By: Sean Crose
I don’t pretend to be a genius, but there are certain things I’m sure of. One is that I don’t want to pay money to see Tyson Fury face off against Dillian Whyte. Two is that I especially don’t want to pay money to see those guys fight in the middle of the afternoon here in the States due to time differences between here and Great Britain, where the match would go down. Three is that I can’t think of one British fan who could possibly want to pay to see that fight AND then have to stay up until six in the morning just so that Americans like myself could view it during prime viewing hours. There’s nothing I can do about one of these things. And one of the other two things is going to be less than optimal depending on where on the globe you’re situated.
We’re well beyond the point of asking the obvious: Why does this interesting though by no means ground shaking match have to be on pay per view at all? Why can’t Brits watch their fighters battle for glory in the evening for free while we in North America enjoy watching it in the afternoon – also for free? Lots of Americans watch European soccer. Lots of Europeans watch the Super Bowl. No one screams about broadcast times because no one is actually paying for the pleasure of watching those things. Not so with big name boxing. It appears that major fights now demand both considerable money and inconvenience in order to be viewed. This is not a good sign.
Perhaps we could all see this potential Fury-Whyte match – which we learned today we’ll have to cough up money to watch – as a pay per view one off. We can’t, though. Not when we have to pay for the pleasure of watching part time boxer Keith Thurman fight Mario Barrios on February 5th (I know Thurman says he’s going to get busier now. Here’s hoping.), or of watching any number of mid-level at best fights featuring somewhat popular boxers on any given weekend. Not all that long ago, there were whispers that the pay per view based structure of boxing was on the way out. Not only is pay per view still firmly established in the fight world, it’s worth wondering at this point whether or not it’s about to be the only way to watch any fight of note.