Certain boxing fans had cause for anger today as Hennessy Sports announced the September 23 title fight between Britsh heavyweight star Hughie Fury and New Zealand’s Joseph Parker will be shown on YouTube for an early bird fee of £9.99.
That discounted price will only last until September 17, after which fans will have to shell out £14.99 to watch the fight via the internet streaming site.
Fans will only be able to watch the fight on YouTube, as it will not be shown on Sky Sports or a terrestrial channel.
Some fans were left incredulous by the announcement.
“Sweet baby Jesus, I just can’t believe my eyes. Hands up if this is the funniest announcement in boxing this year,” one fan said in response to the post.
“You’re charging a 10er on YouTube. Surely no,” another said.
The move puts the fight at risk of a low viewership.
This is hardly what Hennessy Sports would want, given the fact the two will face off for the WBO heavyweight title, with the winner likely to face Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder in the not-too-distant future.
But, other fans were less galled by the announcement: “Just wait 10 years and people will be watching the Premier League on sites like YouTube and Facebook. Surprised Boxnation didnt get this though.”
You can see some of the reaction from Twitter below.
Bars and pubs will still be able to show the fight, and the price is cheaper than Sky Sports, who charge £19.95 for their pay-per-view events, like Anthony Joshua’s win over Wladimir Klitschko in April.
The main worry is exposure: this is already an under-hyped fight, eclipsed in the attention-span of many fight fans by September 16’s Golovkin vs Canelo, and October 27’s Joshua vs Pulev.
It might not be the best time to roll out this new approach, which will be the first time UK and Irish fans will be forced to use YouTube to see a major fight.