer to get shot of Sky, but for anyone (not you, buddy) to suggest Sky is losing the plot as I have read on here, is way out of touch. They are positioning themselves to take advantage of the current economical/sporting environment, it just happens to be at the expense of sports like boxing.

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Post by Rowley Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:13 am

Another thing with sports such as F1 and football is there is a guaranteed pay off, in F1 there will be a race that decides the season at some point, in football as we will see Monday and have arguably seen in the champions league this week there will be games that anyone with an interest in the sport will move heaven and earth to see, there are no such guarantees in boxing, where has been the pay off in the time money and effort we have all invested in following Mayweather and Manny's rivalry?

Boxing is just too uncertain a model for TV companies, fights that don't happen, fighters pulling out at the last minute and so on and so on, other sports are not prone to such vagrancies to the same degree

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:17 am

The other thing is, F1 is a real labour of love for most people. It doesn't really strike me as the sort of sport you would pop in and out of, you either like racing cars or you don't. Watching F1 is a very time intensive hobby as well. The race is quite long, the build-up goes on for ages, and then you have all the days of qualifying before and then all the presentations afterwards. It can add up to a lot of hours of watching, and Sky know that if they don't have your subscription already, they are almost certain to get it if you're an F1 fan. Boxing is set up differently, especially as the PPV system lends itself to dipping in and out of the sport. But even without PPV, the 'bigger' fights are sporadic so the interest of so called 'casuals' is also sporadic.

Certainly amongst my group of friends, the guys that are interested in F1 will, almost without exception, tune into boxing for the big fights, but those of us who don't follow F1 would never dream of staying up or getting up for a race, even it was the title decider race or the British GP. It just wouldn't happen.

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Post by manos de piedra Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:20 am

I was thinking about this recently and ways that boxing could expand. Its probably only wishful thinking that boxing would return to regular tv. The demand for it isnt really there to justify the investment and the sport has become too geared towards subscription and ppv to generate cash.

My fear with boxnation or a similar entity would be that the situation exists much like it does at present where you now has boxing spread across multiple subscription channels making it hard to follow. In my case, I am a fan of lots of sports so I am happy to pay for Sky but obviously I would prefer to see better and more extensive boxing coverage.

I agree with the comments made by Mind the windows Tino regarding Skys overall strategy. Too easy to say coverage has been poor or they has deterirated if you look at the big picture. Its not good for boxing fans, but thats a niche area these days and basically I think Sky has accepted that now after backing the likes of Haye and Khan quite significantly only to discover boxing is far from a sure thing and that the length of time it took to get Haye/Klitschkos signed, the farcical Haye/Harrison fight and the general feeling of disappointment after many of Hayes fights which didnt live up to the hype. Then the falling out with Khan over the McCloskey fight etc meant simply wasnt their time or effort. Especially in comparison to more straight forward and less volatile sports which guarantee delivery on a more regular basis.

Whilst I would like Sky to have control of boxing, largely for reasons above it seems the more likely scenario is they will cut back on boxing as opposed to giving it more coverage. Hatton being dropped is probably evidence of this already.

Which leaves an entity like boxnation. As I have said before, I havent been behind this idea really because I think it niches the sport too much, and the situation at present is pretty bad for fans. But if it could grow and be successful it might have the opportunity to bring all of boxing under one umbrella. Unlike Sky, boxnation has a vested interest in growing the sports fanbase as boxing fans are basically the source of their profit. More fans = more subscribers = more profit. So the emphasis is on providing a quality product and attracting viewers. Competing with Sky at present is bad for it, and unlike Sky they have nowhere near the same kind of platform to give the sport a mainstream audience or viewership. However with Skys commitment to boxing probably wavering then boxnation might represent the best opportunity for boxing. If it became a success and continued to buy up more and more of the boxing coverage might be a good thing. The could market and advertise themselves more extensively and if they offered 1 month free viewing or a number of decent fights free every year then it would be a good way to attract fans to subscribe.

For me the jury is out on whether it will last or grow but being realistic its only a start up operation really so these things will take time. If managed well it could be a good thing in the future though because realistically boxings not returning to mainstream tv any time soon and Sky dont really have the vested interest to really get behind it.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:58 am

A well constructed post, manos, and one that I largely agree with, but I am still unconvinced Boxnation would be hugely sucessful even if it had all the boxing available. Obviously it would be a far better product than it currently is, but I would still worry how many 'new' people it would attract to the sport. There is more competition now and my concern would be that people simply drifted away or simply don't get the exposure at a young age to stimulate their interest. It could end being a generational thing with younger people not having the same 'pull' in the future. I am on board with your "More fans = more subscribers = more profit" angle, and this obviously would lend itself to a decent product, I am just not confident that this would be the case. You have said it yourself, Warren is a businessman and the more Boxnation takes off, the less carrots he would end up dangling. I can see it becoming a vehicle for PPV cards but without the option, that you currently have with Sky, of not 'paying' for fights should you want to, yet still being able to watch the sport.

Having said that, I agree that these things take time, and now is not a good time to setting up what is in effect a new niche business. The current economical climate doesn't lend itself to asking people to pay again for something they were already paying for. Maybe when there is a bit more economic confidence and people have more disposable income then Boxnation will start to pick up more subscribers but I am still sceptical of the long term future for the channel.

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Post by manos de piedra Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:14 am

Yeah its not an ideal solution, but realistically it might present the option in the medium term. Ideally boxing would be on BBC/ITV or failing that it would get mainstream coverage on Sky. But these seem to be unrealistic options. And I dont think anyone can blame Sky too much for downgrading after Haye. Even Chisora said it during the infamous press conferance that Haye had more or less killed boxing with Sky or something along those lines.

The economic conditions are not good for a start up channel like boxnation but on the plus side they are probably starting up at a time when Sky and other channels interest in boxing is on the wane and thus it represents an opportunity for them to take over.

I have absolutely no idea how the channell is faring or will fare in the future, but they should at least know what they need to do to succeed. After Sky dropped Hatton they should really look to try and recruit those guys. Hattons position without tv coverage wont see him last long as a mainstream promoter unless he can sort that out but as the likes of Calzaghe and Haye ound, its easier said than done and you are competing with very experienced established promoters like Warren and Hearn already.

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Sky Sports pulled the plug on Hatton Boxing? Empty Re: Sky Sports pulled the plug on Hatton Boxing?

Post by Mind the windows Tino. Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:43 am

Yep, I agree that in terms of timing, Skys change of tact leaves an open goal for Boxnation, but it remains to be seen if they attract the requisite number of fans to make it a viable and long term financial success. Say you like about Warren, he knows the game inside out and from a sporting perspective, he has the capability to produce a viable product, it just won't work if he is preaching to a half full church. I hope it does work, despite my dislike of the channel and what it currently stands for, as I am able to put aside my own feelings for the benefit of the sport, but I say that with a massive asterix attached. I read someone on here (can't remember who it was) lamenting that people were always melodramatic about the death of boxing, but I genuinely feel the environment is different now and people should be more concerned. It is not beyond the wit of man to see that UFC has the potential to take fans away, and if Boxnation is a roaring success, what next? HearnTV? MaloneyNight? Even looking at from a sociological viewpoint, kids have far more to stimulate them these days with social networking and their own laptops etc etc. Sport doesn't have as big a slice of the pie as it used to. I am not being nostalgic about a rosier time either, I say that as a still (relatively) young father who still remember his teenage years. These are the facts and boxing has to be careful that it doesn't become even more marginilised than it already is.

I can't believe that a canny promoter like Warren hasn't already discussed Boxnation taking on Hatton's stable, it will depend if he offers derisory terms or if Ricky refuses the offer out of spite.


Mind the windows Tino.
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Sky Sports pulled the plug on Hatton Boxing? Empty Re: Sky Sports pulled the plug on Hatton Boxing?

Post by manos de piedra Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:11 pm

I think with boxnation the only way it could become a huge success with the power to grow the sport is if it held all, or the guts of boxing on tv. If he have coverage spread thin across several channels then I think its destined to fail. So if it did spawn the likes of Hearn TV as rivals then they would drag each other down and both would fail unless one was able to buy out or absorb the other. But the sport cant sustain coverage across multiple subscription channels without really crippling the fanbase and I dont think the economics are there to make that sustainable. Really boxnation needs to become the primary source of boxing. Its still early days so only time will tell.

I would imagine Warren and Hearn would be happy to open discussions with Hatton over several of their fighter but the greater issue is whether Hatton is willing to do business. I would say he will look elsewhere for coverage first and his fighters are probably under contract to him for x amount of fights. But if he doesnt get an audience for them by the time their contracts are up then they would surely have to consider jumping across like Groves did with Warren.

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Sky Sports pulled the plug on Hatton Boxing? Empty Re: Sky Sports pulled the plug on Hatton Boxing?

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