Top Rank Signs Seven Year Extension With ESPN
On Thursday, Top Rank and ESPN have agreed to a new six year deal that will have Top Rank programming airing on the network’s platforms until August 2025.
The new deal will call for 54 live boxing events annually, on top of original programming and making use of the Top Rank Library.
One year into a four year deal, both sides began renegotiating to pair with the ESPN+ streaming service which features exclusive Top Rank events.
“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 the co-chairman of Disney Media Networks. “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.”
The new deal sets up 54 live events per year will include 18 cards that will air on ESPN, 12 more prime-time cards that will stream exclusively on ESPN+ and 24 “premium international events” on ESPN+. There will also be undercard coverage of all 54 events on ESPN+.
ESPN+ will also continue to provide coverage of weigh-ins and news conferences, and make past fights available on demand.
“This expanded relationship with Top Rank increases the ability of ESPN+ to serve boxing fans better than ever and allows us to continue to build more direct relationships with this incredibly passionate audience,” said Kevin Mayer, who oversees ESPN+ as Disney’s chairman of direct-to-consumer and international.
“This partnership will continue to bring the biggest events and best fighters from around the world to ESPN networks,” said Top Rank president Todd duBoef, who negotiated the deal with the network.
“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.”