Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury: The crazy broadcast plan behind £200m fight

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Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury promises to be the biggest fight of a generation.

While the pair are yet to put pen to paper on a contract, reports coming out of both camps suggest that official confirmation is on the horizon.

According to Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn, most of the sticking points have been ironed out, with the Matchroom king-pin recently claiming that the deal is as good as done.

The venue for the fight continues to be shrouded in mystery, though, after Bob Arum declared that a host nation had been secured before Hearn refuted that claim.

Another major issue that still needs sorting is the broadcast rights for the fight.

Joshua has an exclusive deal with Sky Sports while Fury boasts a similar partnership with BT. 

There is a similar conundrum in the USA, where Fury and Joshua again have exclusive deals with competitors ESPN and DAZN.

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As a result, there is a broadcast cold war brewing with some of the wealthiest organisations in the television game fighting desperately for the right to show the bout.

However, Hearn thinks that he may have a solution to suit all parties and believes that a deal could be struck to see the rights shared.

"I don't think it will be difficult. There's a solution for everybody," he said.

"The two broadcast issues are DAZN and ESPN in America – AJ has a matching rights deal with DAZN and Fury has an exclusive deal with ESPN.

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"When you flip that in the UK, AJ has an exclusive deal with Sky and Fury has matching rights with BT.

Is there a deal where all four of those parties can carry broadcast of the fight? Yeah, I believe there is.

"I can't speak on behalf of Sky, but I'm not sure they would have an issue with saying to the public, 'You can watch on Sky or BT."

While it is rare, there are several case studies of successful broadcast sharing deals to draw upon.

HBO and Showtime teamed up to show the Mike Tyson vs Lennonx Lewis in 2002 while FOX and ESPN cross-promoted Floyd Mayweather's victory over Manny Pacquiao.

Fans will be hoping a deal can soon be struck but Hearn may have a bit of a juggling act on his hands in the meantime.

One only hopes that what is best for the fans remains at the forefront of all the negotiations.

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